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?
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!