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Heather Killough-Walden Interview
Posted By Rhonda Valverde On February 22, 2012 @ 8:22 pm In | 26 Comments
February 21st, 2012
Official Website 
First in the King Series
The Vampire King 
It was immediate for Roman. In three thousand years, he’d never lost control of his emotions, or his heart. But the moment he laid eyes on Evelynne Farrow, he knew she was the woman who haunted his dreams. And everything changed.
Evie Farrow has always loved a good vampire romance. In fact, she makes a living writing them. While sitting in a coffee shop and working on her next mega-hot book, Evie is approached by a tall, dark, and handsome man who could have been pulled directly from one of her novels.
Unbeknownst to her, Roman D’Angelo is exactly what he appears to be – a vampire, and not just any vampire, but the king of vampires.
Unfortunately, while Roman is both ancient and invulnerable, Evie is flesh and blood. Just as Roman decides that he and Evie have a date with destiny, for reasons of their own, an ancient god and a homicidal vampire take an equally strong interest in her. To make things more complicated, there’s something very special about Evie. Something not quite human.
Can Roman fight off the incredible forces that would have Evie as their own long enough to win her heart, or will destiny betray him, and destroy everything he has ever dreamed of?
“Lalura had told him about her vision. Thirteen kings on a chess board – and thirteen queens….”
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Hello Heather, and welcome to VampireRomanceBooks! Thank you so much for stopping in to chat with us today. We always enjoy it when an author takes some time to share a bit about themselves and help us, the readers, get to know you a little.
Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here! Thank you so much for having me.
Tell us a little about what’s been going on with you. Are you working on anything currently?
Right now, I’m working hard on several sequels, as well as honing my writing skills through other avenues. (It never hurts to study up and practice) I’m working on the sequels to two young adult and three adult novels. I have a lot of series, LOL. I’m also writing something completely different from what my readers know me for. This is a secret, however, and I am even writing it under a pseudonym.
Your latest release, The Vampire King, is from The Kings series, which is a cross-over of the Big Bad Wolf series. Does a reader need to read the wolf series in order to understand The Vampire King and the books that will follow?
It’s not strictly necessary to have read the Big Bad Wolf series before reading The Vampire King, but I won’t say that it wouldn’t be more enjoyable for you if you did. The characters in the Big Bad Wolf series are incredibly charismatic and undeniably deep. They really do manage to get inside of you and grab ahold of your heart strings. Once you get to know them, you don’t ever want to see them disappear, and being able to read about their continued existences in The Kings is rewarding.
Would you share a little with us about the other books you’ve written.
There are a number of books to choose from, whether you’re in the mood for a young adult paranormal romance or an adult thriller. As far as I can count, I’ve written books in seven different genres at this point, but I will admit that every book has at least some element of romance interwoven throughout its story. So, if romance is your thing, but you’re tired of the cookie-cutter formula, you might give Hell Bent a try (thrill ride involving assassins, love triangles with dangerous men, and a plot that will leave you on the edge of your motorcycle seat) or Forever Neverland (Peter Pan and Wendy are all grown up, James Hook hasn’t aged a day, and the “good” captain seems so much different to Wendy now… much to Peter’s fury) or The Chosen Soul series (devils and demigods and delicious, dangerous bad guys – oh my!).
How steamy do you consider your Big Bad World books to be?
Very. Wait, let me rephrase that: VERY. The Vampire King is about the King of Kings. I mean, does it get more charismatic than an tall, dark, in-charge, mega-powerful, keen-eyed 3,000 year old vampire king with a sharp set of teeth and an even sharper mind? Not in this case. But don’t take my word for it.
The Big Bad Wolf novels are all scorchingly sexy because they feature alpha males who are larger than life, barely more good than bad, and seriously, sinfully in love. The Strip is undeniably the hottest/most intense of the BBWolf bunch. That book features a real bad guy, which a lot of romance novels steer clear from due to the blatantly unsexy flavor of the threat of agony and mortal danger. But Gabriel Phelan’s character completely took over that book, battling it out with Malcolm Cole (the good guy) in a neck-and-neck way I never could have consciously planned. They did it on their own, writing their own stories, and the result is one hell of a high-impact novel. Be forewarned…. And excited.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
For a while now, I’ve been obsessed with the colorful fantasy of new, fairy-like worlds, hidden portals to secret planes, and the magic that comes with the imagination of a child. I would love to write a children’s book series about a plot that has been waiting in my head for several years. But my agent wants me to write romance. My readers want me to write romance. So I write romance. LOL One day, I’ll return to those waiting magics, though. Before their sparkle goes out for good.
Do you have a favorite character or couple that just shines above the others you’ve written?
Jack and Annabelle from Hell Bent have a love that runs desperately deep. Nothing could ever tear them apart. Annabelle depends on Jack, admires Jack, gets nervous around Jack, is never-endingly impressed by Jack, and dreams about him in the heat of the night. Jack would go through an army of stark raving mad demons and every one of their hell hounds to get to Annabelle. They’re dangerously human and their paths are wrought with untold mortal threats, but not a bulldozer in the universe could create a mountain Jack wouldn’t climb over if it meant that Annabelle was on the other side, and knowing Annabelle, she would find a way to meet him at the top.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
Terry Pratchett. But he would write me under the table and then make some enormously witty remark about my inadequacies as a writer. And I would laugh. Because he’s that good.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
It has been a learning process, this marketing thing. At first, I tried desperately to market by posting the books I released up on Kindle Boards and chat rooms where such a thing was allowed. However, the rules for all of these types of boards/threads are so strict and plentiful, in the end it usually winds up not being worth the upkeep and effort. Sales don’t really increase all that much.
I believe I was lucky with the first book I released two years ago. I posted The Third Kiss: Dorian’s Dream (a vampire romance) for a dollar. I gave it a very visible cover and posted it at a time when Amazon Kindle books were still brand new and there weren’t many competing indie publishers. The book’s sales were off the charts because at the time, a reader’s other options for enjoying vampire romance were very few. Namely, they could either dish out tons of money for a print book or they could buy mine and/or a few others in ebook format.
I hit the #1 spot in Vampires on Amazon, and my readers automatically began looking for other things I had written. That was the turbo charge in the engine of my career: Timing, pricing, and a genre that really got people’s attention.
Now I have a fan base that I try my best to nurture and grow through avenues such as Facebook (I have two separate pages and love to interact with my readers), Twitter, my website, and a newsletter that goes out on a semi-regular basis. I host contests and giveaways, change up my blog so that it appears on Goodreads, and I love being invited for interviews and guest blogs on sites that feature the genres I write. It’s all good press. I don’t really know how much it helps, but I’ll take it.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I write in many genres, from young adult fantasy to young adult paranormal romance to adult thriller, science-fiction/fantasy romance, adult paranormal romance and even straight up thrillers. It’s up to my muses what I write at any given point in time. What makes them choose the genres they impose upon me when they do? I’ll ask them for you and get back to you.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
What? I’m sorry, and please forgive me, but I don’t understand the question. What is this “not writing” you speak of?
Do you have a favorite author you like to read? Have they influenced your writing in any way?
Samuel Clemens. Terry Pratchett. Edgar Allan Poe. Rudyard Kipling. Frances Hardinge. Norton Juster. Helen Stringer. Ray Bradbury. Martin Howard. I love all of these authors because they are true artists with the written word. A blank page is their canvas, and each paragraph paints pictures so detailed and fantastic, it’s almost as if you can hear the Raven’s voice, feel the grit of Ankh Morpork, smell the Venus rain, taste your thirst for Gunga Din’s water, and count the veins on the leaves of the Halloween Tree. Wonderful.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I’ve noticed that negative reviewers tend to be just plain nasty most of the time. Hateful, even. I would honestly prefer a one-star review that had helpful criticism and abstained from personal insult and spite than a three-star review that sank to name-calling and vindictiveness. Unfortunately, the hateful words normally come with a one-star ranking, and I’m fairly certain most of these are borne of jealous tidings. There’s really no other reason for a human being to sink as illogically low as many of them do. Therefore I ignore them, by and large. At least… I do now. I have to admit that at first, these hateful reviews got under my skin. They were the most difficult hump I had to get over in my writing career. Now my skin is thicker and I understand where they’re coming from, so I can more easily sweep them under the rug.
The very best compliment I’ve ever received is one I continue to receive every day. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to be able to claim the readers I do. They are top-notch. They’re a blessing. They never fail to find something worth complimenting in my mess of words, and their continued support and loyalty is quite literally one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. And if what they say is true – if it’s a verity that I make a difference in their lives, improving them in even the slightest way – then that’s another.
Thank you for stopping by and letting us get to know you! Is there anything you’d like to add or anything you’d like to say to your fans and new readers?
Thank you so much for having me!
To my dear and valued fans: Thank you for being there, for remaining loyal, and for giving me a chance in the first place. You’ll never know what it has meant to me.
To my new readers: Welcome aboard, hang on tight, and get ready for the literary ride of your life.
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