Hello my darlings! Today I am so excited to interview a dear friend and lovely author Heather Van Fleet!!
Title: When It’s Least Expected
Author: Heather Van Fleet
Publisher: No Boundaries Press
Series: The Perfect Timing series
Release date: 23 April 2013
Genre: MATURE YA contemporary
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Karen: Welcome, Heather! Happy Release Week!!! It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Please, sit, stay awhile. I’ve already made a trip to Starbucks. *hands you white chocolate mocha*
Heather: Yum… thanks! It’s been way too long since I’ve had one of these! *Takes a big gulping drink and then nibbles on a cheese Danish*
Karen: Ooo, you brought Danishes!! *attacks pastry then wipes away crumbs* Okay, let the fun begin! Can you tell my readers what’s the weirdest thing you like to eat?
Heather: Well, let’s see… I really love hummus and I love to dip pretzels in sour cream. That’s about as crazy as I get :)
Karen: Ewww, sour cream! :P Hummus and pretzels sound delish though! Food is getting me distracted... Tell us about your novel, When It’s Least Expected, what’s it about? I love the cover by the way!
Heather: Thanks, the looks on their faces is Harley (my heroine) and Mason (my hero) all the way!
Well, let’s see, When It’s Least Expected, or WILE for short, is my baby. The very first book I ever wrote. It’s about two high school seniors who meet, fight, and kiss (a lot) all while learning how to get beyond their tragic pasts and fall in love. Mason is new to town, and Harley wants nothing to do with him. It sounds like a typical YA I know, but it’s really not. I like to push the boundaries with my high school characters and in my own Heather-way, that’s what I did with WILE.
Karen: Lots of kissing AND boundary pushing... Sold! What was your favorite part/scene to write in When It’s Least Expected? And why?
Heather: My FAVORITE scene was a funeral scene believe it or not. It’s a turning point for Mason, and also the part where I (as the author) truly fell in love with him.
Karen: I love that moment when we fall for our own heroes! So tell me more, how long did it take for When It’s Least Expected to be published (from offer to release date)? Tell us a little about the process.
Heather: WILE has been through the wringer and back, let me tell you. I was offered a contract a while back through a great publisher, but they closed a few months before my release date. To say I was sad would have been an understatement… But I got back on my horse and queried away. Unfortunately, I got a LOT of rejections. But then I came across No Boundaries Press and they took it on, seeing potential, and offered me up a contract a few months later. Then I realized how bad this book was. I mean, it was terrible! Too much telling, not enough showing, way to long for a YA, and written in third person present tense. Ugh. I was ashamed that I even sent it out. So I took it back from the publisher, spent two LONG months fixing it, prettying it up, and sending it to a few betas for advice. That has been my best decision ever because now I can comfortably say that I am proud of my baby.
Karen: Wow! Sounds like a lot of TLC has gone into WILE :) Will there be a sequel to When It’s Least Expected?
Heather: There will be! But it’s David’s (Harley’s twin brother) and Abigail’s (Harley’s best friend) story. The sequel is entitled A Long Time Coming, and I hope to have it ready for submission to my publisher within the next few months.
Karen: That's so exciting! Great title! (So, erm... Random question alert!!) Be honest, what’s the longest you’ve gone without washing your hair?
Heather: Oh Lord, I can go a week, sometimes more without washing it. I guess I just have that kind of hair :)
Karen: *am so jealous* I can only go a day! :P So, is there an author that you’d like to stalk, uh, meet?
Heather: Um, how many more days until the RT Book Convention? *counts fingers* LOL I can’t wait to meet you of course!! :) I’d also love to meet Kelly Gendron and Jamie McGuire. Both of those ladies write killer books!!
Karen: *hugs* Yayay! The RT Convention is next week! I can't wait to meet you too! We have so much to talk about! :D Maybe you'll even give me the inside scoop on A Long Time Coming! Oh right, back to the questions... Who controls your characters? You or them?
Heather: I’d like to say it’s me, but they are currently beating me in the head as I write this! They do of course, all the way. I can plot and plot and plot, but once I get going they tell me what to do, what to write, unless of course they get too carried away. A lot of times I have to remind them that my books are for YOUNG ADULTS, not grown thirty-year-old women.
Karen: True! ;) I totally understand how that goes! It's like they have a mind of their own or something :P So when would you say they are the most persistent?
Heather: At night, when I’m trying to sleep, when I’m in the shower, and when I am folding laundry :) No, seriously, they speak to me alllll day. Sometimes I have to remind them that I have a life outside of theirs. Then they get mad, and it’s not pretty.
Karen: LOL ;) Once you get all the voices semi under control, where do you write? (office, coffee shop, middle of the woods, etc.)
Heather: I am a Starbucks writer all the way. If I was an academy award winner then I’d be thanking them. Thanking them for not kicking me out when I run a little past closing time, thanking them for always knowing my drink without even asking. A lot of the time I try to write in bed too, but then I get sleepy and end up pulling one of these moves (sleeppppppppppppppp) on my computer.
Karen: Love it! Definitely a BIG caffeinated thank you to Starbucks! I hear ya on the sleep thing...if I try to write in bed, it's over ;) Speaking of writing...how long does it normally take you to write a book?
Heather: Anymore it takes me a good four to six months to complete a novel. It used to be shorter, but I’ve got three daughters, a publicist job, and I help to run the websites Sizzling Hot Books and sizzlinghotyabooks.net so my time isn’t as free as it once was.
Karen: Totally there with ya! Too many things trying to keep us away from our fictional hotties :P What do you do in your down-time…if there is such a thing?
Heather: All my down-time is spent with my girls, my hubby, or with my nose in my Kindle.
Karen: Sounds like an excellent way to spend free-time to me! :) Before we go, you must face the rapid fire round. Dun, dun, dun…
Coffee or tea? Coffee, all the way.
Chocolate: dark or milk? Milk
Flats or heels? Flats
Yes or no? No, because I don’t say it enough
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars, definitely
Ice: crushed or cubed? Crushed
Italian or French (food, not men)? Really, no men? Because I’d take both if that was the case :) Anyways, Italian of course. I am a pasta obsessed freak
Panster or plotter? Panster
Paper or plastic? Paper
Vampires or werewolves? Werewolves
Pencil or pen? Pen
Firemen or cops? Firemen, sigh…
Kindle or Nook? Kindle
Sunshine or Rain? Sunshine for sure!
Karen: Thank you so much for stopping by, Heather! Feel free to visit any time!
Heather: Thanks Karen for having me! You are the absolute best!!!
TEENY TINY TEASING excerpt for When It’s Least Expected:
“Don’t…” he whispered almost aggressively, “…think, Harley. Just feel,” he pulled her so close, that nothing but their clothes separated their skin. When in the hell did this happen? And why in the hell did she like it? She should be embarrassed … no, scratch that. She should be mortified that she was practically pressed underneath him, but as her breathing turned rapid and she got sucked deeper into that come hither smile of his, she had no choice but to drop every single inhibition she had. She was in way too deep to dig her way out.