As a paranormal writer and horror enthusiast, it takes a lot to scare me. I’ve seen a ghost and I’ll admit it.
What keeps me up at night is the psychological stuff. After a lot of thought, I decided to share with you all the first author in a long time who scared the absolute pants off me! Her books are just that good.
I put a bat underneath my bed and slept with a light on.
Don’t worry! You’ll have the chance to be scared out of your mind, too. Because I’m givin’ away an autographed book!
Please welcome the amazing, panic inducing, brilliant psychological and romantic suspense author Elizabeth Heiter! I’m super lucky to know her in real life from my Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America chapter. She’s an awesome author and an awesome friend.
Elizabeth, it’s so spook-tacular that you could join us! Please, tell us a little about yourself!
All my life, I wanted to be a writer – and specifically, a mystery novelist. From a young age, I was obsessed with hero(in)es and villains, fast-paced plots, and surprises.
Apparently, when I was still young enough to be tucked into bed every night, I used to breathe heavily through my teeth and then tell my mom, “Darth Vader is under my bed.” Clearly, I had an active imagination, and needed an outlet like writing! Not long after that, I could be found everywhere (walking through a supermarket, up in the branches of a tree, under my covers with a light) either reading or writing.
I grew up in Michigan, got my degree (in English Literature, of course!) from the University of Michigan, and I still live here. My house is full of chatter – and when it’s not me reading aloud while I work, it’s my lovebirds
or my parrot (who has a handful of words, and can do a great catcall!).
Writing two series (one in psychological suspense and one in romantic suspense) and working a day job keeps me busy, but in my free time, I love to ski, spend time with family
and friends, and of course, to read! I’m also trying to get back to some old hobbies: calligraphy and playing the violin. And in case I get bored, there’s always some new house project I can take up (I’m a do-it-yourselfer, and I’ve put in all new floors, re-landscaped my yard, etc.).
What are some books you have out now? We want some good Halloween reads!
I have books in two series available.
The first is my psychological suspense series, The Profiler books, which feature FBI profiler Evelyn Baine. She’s a dedicated agent who was drawn to the job because her best friend was abducted when Evelyn was twelve and was never found. Now, Evelyn’s got an innate talent for getting into the heads of killers, and it sends her all over the country, solving cases. In HUNTED, she tracked a serial killer known as the Bakersville Burier; in VANISHED, she tackled her best friend’s case when the Nursery Rhyme Killer returned after eighteen years of silence. Next up, she’ll be back in SEIZED, when she winds up on the wrong side of a hostage situation and in the middle of an emerging terrorist threat.
This series freaked me the heck out! Bat under the bed folks, seriously.
My other series, The Lawmen books, is a series of romantic suspense books. The first three, DISARMING DETECTIVE, SEDUCED BY THE SNIPER, and SWAT SECRET ADMIRER, feature three friends who made a pact to join the FBI after violence tore apart their lives. Now, a decade later, the threat returns…
I devoured The Lawmen Books in three days! Couldn’t put them down!
You can learn more about all of the books, as well as AVENGED, the free short story that will be available this December, featuring Evelyn from The Profiler series, at www.elizabethheiter.com.
How do you do your research for these stories?
My research is a combination of reading a ton of real-life stories about serial killers, Special Agents, and forensics, and more hands-on research. It’s important to me to be as accurate as I can in the way I portray my characters, so I’ve talked to a lot of current and
former Special Agents, and I’ve visited FBI field offices and the Academy at Quantico. I’ve even trekked through the Academy’s “Hogan’s Alley” training area and shot weapons on their firing range!
Does your research ever give you nightmares?
Usually, the research doesn’t give me nightmares, but I did find that after I read about a dozen profiling books in a row (on serial killers), I was starting to have trouble sleeping! I had to take a break and do a little lighter reading for a while! Sometimes, the research can be disturbing, but I try to do it the way a profiler would – from a psychological perspective. I hope that it helps me write better stories. And although some of it can be gross, a lot of it (how to write a profile, for example) is really interesting!
Do you prefer soccer or hockey? Beer or wine?
I’m a bad Detroiter, because I really don’t watch sports. I did go to U of M during a time when we had a phenomenal football team, so for a while, I was a devoted football game attendee. As for the drinks, definitely wine (and I’d pair it with chocolate!)
I know you have eclectic taste in music. What are some of your favorite songs to write to?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one. I do have eclectic musical taste – I’ve got everything from classical to pop to rock to country to R&B on my player, and I usually put it on shuffle when I write. I find that a song with a good, fast beat gets me started, and then I eventually just tune it all out once the words start flowing. One soundtrack that I can always write to, no matter the story, is the one from Last of the Mohicans!
Who are some authors you love to read when you find time?
There are so many! I wish I had more time, so I could keep up with them all! But a few favorites include Lisa Gardner, Laura Griffin, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Tess Gerritsen.
Scariest or silliest Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
It may come as no surprise to discover that I’ve dressed up as an FBI agent on more than one occasion. When I was a kid, one of my more creative costumes was a scarecrow – I had the straw hat, the face paint, the overalls, the plaid shirt, and I even put a yardstick behind my back and out the sleeves with straw where my hands would go (my arms were down below, holding my candy basket!). As for silly? How about my alien?
Are you planning on dress up this year?
I don’t think I’m going to dress up this Halloween (I’ll probably be writing!), but if I were, in honor of X-Files coming back to TV (I watched that when it was on the first time around), I think I’d have to be some sort of strange alien again!
What is up next for you?
Right now, I’m actually in the middle of writing two brand new proposals for more books connected to each of my series! There will be new details on that up on my website as soon as I know more!
Thanks, Elizabeth, for joining us! I can’t wait to read more books that will keep me checking my locks at night.
Now, let’s get down to business. Let’s give away a book!
What do you win?
An autographed Elizabeth Heiter book of your choice!
(Must be currently released. Books are either trade or mass market paperback)
How do you win?
Just type “Trick or Treat!” in the comments section to enter.
The contest will run until November 5, 2015 11:59pm EST. The winner will be chosen by Elizabeth at random.
(Contest is void where prohibited by law.)
- Hermit Day!
Introverts, this is our time to shine…away from people. Alone.
Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,
Bold. Bewitching. Breathtaking.
Author of The Lynch Brothers Series
Be careful what you wish for…
Hunting Witch Hazel: February 2016
Threat of Raine: March 2016
Rosemary for Remembrance: April 2016