1. Tell me a bit about your work and your new book, Whispers In the Shadows.
I’m probably best known for my work in The Horror Diaries. It’s a series of scary stories for kids that include Haunted, Journeys Through The Unknown and Creatures Of The Night as well as the forthcoming titles, Supernatural, The Sands Of Time, Shivers and When Darkness Falls. These are suspenseful but fun tales filled with creepy characters and fantastical plots. I also write mainstream young adult books such as Vocations and Girl In Crisis (both titles are currently being prepared for a second edition release) as well as literary romances for teens like the forthcoming Assorted Candies. As for my adult books, they include What Legends Are Made Of and my latest release, Whispers In The Shadows. Both books are part of the Legends Unleashed series. This paranormal romance anthology series features strong female characters who lead ordinary lives until they meet some very extraordinary men. Like The Horror Diaries, Legends Unleashed is suspenseful and filled with fantastical plots, but it’s also very sexy and seductive. Finally, I write screenplays and teleplays in all the above mentioned genres. My films include Young Eyes, The Rarity and Too Sensible For Love, with several more projects in development. Returning to my latest release, I’d like to share descriptions of the stories found in Whispers In The Shadows.
Where Feelings Go To Die
While on a working vacation at Black Heart Lake, journalist Ashleigh uncovers a century-old story about a love triangle that turned deadly. Upon coming face-to-face with the vengeful ghosts, she learns the hard way that some feelings just won’t rest in peace. Adding to the danger is the return of Ashleigh’s recently deceased, cheating ex-boyfriend who wants more than just her love. Trapped in a haven for ghosts, her only defence is to find their weakness.
Hot Egyptian Nights
While on vacation, Hailey falls in love with Egypt’s awe-inspiring beauty, fascinating history and Zade, her sexy tour guide. Hailey’s new relationship is magical until Zade tries to sacrifice her in a hidden pyramid that’s filled with bubbling oil. Hailey’s intense encounter with him the next day reveals that her kidnapper is actually Said, Zade’s twin brother. Since entering an ancient tomb, Said has been cursed by a king who won’t rest until Zade, and everyone Zade loves, is dead. Hailey will do anything to destroy the curse, even if it means betraying Zade.
Rival To Survival
There’s something special about the Dark Forest, and its secret can be found in the magical mushrooms which forever sustain life. Two hundred-year-old Harv will do anything to ensure that his mushroom supply is abundant, even if it means betraying an old friend. Harv’s passion to live forever is intensified when he meets Scarlet – a woman whose passion matches her great beauty. All he has to do now is convince the skeptical Scarlet to embrace his mysterious, dangerous world and, of course, survive in it.
The Truth About Fairy Tales
Lila would do anything to find her prince charming, even if it means using a cheesy internet dating service. Matched with the handsome and courteous Phillip, Lila thinks she’s found a man who is the epitome of perfection. When Phillip is ambushed and taken away by a secret government agency, Lila fights back. What she uncovers is an advanced technological prototype that proves Phillip really is too good to be true.
Lure Of The Merman
A sudden storm strands Bree on the beach, forcing her to take shelter in an old cave. When she falls into a watery hole, she is rescued by the mysterious Sandy who appears from the ocean. Through romantic letters and unusual gifts, Sandy slowly wins Bree’s heart from afar. When she finally sees him at the beach, she boldly kisses him. That’s a big mistake because Sandy is a manipulative merman and Bree’s kiss transferred her legs for his fishtail. As a mermaid, she must navigate a new and dangerous world while preparing for the ultimate showdown with Sandy.
2. You write MG, adult and YA titles. What's different when you write for a YA audience?
I’m definitely aware of my audience while writing. For young adults, the main characters are always in their teens, and I usually write about universal themes that face this age group. I’m particularly interested in exploring young love, such as all the things that can go right as well as wrong in a relationship. I also like to explore the unique bonds of friendship and the events which can either strengthen or destroy these special relationships. All my young adult titles feature coming-of-age elements since this is such a transitional time in one’s life, and my writing is always filled with honesty, compassion and relatable characters.
3. How did you first get published? Is there any kind of story?
I actually began writing my first novel for a writer’s craft course I was taking in high school. Although I’d always wanted to be a writer, I wasn’t planning on having this school project turn into my first novel; I just loved the idea and kept working on it even after the class was finished. While writing, I did thorough research on the publishing industry by going to related events, networking and reading books on the subject. I then sent out query letters and was extremely fortunate to land a contract with a small, but traditional, publishing company on my third query. Since then I’ve worked with eleven different publishers and have been lucky to learn every aspect necessary to successfully run a small publishing company.
4. What's the best thing about being an author? What's the best about being a screenwriter?
The absolute best thing about being an author and screenwriter is seeing the final product. There’s not much that can rival the feeling of holding your new book or seeing your story come to life. Even though I’ve been in this industry for over a decade, the excitement I feel when receiving the final product is as strong as ever. Other perks to being a writer includes getting to share my stories, receiving letters and e-mails from readers and being interviewed for newspapers, magazines and blogs. Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides to being an author and screenwriter. For starters, when I first meet people and they ask me what I do, they sometimes don’t believe me when I say I’m an author of ten books and that I also write movies and TV shows. Perhaps their disbelief stems from the fact that I’m only 27. Nevertheless, I find that very irritating. Another downside is the constant hard work and perseverance that this industry requires. For the most part, writers aren’t fairly compensated for their work, and this is especially true with the rise of e-book piracy.
5. You're Canadian! I am too! What's your favourite Canadian thing? It can be anything at all- favourite food, place, event, etc.
I love Canadian nature. From the forests and the lakes, to the prairies and the rockies, our landscapes are varied and vast. It’s all so beautiful and there are a lot of activities, such as hiking, fishing, climbing, etc., we can enjoy because of our surroundings. Canada also has a great wildlife population; my favourite animal is the wolf. Additionally, most of Canada gets to experience all four seasons.
I enjoy a variety of genres but my two favourites have always been scary stories and paranormal romances. I love suspenseful, creepy tales but I hate gore and excessive violence, so it’s hard to find a horror story that appeals to me. That’s why I wrote The Horror Diaries series. I wanted to create a new subgenre of horror which is fun rather than gross. As for paranormal romances, I think it’s such a great genre because the possibilities are endless. I’ve always been interested in mythical creatures, such as vampires, werewolves, mermaids, etc., and I am intrigued by the mythologies of supernatural species.
As I mentioned before, I love nature, so most of my favourite activities include being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming and just generally being in the forest, at the beach or near water. Volunteering with non-profit organizations is another one of my passions which I’ve pursued since a young age. Additionally, school and then work has taken up a lot of my time.
Just for fun
Skittles or M&Ms? Peanut M&Ms.
Hockey or Baseball? I prefer badminton and soccer.
Coca Cola or Pepsi? Neither. Water and milk are my liquid staples.
Sweet or salty? Salty.
Twilight or The Hunger Games? Twilight. Go Team Jacob!
You can also visit Heather's websites for more information.
One lucky reader will get PDF formats of
All you need to do is leave a comment with your email. (ex: tantalizingillusions(at)gmail(dot)com)
This giveaway is international and for ages 13+ (make sure you have your parents' permission)
For extra entries, tweet about the giveaway (make sure to include @AshesTantalize) and leave a link of your tweet in the comments below. One tweet a day = an entry a day.
Giveaway ends October 5th.
Enjoy it guys!