Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Kelley Heckart. And be still my heart, she follows a passion of mine...read the first answer.
Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kelley. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book The Wolf Queen?
Thank you for having me as a guest on An Indie Adventure. The Wolf Queen is part of a series based on Greek myths and set in the wild mountains and forests of Artemis, a place called Arcadia that is filled with supernatural creatures like nymphs, satyrs, centaurs, werewolves, shapeshifters, and vampires. I have loved Greek myths since high school English. I still have the lesson book—Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. The Wolf Queen is the story of Lycaon, the Arcadian king Zeus cursed to be a werewolf. My retelling of this myth also has a Beauty and the Beast theme.
Have you been a lifelong reader of fantasy and paranormal stories? What are some the first books you remember reading?
I am an eclectic reader and like everything from horror to historical fiction, non-fiction (history), mythology, and fantasy/paranormal romances. I’ve been reading since I was four so I don’t remember my first book, but my mom told me I liked fairy tales, which makes sense to me now. Lol I also had a fascination with vampires from an early age. A couple of my favorite books are Dracula and Interview with the Vampire. Some of my favorite authors are Ann Rice, Morgan Llywelyn, Lynn Kurland, Mary Stewart, and Jack Whyte.
I also read a lot of Indie authors. I just can’t think of all their names right now. I’m really enjoying the book series that inspired the HBO series Game of Thrones. I love the HBO series, but the books have deeper descriptions of the fictional world.
What do you do to rev your creative juices?
I listen to music. Music has a way of evoking creativity in me. My favorite bands are Evanescence, Nightwish, Sirenia, Apocalyptica, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Wardruna, music from Game of Thrones, and Adele (lol). I would never admit it to my rocker friends, but I like Adele’s voice.
What would be your advice to people who are considering a writing career? And/or what would you do differently in your career?
I would advise aspiring writers to make sure they love writing because trying to make a living as a writer is really hard. Also, learn the craft before publishing that first book. Don’t rush it. Having a good grasp of grammar doesn’t cut it. You have to know so many other aspects of writing like POV, show vs. tell, passive voice, setting the scene, transitions, character development, plotting, flow, etc. And always work with a good editor.
One thing I wish I could go back and do differently is to understand marketing my books better. I also should have learned more about the book publishing business when I started writing. I kind of went in blind.
You’re having a dinner party. What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up? Why?
Ha ha. Good question. I’m going to say Maia, the fire nymph in The Wolf Queen. The reason why I wouldn’t want her at my dinner party is because she is a beautiful nymph and all the men would flock to her. I can’t compete with that. lol
Give us a brief summary of The Wolf Queen:
A new twist on Beauty and the Beast and the Greek myth of Lycaon the werewolf. A Bronze Age fantasy, adventure, and romance set in Arcadia, the wild forests of the goddess Artemis… Game of Thrones meets The Iliad…
A tormented wolf man… A mysterious girl with a terrible secret…
Alara, a princess from a foreign land, is forced to wed the sorcerer-king Aramon, a power-hungry warlord, who discovers her dark secret and wants to use her to create an invincible army. When she meets Lycaon, she must decide if she should trust the cursed, tormented half-man half-wolf who might be her enemy or her true mate.
Lycaon, once a great king until he was cursed by Zeus to be a werewolf, is drawn to the mysterious princess. He is torn between helping Alara escape and using her to gain power over those who despise him.
Secrets abound and old enemies are reunited to battle Aramon before his terrible plan is unleashed. Time is running out as the dark moon approaches. Soon, Arcadia will be overrun with an unstoppable, vicious army unless Aramon can be defeated. To prevent his victory, the cost is high. As Lycaon’s affection for Alara grows, it becomes more difficult for him to decide which to save: Arcadia or her.
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband and Chihuahua. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her stories are steeped in myth and magic, filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, and romance. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor and practices target archery.