I have the greatest pleasure of chatting with best selling author, Heather King. Author of A Sense of the Ridiculous, Devil’s Hoof and one of the authors of the fantastic Heart of a Hero Series. So get your cuppa, take a seat and lets get to know a little more about Heather.
A confessed romantic and bookworm, Heather King has always made up stories. Discovering Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels began a lifelong love of the era, although she enjoys well-written books from other times too. Heather’s stories are traditional romps – light-hearted and witty, with bags of emotion. You walk with her characters through the world they inhabit. She also writes Paranormal Shape Shifter romance.
Visiting her Dark Side as Vandalia Black, she wrote Vampires Don’t Drink Coffee and Other Stories which includes a novella set during the English Civil War.
When not looking after her two hairy ponies, three cats and boisterous Staffie X, or frowning over keypad or notebook, she likes nothing better than taking long walks and curling up with a good book.
Frankie Hi Heather, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.
Firstly what five words would you use to describe yourself?
Heather Persevering (it sounds better than stubborn), loyal, considerate, protective, honest. I could add boring, tea-dog-and-horse-loving windbag, but that wouldn’t sound as good… and it’s more than five words!
Frankie LOL! Brilliant, If you could live in any era and place, when and where would it be? and why?
Heather Oh, golly. I’m pretty happy where I am. I would love the quieter pace of life; the elegance, the courtesy and respect, the furnishings and carriages of the Regency, but I don’t think I would like to live there, not even for men in breeches and neckcloths! I like my creature comforts and modern appliances too much. I also like modern jodhpurs!
If I had to choose, I would be a squire’s daughter, perhaps, like Jocasta in my novel A Sense of the Ridiculous, who is not hedged about by strict rules and pretty much does as she pleases. She also has a beautiful grey hunter, who leads her to her hero, the knee-meltingly gorgeous Richard.
Frankie I love the sound of that, Who was your childhood hero?
Heather After Champion the Wonder Horse, you mean? Sad child that I was, there were various fictional heroes, usually good looking actors! Although a legend, I devoured anything I could find about Robin Hood… can you tell I spent a lot of time in a dream world? Ahem; still do, for that matter.
My real-life hero will always be my Mum. She worked so hard throughout my childhood and was always there for us.
Frankie Aww, lovely! What is your favourite time of the year?
Heather It’s a tie between spring and autumn. I love the world coming to life after winter, the warming of the weather (perhaps), the blossom, bright blue skies (maybe) and lambs in the fields – the usual clichés. However, although it means the onset of winter, I love a crisp autumn day with leaves crunching underfoot and being able to take a long walk without melting into a puddle of sweat at the end of it. I love the autumn colours and that tingle of pleasure in the veins when you exhale a cloud of breath into a bright October or November morning.
Frankie Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?
Heather Ooh… puffs out cheeks. Whichever one I am writing at the time usually takes pride of place, but I have a very soft spot for Richard in A Sense of the Ridiculous and also my hero in my paranormal romance, Devil’s Hoof. Matt is a soldier, struggling to make sense of life after war and also battling a disease more usually associated with horses. Furthermore, he has a family secret which threatens to put everyone he loves in danger. He is a sexy Alpha male with a heart of gold and is just waiting for the right woman with whom to rebuild his life.
Frankie Now he sounds fabulous, where does your inspiration for your books come from?
Heather All over the place! My mother’s favourite story came about through a snippet of information about the Prince Regent she found in a country magazine. Other times, inspiration has come from an overheard conversation, a picture, a line of prose or a poem, something which has happened to me (that was the case with Ridiculous), a tiny piece of historical fact (Copenhagen’s Last Charge came from a little-known gem I discovered about the Duke of Wellington’s horse). Even smells can trigger creativity!
Frankie What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Heather Read as much as you can, especially about your proposed subject or era. This is particularly important for historical works. An author needs to be able in immerse him or herself in the era: clothes, foods, décor, fabrics, furnishings etc. and above all, dialogue.
Write, write, write. Keep on writing. Write every day, even if only for a few minutes. You have to develop your ‘writing muscle’, as it were. Something will grow from it, even from only five minutes a day. Write, even if you think it’s rubbish. Out of the fustian there will be a single thread of gold you can develop.
Carry a notebook with you everywhere. Record smells, flowers at different seasons, birds, snippets of conversations, buildings, people, way of speech… EVERYTHING!
Frankie If you were hosting a dinner party, what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)
Heather Hugh Jackman, Richard Armitage and Colin O’Donaghue, she says at once, waggling eyebrows.
Seriously, I would love to chat with Jane Austen about real life in the Regency. I would also love to be a fly on the wall to a conversation between the great French riding master, Francois Robichon de la Guerinière and our own British King of Dressage, Carl Hester. That would be fascinating! De la Guerinière earned recognition as a rider and instructor at the renowned Riding Academy of Paris, became Director of Manège at the Tuileries and invented the unrivalled suppling school movements of shoulder-in, renvers and travers (head or tail to the wall). His aim, through systematic training, was to produce a horse which was calm, supple, obedient and pleasurable to ride. Carl Hester also follows these classical precepts and is the force behind the Dressage Super Horse, Valegro. He is also a thoroughly nice chap who unstintingly gives his time to support lesser riders and his fans.
Frankie That is a dinner party I would love to attend, Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today. I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun…
What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?
Heather The easy answer is chocolate… but the truth is it changes as my tastes change. I adore raspberries and don’t buy them very often because you get so few for your money. Raspberries in a meringue nest, with ice cream and cream… scrummy yummy! And then I also adore chocolate fudge, shortbread, Victoria sponge cake, egg and chips, bangers and mash… the list goes on. Oink.
Yumm! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me, its been a pleasure.
When his father dies, Lord Adam Bateman refuses to succeed to the dukedom which rightly belongs to his missing elder brother. Whilst performing secret and sensitive missions for the Duke of Wellington, he continues his efforts to find his twin. The search has become Adam’s all-consuming passion, leaving no time for affairs of the heart.
Miss Lucy Mercier is also seeking answers. Her father, a tailor, had been used to make hot air balloons for various noble patrons, including Lord Adam’s sire. Believing the deceased Duke of Wardley had been involved in her papa’s failure to return from the Continent, she takes employment in Lord Adam’s household in order to discover the truth. Then she accompanies him on an important commission for the Allied Army, and finds herself having to guard against a growing attraction for a man she knows she can never have.
Are the two disappearances connected and will two heads prove better than one in the pursuit of answers? Will Adam and Lucy find true happiness together or will the past – and their different stations – rise to keep them apart?
When a prank goes wrong, headstrong squire’s daughter Jocasta Stanyon wakes up in the bedchamber of an inn with no memory of who she is. The inn is owned by widow Meg Cowley and her handsome son Richard, who proves to be more than a match for the unconventional Miss Stanyon.
Having enjoyed a carefree childhood, Jocasta has refused all offers for her hand in the hopes of one day finding a soul mate who shares her sense of the ridiculous. She is drawn to Richard, but their stations in life are far apart and despite prolonging her stay by devious means, the idyll cannot last. When, by chance, her brother Harry turns up at the Holly Tree Inn, Jocasta has no choice but to return home. She hopes to persuade her father of Richard’s qualities, but then she is summoned to receive the addresses of a fashionable stranger…
Laminitis or fever of the feet is crippling for horses. What must it be like for a man?
Matthew Swift, Special Forces veteran of the Iraq wars and invalided out of the army following an act of heroism, is struggling to adjust to civilian life. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, he is a loose cannon ready to explode, beset by horrific flashbacks and images. If that were not enough, Matt has broken up with his girlfriend and his father is fighting a hostile takeover, in the process hiding a heart problem from his family.
Sparks fly when Matt meets alternative therapist Shani Stevens, but then they become stranded in Rhandor Forest by unprecedented storms and have no choice but to help each other.
Both have scars, yet slowly they learn to trust. Mutual sympathy and understanding soon grow into an abiding passion, but Matt has a secret he cannot reveal…
A powerful love story and a poignant insight into the equine psyche, with a bit of mystery and adventure thrown in, Devil’s Hoof will grab your heart.
When Meg Lacy encounters a broodingly handsome Light Dragoon at the Duchess of Richmond’s grand ball, she little expects that in the hours following the Battle of Waterloo she will be accompanying him around the streets of Brussels. Romance is the last thing on her mind as they seek a lost and valuable item belonging to the Duke of Wellington himself.
Lieutenant James Cooper is surly and unhelpful, but Meg senses the Dragoon will need her help if they are to succeed. As they bicker their way around the narrow streets, a strange empathy begins to develop as gradually glimpses of the man beneath start to be revealed. Meg finds herself drawn to that person, but when they finally recover and then return the item to the Duke, Cooper makes a grave error of judgement which jeopardizes their budding friendship…
When Meg Lacy finds herself riding through the streets of Brussels only hours after the Battle of Waterloo, romance is the last thing on her mind, especially with surly Lieutenant James Cooper. However, their bickering uncovers a strange empathy – until, that is, the lieutenant makes a grave error of judgement which jeopardizes their budding friendship…
If you want to find more about Heather and her work then check out the links below. Heather loves hearing from her readers so why not connect with her via social media.