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Royal Spy Extra: Characters Interview the Author

Note: This post originally hosted by "Purple Shadow Hunter" as part of the Royal Spy blog tour.

Venn: I’m very excited about this. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us, Heather!

Heather: You’re welcome! I’m actually looking forward to this as well. I've never done anything like this before with my characters.

Venn: We’ll each ask you one question. I’ll go first. Why do you enjoy torturing your characters so much?

Heather: Oh. Wow. Well . . . I mean, I wouldn’t say I enjoy it. I really just write down the story as I discover it. And, you know, conflict sort of drives a story, and it gives depth and purpose to characters and their backstory.

Venn: No need to get defensive, I just wanted to start this session with a deep question. Clare, would you like to go next?

Clare: Yes, thank you. Heather, how did you come up with the idea of writing about a decoy?

Heather: I wanted to write a story with royals, but I wanted a unique perspective. So I thought, “Why not a decoy? And why not have the decoy be forced into it?” Sorry about that, Clare.

Serene: What qualifies you to write about royalty?

Heather: Aside from reading a lot of books and having a vast imagination? Absolutely nothing. Your Highness. *Belated Curtsy*

Venn: I have another question. Can I ask another?

Heather: Uh, sure. You're the moderator.

Venn: I am, aren't I? Who would you choose for a roommate: The Poison Queen, King Henri, or Prince Peter?

Heather: Hilarious, Venn. Well, let’s see . . . Queen Iris gives me the absolute creeps, and she’d poison me. So, no. Henri is pure evil, but so is Peter, and in the end, I feel like Henri is less volatile, so . . . If I had to choose one of them, I’d probably choose Henri. But I would be looking for new lodgings immediately.

Grayson: I think that would be wise.

Bennick: Can I go now, Venn?

Venn: Oh, by all means.

Bennick: Heather, what is--

Heather: Could you actually say that again? I’ve never heard you say my name, and I kind of love it.

Bennick: Um, sure. Heather, what is your favorite type of scene to write?

Heather: That’s a hard one! I enjoy any scene with dialogue. Especially witty banter. But I also love the romantic tension scenes; the fingers brushing, the deep looks, the easing in for a kiss . . . *sigh* Where was I? Oh! I also love writing the AH-HA moments. The scene in which the twist unfolds, and all the foreshadowing clicks into place. Those are super fun.

Mia: As you know, I’m quite artistic. I was just wondering if you are artistic as well?

Heather: I wish! But no. My creative talents lie in writing. Even my doodles are pretty sad looking. You and I both enjoy reading, though, so we have that in common!

Venn: I’ve got another question!

Bennick: Really, Venn?

Venn: *Grins* Heather, who would you pick for your bodyguard?

Heather: Hmm, that’s actually a great question. I think you all have different merits, but if I could only choose one--

Venn: You can’t pick Grayson. He’s a prince, not a bodyguard.

Heather: I was totally going to say Grayson.

Venn: I know. I could see it in your eyes.

Heather: Fine. If not Grayson, then I would pick Bennick.

Venn: But . . . why not me?

Bennick: Venn. Stop.

Venn: Fine. Grayson, do you have a question for Heather?

Grayson: Yes. How do you come up with all your character names? There are far too many people in your head . . .

Heather: I actually love naming characters. Sometimes a name just falls into place (like yours, Grayson) and sometimes I have a sense of the letter that name should start with, or a basic sound, and I start exploring names from there. (That’s what happened with you, Clare.) If I can’t find a name I like, I make one up (Bennick, I’m looking at you). And sometimes I try to take into account the meaning of the name. (Serene, your name is rather ironic, don’t you think?)

Venn: All right, Serjah Desfan.

Serene: Wait, he’s here? Where? I still haven’t met him, and I’m supposed to marry him.

Venn: We’re keeping you separated, to keep the storyline from becoming muddied.

Serene: Oh. That makes sense.

Desfan: My question is simple . . . Why wasn’t I in book one? I could have totally been in book one.

Heather: Actually, in earlier drafts, you were in book one. But the book was too long, and I felt it would be better to delay your entrance into the story. That way, readers could speculate about you and you could make a grand appearance.

Desfan: I suppose that makes sense. Thank you.

Venn: Well, I think that’s everyone. Oh, wait. Wilf! You've been so quiet, I forgot you were here.

Wilf: . . . You said Bennick mandated this.

Venn: I said I asked him to mandate this.

Wilf: . . .

Venn: . . . So. Wilf. Do you have a question for Heather?

Wilf: How many fates-blasted books will there be in this series?

Heather: Six.

Wilf: . . . Wonderful.

Venn: Well, I think that's everyone. Except I do have one last question.

Heather: I'm really not surprised by that.

Venn: If you could live in any of the four kingdoms, which would you choose?

Heather: Hmm…. I love the mountains in Ryden, but I love the culture in Mortise. And they don't have a creepy ruling family. No offense, Grayson.

Grayson: Absolutely none taken.

Heather: Final answer for now: Mortise.

Venn: Thank you again for joining us, Heather!

Heather: It really was my pleasure. Thank you all, and see you in Royal Spy!


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