Please welcome Heather Graham.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Actually, no! I majored in Theater Arts at USF, and I loved it. Once out of school I did commercials—one for TrimTwist commercial, and my dog was in it, too, and I should have seen the way it was going when the dog was paid more than me!—and training films for GTE and dinner theater. But Florida was and is non-union, and when Dennis and I had our third child, I literally couldn’t afford to go to work.
How many different genres have you written?
Hm. Define genre these days! Straight historical, straight suspense, family Christmas, ghost, mystery, and vampire—including historical vampire!
Which genre do you like the best?
I read everything—including cereal boxes—and love just about every genre out there. A good book is a good book.
When did you get your first agent?
I started out in category, but my mom was from Dublin and I’d written a book on the Norse founding of Dublin with all her old Irish reference materials. The company I was with was really looking more for contemporary, but it was a little edgy when I sold to the other company. I knew I needed an agent then, and Shannon Drake wound up writing the first historical.
How many books had you written before you decided to find an agent?
I think it was about five.
Do you remember your very first rejection?
Hey, I was a theater major. Tough as nails. Sometimes, I thought I’d majored in rejection!
What did you do with the story after you got the rejection?
I’d already been working on another—and that’s important, I think, for those working toward publication. Keep working all the time—get things out, and start over, until you have real feed back to work with. And remember to listen to the people who can buy a book! After I’d published, the company was willing to look at the older work again, and take more time to bring it up to their editorial standards.
What did you do when you received your first royalty check?
I paid the hospital—it came just in time for me to pay the bill when Bryee-Annon was born!
You attend numerous functions; you host several more. When do you find time to write?
I feel like a Dr. Seuss character—I write in a car, on a plane, in a room, on a train . . . . but having five children really helped me with concentration. I can work anywhere. Especially if someone is around to bring me coffee!
You release novels one right after the other sometimes. Do you work on more than one book at a time?
No, I don’t like working on more than one at a time. I try to make my characters as unique as the people I meet every day, and stick with their story until it’s done. Sometimes, of course, you have to stop for edits, but then I reread everything to bring myself back into the world of the characters whose story I’m telling.
So tell us the truth, are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Oh, please, the werewolf! He hadn’t lied, and he hasn’t left her.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m working on a series that’s kind of a continuation of the Adam Harrison Investigation ghost books—Criminal Minds meets Ghostbusters! First is Phantom Evil, out in hardcover in April, and then a trilogy in the summer that will begin with Sacred Evil, Heart of Evil—and something Evil! Not sure what yet. But the team starts out in the French Quarter, moves on to plantation, heads to New York City where someone is imitating the Ripper murders, and then on to Massachusetts. Right now, the paperback version of Home in Time for Christmas is out, and then, in December—actually in time for Christmas!—is Night of the Vampires, sequel to Night of the Wolves. I’m also excited to say that I’ve just gotten Beneath a Blood Red Moon, the first Shannon Drake vampire story, up on Amazon as an ebook—with an amazing cover. Lynn Sanders and Cherif Fortin had done the painting years ago for posters I was doing. Cherif and Bryee-Annon posed, Derek did the graphics, and I really think it’s stunning!
Thanks so much! I’m also excited to say that two of Heather Graham and the Slushpile albums—Dead Men Tell No Tales and There Be Christmas Dragons are up on Itunes!
Well that’s it. I hope you enjoyed our time with Ms. Graham and you will return from time to time to see who else I get to interview.