December 22, 2011
Interview & Giveaway:Heather Burch author of Halflings (Halflings #1)
1. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
The idea for Halflings had been rolling around in the back of my head for years. I always look for an unusual idea, then think about how I can put an uncommon twist on it. I wanted an angel theme, but I didn’t want to do fallen angels. I wanted a twist. My mind started thinking, “What about the offspring of fallen angels and human women? They would be half … Halflings.”
2. How did you come up with the names for the characters?
This sounds so strange, but their names were just there … when I began to write. I guess my subconscious had done so much work that when the idea shifted to composition mode, a lot of the decisions were already made. I came up with the name Nikki. But Mace, Raven, and Vine—they named themselves. I knew there would be Halfling females introduced and their names were Vegan, Winter and Glimmer. Glimmer’s wings sparkle. In fact, each of the Halflings names describe them. Mace is strong and solid. Raven is dark and brooding. Vine is young and fresh. Winter is cold. Yes, actually cold to the touch.
3.How much are you and the characters alike?
I’ve raised boys, so the boys were really easy for me to identify with. But as I wrote Nikki and got inside her head, I realized there was a lot of me represented in her character. She has a strong will to fight and do what’s right, even if it’s not the easy choice.
4. Do you read a lot and what are you reading now?
I do read a lot, but I tend to set other books aside while I’m writing. Right now I’m working on book three in the series, so I’ve got a lovely shelf of books I will dive into as soon as I’m done writing this one.
5. What made you decide to go angels?
Several things sort of smashing together at once. First, what could possibly be cooler than a muscled warrior angel? I mean, really. As I said, the idea had been in the back of my mind for a long time, but just hadn’t hatched. I call it X-men meets Cinderella. Or maybe, superhero meets super cool. I love the freedom of teens who aren’t confined to a school. I wanted these characters to be world travelers and I wanted to visit exotic places. And what’s better than a hot guy with wings? I can’t think of too much that tops that. Add in the fact that these guys are here to protect you, and well, that raises them a little more on the awesomeness scale. When I started writing, there were no angel books on the shelf. Seriously, none. Then, when I was finishing up writing book one, Hush, Hush came out. At first, I was stunned because I thought I’d be the first “angel” book out there. But it’s growing into its own genre now. And it’s okay I wasn’t the first.
6. How did the cover come about?
My publisher always asks for the author’s thoughts about the cover. When I first started imagining the book—you know, as a book—I imagined a girl and a red background. The cover initially had a blue-green background and it was nice, but then they changed it to red and it really came alive. But here’s an interesting story about the cover that no one knows. I know the artist who did the famous painting Footprints in the Sand. We got started talking one day and he said, “Hey, can I read some of the book you’re writing?” So, I sent him a rough draft and he went berserker on me. He was so excited about the concept and the story, he painted me a “mock” cover. Just because he’s awesome that way! I still really love that cover. It has a spooky feel, a hell-hound in the shadows, and a long haired angel guy with wings standing over Nikki. Very cool. Plus, he did it before the books even sold, so he’s on my best friend list. For good.
7. So what is your next project and when is it due out?
Book two in the trilogy is titled GUARDIAN and will release in September. Halflings is a really big story and there are multiple layers to the plot that unfold over several books. In book two, Nikki gets to travel with the Halflings. Yachts, Europe, and of course, a giant dose of danger with a fair amount of romance.
8. Do you have a daytime job or are you a full time writer?
I write full time. I get up at 4:40 a.m. and usually write for about eight hours. I do that four days a week. With the January release, a lot of my writing time has been swallowed by answering emails, planning book events and (this is the crazy part) fan letters. I love connecting with my readers, so that’s the fun part.
9. How did you get into writing novels and were you worried about people’s reactions to your books?
I’ve always written. As a teenager, I wrote poetry. It was a great way to express all the angst that comes with being a teen. When I got married, my husband’s mother and sister were published novelists. That’s when I got the “book bug.” I started learning from them. As far as being worried about people’s reactions … hmmm … I guess to some degree I am always a little bit worried. I mean, writing novels is all about connecting with the reader. I want to connect with people on a deep level through my books. I want you to remember my characters, think about them after you finish reading. Anytime you put yourself out there, you’re asking to be rejected—I guess that’s part of what makes things like writing, painting, music unique. We pour our hearts into something creative, then hold our hearts in our hands and allow people to either caress or stab it. If what you’ve written, painted, sang or composed causes people to “feel” something, you’ve done your job. That’s what you take to bed at night.
10. One last thing do you collect anything personally?
Swarovski Jewelry. I absolutely love it. I’ve even got an ink pen that’s filled with tiny Swarovski stones. It’s reserved for book signings.
Other places to find Heather:
Heather Burch Books website
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