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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Exclusive Interview

Featuring Heather Rainer

1.      Tell us a little bit about you, things you don’t mind sharing?
I like pina coladas…and getting caught in the rain. LOL, sorry, now it’s playing in your head too, isn’t it? Before I was a writer, I was a voracious reader. Thank goodness this writing gig now pays for my one-click e-book habit at Amazon. I’m married to a hard-working man who has supported my writing endeavors, even if all it ever did was make me happy. That wonderful man pushed me to submit my first book, Divine Grace, to Siren Publishing.
2.      How did your writing career start?
Christmas morning, 2008, when my husband gave me the ultimate gift…a brand new Dell laptop, which was MOST DEFINITELY NOT in our budget. I wrote my first six books on that laptop. I’ve replaced the keyboard three times, the battery twice and replaced the AC adapter once because Eli puppy chewed threw it when he was little. I still use it at night and if you come to one of the Righteous Perverts live chats on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm central (www.righteousperverts.com) that is the laptop I’m using. Half the letters are worn off and I’m not a touch typist so I throw down the typos like I speak a foreign language but they still love me.
3.      Can you tell us about your Divine Creek Ranch series, how it started and what it means to you?
The series started with a flirtatious cowboy in the grocery store checking out ahead of me. Inspiration struck. I was already writing, working on a different story and I put that one aside to begin the series. He inspired the character Angel Martinez, whose full story is told in book three of the series, Heavenly Angel. All the other original characters introduced themselves and I realized that I actually needed to start with Grace’s story. If I ever run into that flirtatious cowboy, I’m going to thank him.
4.      Do you have a favorite character in it?
It’s a prerequisite for me that I fall in love with all the characters while I’m writing their story. It makes the book take longer to write because that relationship takes time but I know something is not right if that connection is not there. So, no, I don’t have any favorites but several stand out. Mainly Ethan Grant from Divine Grace, Eli Wolf from Her Gentle Giant, Angel Martinez from Heavenly Angel, Richard Warner from Maya’s Triple Dare (because he made me cry so many times), Chance Carlisle from Lydia’s Twin Temptation. Of course, I’ve always adored Clay Cook, whose story, Divine Phoenix, is releasing on May 11th. You’ll meet the latest hero holding me in thrall in Divine Phoenix. He is a secondary character who shines and will have his own book this summer.
5.      Which character is most like you?
Everyone who knows me personally will tell you hands down that I am Grace Warner. I don’t deny it. I think it was a by-product of pouring my heart into that book. She’s my alter ego on my brand new blog, The Divine Tease, www.heatherrainer.com/blog Readers will hear from her and other characters every so often.
6.      Why did you chose to write about Polyandry and can you explain to people what it means?
This is the definition from Wikipedia…”Polyandry (Greek: poly- many, andras- man) refers to a form of marriage in which a woman has two or more husbands at the same time. The form of polyandry in which a woman is married to two or more brothers is known as "fraternal polyandry", and it is believed by many anthropologists to be the most frequently encountered form.”
I love reading ménage romance and totally “get” the dynamic in those stories. It is a very common fantasy for women…the idea that their needs could be met by more than one man. It makes practical sense too, in my opinion, because the standard of living would be higher with more breadwinners. I think a relationship like that would require tremendous maturity, deep, long-lasting connection between the men and a sincere dedication to putting the woman’s needs first. That’s the fantasy part of the fiction I write but I can always dream that there are men out there willing to give that kind of relationship an honest try.
7.      You have a Pyrenees named after one of your characters.  How is your fur baby Eli?
At the moment, I’m watching him lie in the morning sun outside my office door. He’s a mess but I love him. He’s still considered a puppy for a few more months but he already weighs over 110 pounds. When not barking his head off at squirrels, the UPS man, or the wind, he’s usually napping on the office porch or sitting under my desk. I discovered two things last week. 1) that he is absolutely terrified of thunder and lightning, and 2) that he no longer fits on my lap, no matter how much he wishes he did.
8.      Do you follow outlines or just write as it comes to you?
I’m a “pantser”, through and through. I like flying by the seat of my pants, not knowing what the characters are going to do until it happens. I do use an outline because I need an idea of where I’m headed but it is very loose, so the series has developed organically. I follow my heart rather than a specific pattern or formula.
9.      What inspires you most?
The love and support of my husband. He tells me that I get this look in my eye and he knows that he needs to take over so I can go write. We’ve spent entire days together, me at my computer and him at his hobby in the kitchen, (he absolutely loves to cook) just a few feet from each other, doing our thing and have never felt closer to each other. Having freedom to not worry about meals, laundry, house or chauffeuring frees my muse to create. He’s also good at pulling me back into the real world when I need it.
10.   Do you write full time?
Yes, ma’am! I’ve always been a stay-at-home mom but once my kids were both in school, I started writing full time. As I mentioned above, my husband stands in the gap with household duties and actually does a better job than I ever did.
11.   Do you have other genres you would like to write?
I laid aside my first project, a futuristic paranormal romance, to write the Divine Creek Ranch Collection. It’s safe on a hard drive and I plan to take it apart and write a new series using the characters, who I fell in love with. When I stopped writing it, I had about 90,000 words in it, so it’s definitely worth going back to. Right now, I don’t want to split my focus between two series. I like keeping my readers happy and they want more Divine, Texas.
12.   Do you schedule your writing time or just write as your muse inspires you?
I have to discipline myself to write. My average day when actively writing a novel or editing one is usually about twelve to sixteen hours, depending on family and how hard the muse is pushing me. The business part of being an author, promoting herself on social media can become a rabbit hole if I’m not careful.
13.   I know you write to music.  Does it help and what do you often listen to?
When actively writing, I have playlists with only one song in them that I’ll listen to over and over until a scene is written. My music tastes are varied. If you looked at my MP3 player, you’d see that right now I’m listening to Apocalyptica’s “Far Away”. Under the letter “A” in my Windows Media Player is Aaron Lewis, Adele, Alan Jackson, Andrea Bocelli, Andy Griggs, Apocalyptica and Ashton Shepherd. That’s a really weird mix but there you have it! Music sets the mood for certain scenes and can inspire whole books for me. But there are also times when I need silence. I prefer quiet for editing because I have to utilize the “outside” thoughts of an editor (whom I adore!) in revising the story. Music can be distracting then.
14.   What are you working on now?
I’m working on revisions for the next installment, book 11, and loosely plotting an outline for book 12. I’m also getting my blog, The Divine Tease, up and running.
15.   If you could live and write anywhere in the world, where would that be?
In a log cabin, with a crackling fire in the fireplace, somewhere cold and snowy, with a sexy guy in flannel and denim. I live in South Texas and more than half the year it feels like I live on the face of the sun and I’m not the sun-worshipping, outdoorsy type.
16.   What is hotter to you; cowboys or doctors?
Sherry…you have to ask? Cowboys, hands down, honey!
17.   What is your favorite color and why?
My personal favorite color is blue, always has been. But I know the answer you’re looking for…I also love a certain shade of fleshy, rosy pink. ;-)
18.   What has writing or becoming an author meant to you?  How did it change your life?
It was a paradigm shift for me. I lived for many years with a very twisted body image and view of myself. I realized that the people whose opinion I worried about so much didn’t matter and I should live my life the way I saw fit. That realization was like finally getting that rough, ugly oyster open and finding that I really liked the pearl inside. I think that discovery fueled my writing. Aside from the intangible benefits of being a writer, this is a wonderful time to be an e-published author because the financial rewards make a huge difference.
19.    You recently went to the Romantic Times Convention.  What was it like and would you mind sharing some of your experiences there?
Most mind-boggling experience: That moment when someone you’ve never met face to face looks at your name badge, their eyes bulge with recognition and they run at you or scream your name. Talk about paradigm shifts!
Most rewarding outcome: Meeting my fellow authors, most for the first time. I especially enjoyed getting to know veteran Siren author Morgan Ashbury who also writes for them as Cara Covington, and meeting newcomer Siren author Peyton Elizabeth.
Tearjerker moment: Realizing that not only was my husband going to be there at the convention, he was also going to stand beside me and promote me with all his heart to everyone who would listen, from the moment we left the train station to got to RT, all through the convention, until the last meal we ate before we drove home at the end.
Most scared moment: On one trip from downtown Chicago back to the hotel in Rosemont, I buckled my seatbelt across me only to discover it was SOAKING wet, then realized our cab driver liked to text behind the wheel and clearly had a death wish he wanted to share with his passengers.
20.  Finally what advice would you give novice writers or those thinking of becoming authors?
*Write your ever-lovin’ ass off. Publishers get excited over authors who are prolific so write, write, write and then make sure they know you have a whole handful of manuscripts to offer them and not just one or two.
*Research the craft of writing. Have a command of grammar, punctuation, and an understanding of perspective and how to avoid head hopping.
*Find the right niche for your books. I’m very blessed to have found the right publisher as a writer of ménage erotic romance. Siren is well known for ménage romance.
*Never respond to negative reviews, except to thank them for their time. Learn and move on from criticism. Don’t let negative reviews derail you from writing.
*Be professional in all social media. I’m naughty as hell on Facebook but I keep it professional and friendly.
*Don’t write reviews for your own books. And don’t take a hatchet to anyone else’s book in a review unless you want the favor returned. I don’t rate a book at all if I can’t give it a 4 or 5 star rating. Karma has a long-ass memory. Don’t tempt her.
*Don’t let anyone steal your dream.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me and interview me, Sherry. I wrote you a five page novel, didn’t I? I’m honored to be your first interviewee! Readers can find my books at:

They can also visit my website at www.heatherrainier.com
My blog, The Divine Tease at www.heatherrainier.com/blog
And they can find my personal profile on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/heather.rainier
And visit my author page at Facebook as well… https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Rainier/172852239392338
I’m on Twitter as @HeatherRainier


Bonni S. said...

I LOVE the site!! Your friend did a fabulous job!! Not only is the site great, but the interview was fantastic. :)

Naomi said...

Great first interview on your revamped blog. It's awesome!! I shared and tweeted. Proud of you!

Anonymous said...

That was an awesome interview. Fanfreakingtastic Job! :)

Tammy said...

My first visit to your blog and I love it! I so very much enjoyed this interview. Heather you are truly an amazing author in my eyes.

mandy said...

I love the site! And the love interview was awesome,i think i found a new book or two or three to read (LOL) Great JOB!!!!

Cassandre Dayne said...

I love the new blog and the interview. Always fascinating to me how other writers handles certain aspects of the business. Good luck with more of these! Great job

Nichelle Gregory said...

Sherry, I'm loving the look of your blog!

Heather, it was a pleasure to learn more about you in this interview! You shared some great advice and your husband sounds like a real sweetheart!

Best wishes to you in all your endeavors!

Benjamin Tiberius Russell said...

Well, I've learned a new word today -Polyandry. Hmm, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the concept, two husbands - one wife. My, my - it certainly sounds interesting.

Michelle, excellent interview, any time I learn something new, it's good.

Heather, I have really got to PM you on FB, you are someone I'd love to talk to. I will be reading one of your books to learn about how this Polyandry thing works.

Ladies, Thank You for such a great interview.

Cy Price said...

Great interview! I haven't read any of Heather's books but I'm on my way now to pick up one. I'm a book whore, remember.

Oh My..I love ménage books (with a preference for m/m/f). I have quite a few books with the Polyandry storyline and absolutely love it. Ohhhh the possibilities.

Thanks for sharing, Sherry...and love your luscious blog swag :)

ER Pierce said...

Excellent interview, your dh sounds like a good man :) Sherry -- Love the new blog and great first interview, sweetie.

Heather, I'm an eclectic music lover as well :)

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