Debut Author Feature – Heather Lire

We love brand new authors here at The Book Pushers! Fresh new voices in our favorite genres gives us another person to cyber-stalk and glom onto! We figured since there are always new authors getting published through both the big New York publishers, as well as the smaller digital first publishers, we should take the time and hunt them down and introduce them to you!

Today we’ve got Heather Lire to talk about what it’s like being a brand new author!
Heather Lire

Explain to us your journey to publication:
Oh my this is a story (spoken like an author right ☺) I’ve always told stories and some I’ve written down and shared with my sister, but getting published was never my dream or my goal. As a literature teacher I was having to much fun talking about books and telling others what to read.

As such I would go to a readers con every year and one year I was sitting down with Jessa Slade and Erin Kellison when Jessa turned towards me and asked when she was going to read my book. How the hell she knew I was secretly writing and sending stories to my sister I have no clue.

But she did.

So I told her about this idea I had for a paranormal. She told me I HAD to write it. So I went home and wrote a couple of chapters and then the characters of Second Chance at Forever started to talk to me again after not talking to me in years. So I finished writing their story and then I put it away as I didn’t think it was very good at that time.

Every once in a while I’d pull it out and work on editing it and then put it back. Then I did a kamikaze read and the visiting editor ripped the first two paragraphs to shreds. So I went back to it and edited it yet again. Then I was talked into pitching at another con. So I pitched and then forgot all about it until several weeks later when I got an email from the publisher I’d pitched to asking for the full manuscript. Two months later I had a contract for Second Chance at Forever, when they found out it was the first book in the series they came back and offered me a contract for the entire series.

What’s your first published book about (start of a series, a stand alone, we want details!):
The first book in my Holiday Vermont series is Second Chance at Forever. Ryan and Morgan meet at her grandparents 60th wedding anniversary week long house party. They spend the week together and fall in love. At the end of the party Ryan very suddenly leaves, he does however leave her a note.

Then some other things happen, and before they know it it’s 4-1/2 years later and they are reunited. Once they work through what happened to separate them they then work on making their family whole, as Morgan had Ryan’s twin sons while they were apart. The one thing they both recognize right away they still have very strong feelings for each other.

The other books in the series are about Ryan and Morgan’s siblings.

Do you have anything in the works? (contracted or not?)
I do. Book 2 in the series Second Chance at Happiness which is Brynn Morgan’s sister’s story will be out in August. Then it will be Ethan, Ryan’s brother’s story in Second Chance at Passion ending with Case, Morgan and Brynn’s brother. His book is Second Chance Hearts.

What are your overall dreams, goals and expectations for your future as an author? (want to stick with specific genre, try multiples, different pen names, etc.)
Oh my…ok I want to be a very versatile author like Lauren Dane, Jayne Ann Krentz and others who write across genres. I currently have a pnr I have started working on, and a couple other contemporary series floating in the back of my mind. I don’t want to be pigeon holed into one genre. I want to go where the characters and story lead me. I’m pretty sure I will only ever write under this pen name. Yes I write under a pen name because of my husband’s former profession and also my other profession. However that being said, this could change in the future. I just know I want to be doing this as long as the characters are talking to me, and based on the number of series and story line tabs I currently have in my One Note I will be doing this for a long time 😀

What’s your writing process like? Has it changed from when you first started writing?
My process honestly hasn’t changed. When the characters are talking to me I write. Some days I get 200 words written and sometimes I can get about 6k written. There have been weeks where I would seriously sit and stare at the computer screen and not write a single word. I discovered a long time ago, if the characters aren’t talking to me I can write all I want and nothing will happen.

When did you start writing? What was your very first story about?
I have always written stories. The first story I remember writing was in the 2nd grade and it was about aliens and the boy next door and time travel. I have that story somewhere in a keepsake box.

Who were some of your inspirations for becoming an author?
Oh my…ok this may sound weird but Miguel de Cervantes, Isabel Allende, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, and Nora Roberts. I have a degree in foreign languages and literature focusing on 15-16th century Spanish literature, so I wanted to write things that had impact, and would stand the test of time. But the other half of me wanted to write stories that took someone out of the reality of their life and transported them into a story.

Give us the story about when you got “The Call”.
Oh wow…I didn’t actually get “The Call” I got “The Email”. I hadn’t heard anything from the publisher for almost six weeks after she told she would be reading the full ms over the weekend, and was having a little bit of a panic attack about whether or not she wanted to publish the story. So I sent her an email asking her what she thought of the story. I honestly thought if she didn’t like it I’d at least get some feedback on it. About a week later I get an email, telling me she loved it and was offering me a contract. Now this next part is according to my husband…”She stopped breathing, and then she started hyperventilating, then she screamed Oh MY FREAKING GOSH, and then almost choked me she hugged me so hard. She then proceeded to call her two best friends and scream into the phone.” As this has been corroborated by my sons I’m going to have to say this was what happened as I honestly don’t remember. I do remember reading the email SEVERAL times though to make sure I had read it right.

Who is the author you would most like to meet living or deceased and why?
Crap you guys like to ask the hard questions. Ok the author I would most like to meet would be my great-great-great grandma Hannah Last Cornaby. She wrote poetry and short stories. Her autobiography is a family keepsake, one I can’t seem to get from my dad. She was one of Utah’s poet laureates, and had several of her stories published in newspapers in the late 1800’s. Outside the LDS faith she isn’t very well known, however for me she is one of my greatest inspirations. From her stories and poems I know of her life, and struggles and why she was willing to walk away from her aristocratic family in England and travel to the US with her husband.

Thanks for spending time with us today Heather. Below is an excerpt of Heather’s first published story Second Chance at Forever. Enjoy!

When Ryan had accepted the invitation for a week of nothing but sailing, drinking and hanging out with friends from college, he’d had no idea he would end up at a house party of a couple who resembled his grandparents and their relationship.

All he’d wanted was to relax and decompress after a very stressful couple of months on the job, not spend his vacation constantly fending off advances from women, and ignoring pointed questions about his job from the men.

When he’d stumbled across the hammock on his first day there, he’d thought it was a godsend and spent a very enjoyable afternoon lazing in it, thinking of nothing.

When he’d gone back the next day he’d discovered sleeping beauty had commandeered it. She’d been lying there, a mountain of pillows surrounding her. The sun shone through the trees, creating a halo effect around the hammock. Her long legs were stretched out. God, he loved long legs on a woman. His blood hummed like it hadn’t in a long time.

With her face turned away from him, he’d used all his training to get closer without her noticing him. Then he accidentally stepped on a twig. He’d silently cursed, hoping she’d been so caught up in her book she wouldn’t notice. No such luck, as she lifted her head and her gaze swung toward him.

The piercing glare coming from the most gorgeous set of eyes he’d ever seen had rocked him to his core, drawing him in like a moth to a flame.

Ryan shook his head at that thought, like a moth to a flame. If the guys in his squad had heard him say it out loud he would never live it down, and his brother would be giving him shit about it for the rest of his life if he heard him say it.

At the slight rustling of leaves he turned toward the walkway and sucked in his breath. No matter how many times he’d seen her over the last two days, she still managed to steal his breath away. She had the tall lean lines of an athlete, and a face that kept him coming back to it every time he’d seen her.

She wasn’t one of those women who had to be done up at all times. She was quite comfortable going about with only a hint of make-up, and with her hair in a ponytail. For a guy raised with three sisters he’d learned at an early age about the importance of hair and makeup, whether he’d wanted to or not.

He’d never been attracted to simple but, as he watched Morgan approach wearing shorts, which showcased her incredibly long legs, a simple tee shirt with a hoodie tied around her waist and athletic shoes, he admitted to himself, on her it was perfect.

He took the picnic basket she carried and extended his arm to her. “What do you have here?”

“I thought a picnic on the beach would be good.” She took his arm as they moved to where he’d parked his Jeep.

“Sounds like a plan. How do you feel about driving up the coast and exploring some of the small towns?” Ryan stowed the picnic basket in the back and helped Morgan into the Jeep.

Morgan paused with a surprised look on her face. “That’s something I would love to do, but it isn’t what I expected you to suggest.”

The look on her face was one of pure innocence, belaying the sarcasm in her voice. As she looked at him he couldn’t resist and leaned forward, brushing her lips with his. A spark of electricity shot through him, making him want to sink into her and take more. He held himself back, however, instinctively knowing if he did more she would be out of the Jeep and buried back in her books.

He stepped back and looked at her, a bemused look on her face, like she couldn’t believe what just happened. Good, he thought to himself. It was only fair if she confused him, he should confuse her in return.

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