Sunday, January 13, 2013

Author Interview/Excerpt: Heart of the Ocean by Heather Moore

Describe your book in five words or less.
Grieving ghost with tragic secret

How did the ideas for your books come to you?
Heart of the Ocean was a very organic book, meaning I had an idea for a girl coming into a Puritan town and finding out a dark secret. That was all I had to go on. I didn’t plot in advance, but plotted as the story unfolded. Then as I started writing, the voice of the past came up, and I realized that it would be the ghost who is trying to tell her story.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I did quite a bit of research on the Puritans to develop the setting, but the primary purpose of the book is driven by Helena Talbot, a woman who was shunned by her community and then died tragically. Many of us experience challenges that are brought on by intolerance by those around us. So I suppose if I were to dig deeply, I’d say that I hope that readers will come away with a greater understanding of the historical time period, the varied beliefs that drove people’s actions, and how the human condition affects us all.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
The hardest part of writing is not knowing if the plot and characters will come together and make a great book when all is said and done. The easiest part is coming up with ideas—I have plenty—and of course that comes full circle and turns into a lot of work hoping that the original idea is solid enough to pull off a book that will be worth the readers’ time.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
My contemporary romance Aliso Creek novella series has started its publication schedule. The first novella, Third Time’s the Charm, was released in December on ebook, and the second in the series will be out in February 2013, called Picture Perfect, as part of the Timeless Romance Anthology: Spring Vacation Collection.
My turn-of-the century historical romance novella, A Fortunate Exile, was recently released as part of the Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection.
If my readers enjoy contemporary romance, then my recent full-length novel Athena, fits the bill. As part of the Newport Ladies Book Club series, Athena is a sweet and thoughtful romance.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
The first novel I wrote took place during WWII, an era in which my grandmother was a young woman. So researching her life had an impact on the first novel I attempted. Also, I’ve always loved historical fiction because I feel like I’m learning as well as enjoying the read. The past fascinates me, so it was a natural combination of the two loves—history & writing.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
It’s both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking at the same time. What if the reader doesn’t like it as much as my last book? I usually don’t breathe easy until several positive reviews have been written. And then of course the process starts all over again with the next book.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I usually don’t get questions that are very personal. My family is very integral to my writing and they have been supportive. It’s a bit sketchy to be writing a novel, not knowing if it will be published, and not getting paid for the hours you are putting in.

What was your road to publication like?
The third manuscript I wrote became the first book published. Like many writers, I have dozens of rejections, manuscripts that went nowhere, and projects that were started then abandoned. And even now that I have twelve books traditionally published, I still receive rejections. But the important thing is to keep writing and submitting, and developing my craft. Heart of the Ocean is an older manuscript that I did a major revision on this year. It was a story I still loved, and so I decided that the time investment I’d have to put into revisions would be worth it.

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