Nights of Passion is excited to have Rebecca Heflin here with us today. Welcome, Rebecca. You have some exciting things going on – not only do you have a new release in e-book, “Rescuing Lacey” but you also have a book being released in print, “The Promise of Change.”
Please tell us a bit about both.
Thanks for having me Gerri. In my debut novel, The Promise of Change, my heroine, Sarah Edwards, loves stability, but finds life has other plans for her. Divorced, bored, and twitchy, she’s convinced her impulsive, sometimes irrational decisions are the sign of a mid-life crisis, and the contradictory actions and emotions are giving her family and friends mental whiplash. Her abrupt resignation from her job is the final straw. But a two-week trip to England seems the perfect pick-me-up for this Anglophile and Austenite.
Enter Alex Fraser, a.k.a. the Earl of Rutherford, who although a member of the lucky sperm club, prefers to be known for what he’s accomplished, rather than a fate of birth. Despite his family’s disapproval, he is determined to work in his chosen profession of acting. He’s always preferred casual flings with beautiful women who have no illusions of marriage. That is until he literally bumps into Sarah in an Oxford pub.
Despite an idyllic week together, Sarah gets cold feet and returns to the states determined to come back down to reality. A year later, the realization of Sarah’s life-long dream unexpectedly brings Alex back into her life, in what she believes is an ironic twist of fate. Will Sarah’s decisions leave her life in shambles, or will they lead to the promise of change?
My second upcoming release, Rescuing Lacey, is very different in tone, setting, and personalities. Where the tone and setting of The Promise of Change is polished, the tone and setting of Rescuing Lacey is rough around the edges.
In that novel, tough battle-scarred photojournalist-turned-wildlife-photographer Lacey Sommers travels to Costa Rica in a last-ditch effort to save her job, where she meets beach-bum-gorgeous Luke Hancock. An outdoor guide, environmentalist and expert on economics and sustainability, he’s been hired by her magazine to serve as her pilot and wilderness guide for the duration of her stay.
It’s clear from the outset there is a powerful physical attraction between the two, but strong personalities, pre-conceived notions, an unexpected and contentious family connection, and the scars from a tragic death and a terrifying event threaten to keep them apart.
Will Lacey shed the mantle of Kevlar she’s worn for so long and allow Luke inside her heart? Or will her ostensible strength be her downfall?
How long have you been writing?
I’ve always wanted to write but never really had the courage to sit down and do it. It took a mid-life crisis of sorts to finally push me out of my comfort zone. So, about three years ago I sat down and started writing. I haven’t stopped since.
Please tell us a little about your journey to publication?
From first word to publication took about two years. After I finished The Promise of Change I submitted it to multiple contests and received valuable feedback. Taking that feedback, I tweaked the manuscript and submitted it my first publisher, who kindly rejected it. I was devastated – silly I know, but your first rejection is always your hardest. In the meantime, I had started Rescuing Lacey, but I set it aside and returned to the first manuscript determined to make it better. Some 30,000 additional words later I sent it out for more contests. This time the feedback was promising (no pun intended).
A few more tweaks and I sent my baby out into the cold, cruel world one more time. Got more rejections, but they didn’t sting quite so much this time. About a month before I got ‘The Call,’ I learned that it had finaled in the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards. I felt vindicated. Then Soul Mate came calling and the rest, as they say, is history.
What were your biggest obstacles?
My biggest obstacle then as now, is time. Working full time as an attorney for a major research university, running a non-profit my husband and I co-founded, and trying to learn as much as I can about writing, while writing, well, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. If only I were a vampire and didn’t need to sleep.
What compelled you to write The Promise of Change?
During my mid-life crisis, I found I needed a creative outlet. I can’t sew or knit or paint, but I’ve always enjoyed reading and love putting words together to build a story. I can honestly say that writing saved me from myself.
Who do you write for? (I don’t mean Soul Mate … I mean do you write for yourself, your audience, etc.)
I write for myself mainly, but of course, the reader is always there in my mind. Otherwise, what’s the point if no one wants to read your work?
Do you have any productivity tips for other writers?
I’d like to say I have a daily word-count goal, but my schedule just doesn’t permit that kind of daily discipline. For me, if I get a block of time free, say a couple of hours or more, I can really make it count. I have long-term goals set. My plan is to finish my WIP by September. That may mean a few hundred words a day, when I can swing it, or it may mean whole weekends when hubby is out of town, dedicated to writing thousands of words. One way or the other, I get it done.
But in an excellent example of do as I say, not as I do, I’d recommend having a daily word-count goal if at all possible. Publish or perish doesn’t just apply in the academic world, but in the publishing world as well, and the best way to increase your readership is to release at least two books a year. The more productive you are the better your chances of succeeding with that goal.
If the Gods smiled down on you and Hollywood were to make one of your books into a movie, who would you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine?
That would be awesome! Let’s see. For The Promise of Change, I’d like to see Ashley Judd play Sarah and Colin Firth play Alex. For Rescuing Lacey, Charlize Theron as Lacey and Matthew McConaughey as Luke.
In all the books you have read who is your favorite hero?
Fitzwilliam Darcy is still my favorite hero. All dark and broody, but I like to think that the side Elizabeth sees is fiercely passionate, steadfast, and loyal.
I’m with you on that one. I love Mister Darcy as well. Tell me, when you are not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading, working in my garden, trying new recipes, and spending time with my hubby.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Okay, here goes. A cold, rainy day curled up on the sofa in front of the fire, watching the BBC’s entire five-and-a-half hour production of Pride and Prejudice, with plenty of hot tea and fine chocolates.
Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing here with us today. Readers, if you would love to read The Promise of Change, you can get it at any of these sites.
Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/the-promise-of-change/