Who am I? Let’s see. I’m a complete travel maniac and love nothing more than heading off on a new adventure with my husband. We’re quite intent on seeing the world and have covered a good slice of it already. I love anything Japanese and I’m learning the language, watch anime all the time, read manga, and have been to Japan four times... and I have a collection of Gundams, VF-25Fs, and plastic character figurines on my desk. I love sports such as archery, motorcycle speedway, and football and just started to learn how to snowboard. I’m a huge FC Barcelona fan and have been to several games, including four classico matches (Barcelona vs Real Madrid) and will be going to my fifth next year if my husband gets his way. I prefer to write with music and often have playlists for the book I’m writing on my iPod or computer, with songs specifically selected for the characters and plot. I actually have specific music for writing fight scenes to and sad scenes too. I’m a total geek and can fix computers, program in several languages, design websites, draw, and love to play RPGs on my PlayStation, PS2 and PS3. I’m currently re-playing Assassin’s Creed 2 ahead of getting Assassin’s Creed: Revelations at Christmas. My husband is getting sick of me jumping up and down on the sofa when the advert comes on.
You're an independent romance author. Can you tell us a bit about your writing journey?
I started out in fanfiction a long time ago now, back in 2003. After doing that for a couple of years, my author friend and my husband both nudged me towards writing something original with my own characters. I was petrified that I would be rubbish at writing my own characters but I really enjoyed it and haven’t looked back since.
I was epublished in 2005 but soon realised that I could probably make a better job of things if I published my own books and handled everything myself. My friend and I both felt we were giving the publisher 60% of the profits from our own hard work because they weren’t really advertising or doing anything to promote the book. We formed a self-publishing cooperative and invited a few other authors to join us. Back in 2006, there was no Kindle store or ebooks available on places like Barnes and Noble, Sony, etc. The only place to distribute was Fictionwise so we played publisher and got our books on there. Every year was the year ebooks were due to go mainstream. It wasn’t until last year that things really took off and non-US authors like myself could get onto the Amazon Kindle program. I think being indie these days is extremely easy in terms of distribution and getting reviewed too.
Myself and a few fellow authors have lived through very tough times, the infancy of ebooks where there were barely any readers, no real distribution options, and a lot of people wouldn’t review your book. We’ve survived to tell the tale because of hard work and perseverance. It is a lot easier to make money and sell books now. I can’t imagine many of today’s indies having the patience to survive the poor ebook market between 2005-2009, when sales were extremely low and you were doing damn well if your book made around $500 in two years. Because of my perseverance, I had an extensive backlist of books that I could immediately place onto Amazon and other retailers as they became available, and had already built a small loyal following. My following has increased dramatically in the past year and I was fortunate enough to be in a position to become a full-time author this year.
Your paranormal vampire romance, Heart of Darkness was just released. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Absolutely. Heart of Darkness is a heart-wrenching love story about two vampires from very different worlds.
Aleksandr is the former heir prince of the vampire nation of Europe. His family, the Nemov bloodline, preach pacifism and led their people from the dark times when vampires were little more than demonic beasts to a time when they have attained their humanity. To retain that humanity, vampires must limit their kills and not take pleasure from the hunt. The Nemov bloodline set the example for vampire society, so when Aleksandr’s defenceless younger sister was brutally murdered in their own palace by a vampire hunter four centuries ago, Aleksandr renounced his title and vowed to hunt the killer and his family line to extinction. Four hundred years of hunting and killing has taken its toll on Aleksandr and he’s dancing with the darkness, his soul corrupted by the thousands of lives he has taken.
When his hunt leads him to Prague on a wintry night, he meets not only a female vampire hunter who he kills but a female guard from the local bloodline.
A beautiful woman who completely mesmerises him.
Elise is a loyal guard of the Cerny bloodline. It’s her life and her position means the world to her. She’ll follow orders to the letter but when Aleksandr announces to her master that he needs to stay in Prague to await the final member of the vampire hunter’s bloodline and finally achieve vengeance, and specifically asks for Elise as part of his guard, she wants nothing more than to escape him. It’s clear that Aleksandr is now on a new hunt and that she’s the prey, and she isn’t sure how to deal with his attention. She’s never been pursued by a man so intently and no matter what she tries to do, it seems as though there’s no way of escaping her handsome hunter or her growing feelings for him.
It isn’t long before Aleksandr’s pursuit of Elise makes him realise something dreadful though. She inspires emotions in him that he hasn’t felt in centuries and he has been blind to the darkness growing within his heart and soul. Elise might be his only hope for salvation and she means more to him than just a fleeting moment of passion, but his tactless pursuit and his antiquated behaviour might have ruined his chances with her.
Heart of Darkness is action-packed, intense, deeply romantic and emotional, and is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat and aching for the characters as they fight against the odds to save Aleksandr’s soul and seize their happily forever after. You can read the excerpt and find out where to buy it in ebook or paperback at my website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Heart%20of%20Darkness
Have you ever read a book where you thought, "Wow, I wish I wrote this book!"? If so, which book was it and what fascinated you about it?
I’ve read quite a few books where I wish I had thought of the idea or could write like it. Most of the time it’s books by Terry Pratchett because he writes such amazing stories and has the most incredible use of words. He’ll describe things in a completely unique way that just makes you go – wow! I would love to have written any book by him.
Fun questions! You have just found out that the paranormal world is real! What would be your initial reaction?
Point me in the direction of my sexy vampires. Shortly following that I would be hunting down my angels and my werewolves too. I think there would be a few women out there looking to track down either some of my vampires or my angels if the paranormal world were real. Some of them have a deep affection for my characters, and that always makes me smile and makes me feel that I’ve done a good job of creating them and their stories. Personally, I would be on the look out for a select few, namely Valentine of my Vampires Realm series, Marcus of my Her Angel series, Julian from my stand alone vampire romance Love Immortal and Aleksandr from my stand alone vampire romance Heart of Darkness. That would keep me occupied for a long time! I would definitely be out of my house in search of vampires.
This will be a tough question to answer: Which is sexier? Angel or Vampire?
Oh, that’s just evil. I can’t really say because I write them both so differently. They’re both so entrancing and both have qualities that make them sexier than most women could handle. I really love my angels, because they’re so dark and so passionate, and so powerful... but I do love my vampires. I write them very dark, very dangerous, and likely to bite first and ask questions later. I want to say angels, but I have to say vampires. They’re my first love and have been since I was very young, like single digits in age.
Let's speak a bit about favorites:
Favorite paranormal creature?
Vampire. It would go vampires, angels, werewolves, other shape-shifters.
Favorite thing to do while not reading or writing?
Playing PlayStation, drawing, watching anime, learning Japanese, or travelling.
Favorite genre to read?
Paranormal romance at the moment. Strangely, I hadn’t read a paranormal romance novel before writing my first one. I read them as often as I can now, which isn’t often since I’m normally editing or writing.
Tea. It sounds very clichéd because I’m British, but it’s true. I love a good cuppa! Especially if there’s a bar of chocolate on the side. If not tea then I’m a fan of the vanilla skinny latte.
Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.
Felicity Heaton is graciously giving away one bundle of signed book swag that includes postcards, bookmarks and trading cards for Heart of Darkness and her other books. Open to everyone.
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