A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among the fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand.
She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester! For more, visit her at https://ladiesindefiance.com/
Welcome to the blog, Heather. I’m so happy to have you here today. Congratulations on your recent release, A Promise in Defiance.
I have two sisters. That sister dynamic inspired the Romance in the Rockies series. And while Naomi and Rebecca bear only a passing resemblance to my sister Dawn and me, Hannah is the mirror image of my sister Susan. I lost her to breast cancer in ’99 and the Defiance stories are a tribute to her. That said, I will always identify with Naomi because of her fiery spirit and never-accept-defeat outlook.
What a special thing to share with your sisters. Thanks for sharing that. Out of all the books you’ve written, is there a particular hero and heroine that still stand out to you the most?
Readers always comment on Charles McIntyre. I think we women love to see a strong bad boy brought to his knees because of love. And Naomi does her level best to keep life simple, but a black-and-white perspective never works. Plans, dreams, goals, they all get overlapped by life’s challenges, and therein you find the shades of gray. These two together are stronger, but they have baggage. Working out the kinks makes for good drama and complex characters.
If you could go back to any place in time and meet anyone, where would you go and who would it be?
Someone asked me this question recently and I thought long and hard about it. Who would I have dinner with, she asked. Well, besides Jesus, I would love to spend some time with the Marx Brothers. Three of the funniest, smartest, keenest men Hollywood never managed to destroy. They stayed close as a family and created some of the finest humor the planet has ever seen. I laugh thinking how the evening would go, what, with Groucho’s snarky one–liners, Chico egging on Harpo, and Harpo throwing his leg into my hand. Yep. Good times.
Ha! Love it! 🙂 What’s one of the strangest things you’ve had to research for a novel?
The most macabre was hangings and gallows. There is a real science to hanging and sometimes the hangman didn’t do his homework. The most depressing was researching a San Francisco madam named Mary Hastings who was shameless—to put her antics mildly. The coolest, or arguably strangest, was coincidences. Try that some time. There are some seriously spooky things that have happened in this world. I would call them God-things for sure.
I read on your website that you love exploring out West. What’s one of your favorite places to visit?
Any place west of the Mississippi. If I had to narrow it down, though, the ghost towns in Colorado. I could spend the rest of my life exploring them. I also hope one day to pack out into the desert on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation and see some ancient Anasazi ruins that are rarely visited by people because they are so remote.
That would be incredible! Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Heather! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I have a short story coming out in a collection with several other authors. It’s a BIG twist on the mail order bride plot. And I also step into the 20th century for a Christmas novella that is set in Cheyenne, WY during World War 2. Both stories are romcoms, lighter fare than I normally write and I’m enjoying the humor.
That’s exciting! Looking forward to them. 🙂 Have a great rest of the summer!
Heather has graciously offered to give away one copy of Winner’s Choice of her books to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only and ends August 16, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!