Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday's Interview - Heather Thurmeier

Heather is a member of HVRWA and I've watched her develop as a writer since she joined.

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

Up until this point, everything I’ve written has been contemporary romance. My current wip is a paranormal romance and I love the change of pace and the challenge of writing something new and completely different.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

Contemporary romance really chose me. I’ve always loved to read stories about real people in real situations. And I don’t like to read a lot of heavy drama when I read for fun. I leave that part of life to the news, which I never watch. The contemporaries I read and write are lighthearted, fun, beach reads—just the way I like them best!

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

My heart is with contemporaries, but I also love to read paranormals. I always thought it would be fun to create this new world, new kinds of characters—basically a place where anything goes as long as it makes sense within the parameters of your story. So when I came up with my idea for my new wip, I knew I had to give paranormal romance a try. I’m happy with how it’s turning out so far!

There are a couple of genres I probably won’t ever dive into. One would be heart-heavy dramas, like Jodi Picoult’s novels. I love her books, but they hurt to read because the content is so deep and emotional. I don’t think I have the inner strength to write something like that. I also probably wouldn’t write anything horror either, for much of the same reasons. I might scare myself when I’m writing late at night!

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

Mostly romances—contemporary, paranormal, family sagas. I’ve also been known to pick up a Christopher Moore comedy once in a while. And when the mood strikes, I love a good Knight’s Templar/Masonic conspiracy-type novel.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing?

Hmm, what’s to tell? I grew up in Canada but have lived in the States for the last 11 years. I love a good strawberry margarita and I’m sort of a reality TV nut, my favorite being The Amazing Race.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

I know everyone usually says that they can’t possibly choose because it’s like picking a favorite child. But it’s not a child, it’s a character. And while I love all of the character’s I’ve created, my absolute favorites are Cassidy and Evan—the heroine and hero of my very first novel. I worked with them for a long time, creating their story, creating them, learning from their mistakes and my own. There’s a little bit of me in each of them.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

I’m not sure I would call them ‘villains’, but I do have antagonist characters in every book. I don’t usually have them in a darken room tapping their fingers together and laughing a truly evil laugh—mwahahaha! Well, not often anyways. ;) But yes, I do have characters that are put in the book for the purpose of making the H/h’s life annoying and difficult. Usually, they come into the story naturally, but sometimes I do have to take their motive farther, push them to be worse than they originally intended to be. It’s great fun! I actually LOVE my slightly evil characters!

8. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a paranormal romance tentatively titled Star Struck.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

My latest release is also my first release! LOVE AND LATTES is available now! I originally wrote the idea for a call for submissions for an anthology. They had very specific guidelines for the anthology and I tried to write it the best I could to stay within those parameters and heat level. When it was rejected, I made changes to it, lengthened it, added more conflict and emotion…and steaminess…and subbed it out again. This time it found a home at Silver Publishing.

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

I was sitting in Barnes and Nobel one night trying to work on my first novel and I saw a young couple wandering around the bookstore together. They stopped at a display of sports-themed merchandise and the girl seemed to be feigning interest in the books. I thought to myself, “there’s no way that girl cares about that stuff.” The idea of new love, sparks of instant chemistry, the awkwardness of first meetings, all of it in a bookstore setting was all it took to get the story rolling. Of course, the story has changes a ton since then. My characters are not young or awkward, but instead they are sure of themselves and the chemistry between them is hot, hot, hot! But the story does take place for the most part in a bookstore.

Opening of Love and Lattes by Heather Thurmeier

Elbowing her way through the crowd, Julia finally reached the bar and attempted to flag down a bartender. She wiggled her fingers at the one nearest her as he walked by. Of course, he stopped at a woman further down and leaned across the bar to hear her order. As far as she could see, other people seemed to be trying the same tactic as her own. If the drinks lining the edge of the bar were any indication, all of them had apparently been more successful than she had.

Sighing, Julia propped her head in her hand and resigned herself to the fact she wasn't likely to get a drink anytime soon. In a normal setting, people looked right through her. Why had she thought the bar would be any different?

Why is coming to the club fun?

Maybe if she was tall and blonde with her breasts bursting out of her top like so many of the other women she saw around the bar, she'd stand a chance of being noticed. But, with her straight black hair falling slightly above her shoulders, and a dress only providing a hint of what hid underneath, she simply couldn't compete.

She surveyed the dance floor from her position at the bar, but she couldn't make out her friend anywhere in the sea of people. Julia had never been to Oasis before, even though there were only three clubs in the neighborhood. Her friend and roommate Tali had sworn she'd stay by her side so Julia wouldn't end up standing alone and bored the entire night. But where's Tali now? They'd gotten separated almost as soon as they'd entered the bar, with men naturally flocking to Tali's side, hoping for her attention.

The club was inside the gates of Meadow Ridge, so all the customers were either born and raised in the Meadow — which meant they were stinking rich — or they were students from the local university like she was — which meant they were dirt poor and barely scrimping by on meager student loans. Tali fell easily into the first group and Julia did not. Somehow, they'd remained friends regardless of the difference in their bank account balances.

Julia turned away from the dance floor and back to the bar. She needed a drink soon. She was already dehydrated from the hot, sweaty club and hadn't even danced yet. Sending her most award-winning smile directly at the bartender, she waved her hand again. He looked right past her to the girl in the see-through dress, which may as well have been non-existent for all the coverage the flimsy material provided.

A man in a dark blue button-up shirt suddenly blocked her view. "Hey." He smiled at her with perfect Hollywood teeth, bending down until his mouth brushed her earlobe. His warm breath caressed her delicate skin. "You look like you could use a drink. Can I get you one?"

You could get me more than a drink I'm sure.


Heather Thurmeier said...

Thank you for having me today, Janet!

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Heather!
Great interview! My husband likes Templar Knights books. For me it's romance. Only romance. My favorites and contemporary and historical but I do read some light paranormal from time to time. Congrats on your debut!!!

JL Walters said...

Heather, Glad to have you here. Have you read any James Rollins while it's not Templar it is good action adventure.

Heather Thurmeier said...

Thanks for stopping by today, Wendy! Janet, no I haven't read James Rollins, but I know my husband has so there must be a few of them around the house. I should grab one and give it a try!