Today I welcome Heloise West to the blog to answer a few questions for Interview³.
Heloise West Author Interview³
1) Tell us 3 fun facts about your writing history
I never meant to write Romance, but I followed Lord John Grey (from Outlander, and who also has his own historical mystery series) into reading Erastes, Elin Gregory, and Ava March, and onward to Josh Lanyon and the whole rabbit hole of M/M Romance.
I wrote a contemporary romantic suspense and its sequel, but I much prefer historical settings.
I can’t stop writing.
2) Describe your writing style in 3 words
I strive to write: vividly, poetically, and for clarity.
3) Name 3 of your literary influences
I strive for a vivid prose style because that’s what I like to read. When I was a kid, I wanted to write like Stephen King-not the horror so much as the complicated inner lives of his characters and their connections, like in Salem’s Lot. Edith Pargeter for her historicals, especially the Heaven Tree trilogy. At this point in time, CS Harris’s Sebastian St. Cyr regency mysteries are a big influence right now.
4) Share your 3 favourite books
Well, I suppose that’s the books I read over and over again—Mary Renault’s Persian Boy; the Heaven Tree trilogy by Pargeter (I know that’s three, but I have all three in one really heavy book). And weirdly, Voyager, from Gabalden’s Outlander series.
5) What are your 3 essential writing tools?
I love the portability of laptops, and though I have Scrivner downloaded, I have yet to give it a go. I love narrow-ruled yellow pads to write out research and plot issues. A big pad of drawing paper for right brain work when the plot stalls big time, circles and arrows and color pens.
6) Where are your 3 favourite places to write?
The most common place I write, and the most comfortable, thus making it my favourite, is the living room couch with a laptop. In winter, it’s closest to the woodstove. I work from home and have a proper desk and chair, but my endurance for that position has lessened over the years. The couch is also a favourite place for one of my cats, too, to help me write.
The dining room table is less comfortable, but it works well for bigger projects—books and notebooks and maps on the flat surface. Bonus is the big window looking out across the field. This works in summer or winter.
In summer, we have a screened in porch, but I have yet to find a good chair for long writing sessions that doesn’t throw neck, spine, or hips out of alignment.
7) Name 3 items on your writing wish list
1. Historical mysteries without romance.
2. Find an agent.
3. Explore some more exotic locales.
8) What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
1. Keep writing no matter what.
2. Keep learning, reading.
3. Find another set of eyes or more, someone you trust to critique and/or beta and give you honest feedback.
9) Tell us 3 of your writing plans for the year ahead
Well, the rights on some stories are coming back to me, and some of those need to be expanded. I’m working on my wish list, that is, attempting historical mysteries.
10) Tell us about your latest release
Ardent was a long time getting published though it was the first novel I had completed. I wrote about a half draft for my first ever Nano, but it wouldn’t go in the direction I wanted. I seem to have a capacious backburner , so it stewed for a time. I completed it with the help of my former historical critique group and the mmromance group. It made the rounds, and I took what advice was offered until I finally submitted to Manifold Press, where I am very happy.
1 February 2017
Historical M/M Romantic Suspense
In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a color that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the color gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.
As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.
But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.
About the Author
Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of thirteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.