Sad to say, I live in a pig-focused household, not a hamster household. My child never would have tolerated a book about hamsters. When a video game is designed about you and becomes a big success, then we might be able to immortalize you in print.
A Tale of Two Murders features the young Charles Dickens, then a reporter, and begins the day he met his future wife, Kate Hogarth, at a holiday dinner party. I take into account everything I could learn about their real life, then inserted dastardly doings into their world. Of course they have to figure out who killed the young girl they watched die the night they met. I sold this as a three-book series, which I spread across 1835, when Charles was twenty-three and Kate was twenty. Hopefully I will be able to write more about them. I’m having a lot of fun invoking the humor and intelligence of this duo, with a hint of the stories behind the novels Charles would write in the future. Outside of their families, most of the other characters are fictional, and I’ve fallen in love with the “gang.”
Heather Hiestand is the real me, and I first published as me back around 2004. Ironically, my first sale was a contemporary mystery short, and the second was a Victorian fantasy romance short. Now they have combined in 2018.
When my publisher a couple of years later wanted me to write a different sort of romance, I took on the Anh Leod persona to write very sexy paranormal romance. Some of the titles are still out there, some are off the market, and I’ve recently published a freshly revised one, Hunting John Doe, under the Heather Hiestand name since I have a few dark sci-fi romance titles out now.
When I sold the Dickens series I was asked to take another name, which is customary for the publisher. “Redmond” is a family name. Multiple names are a pain but we have to keep our publishers content. Happily, talking about the various pennames at book signings makes for a lot of laughs.
It wasn’t easy at all! I’m one who wrote her first story some forty years ago, and first submitted for publication over twenty years ago. It took nearly a decade to sell a piece to a “real” publisher. This is despite a good education in fiction. I have a college degree in creative writing and I also did a certificate course. Part of the reason it took so long is that I was working full time and only wrote five novels in the first eleven years I was trying to get published. I wish I hadn’t wasted all that time watching TV and bookworming…I also fell down rabbit holes at publishers though. I continue to believe there is a lot of luck in this business. You have to have the manuscripts ready to be in the right place at the right time.
Editors who want to buy you have to be able to sell you to their sales and marketing folks. I had finished the first full novel I sold some six years before it found a publisher.
Finish writing the book! Then start another. You can’t make your luck in publishing without a completed book. Once it is done, get some trusted opinions on it. Enter contests with reputable organizations. Ultimately, once you are past the creative phase, you need to look at your work as a product, and other opinions will help you see your “baby” more clearly.
Heather The next Heather Redmond title, Grave Expectations (A Dickens of a Crime #2) will be out in summer 2019. I’ve just seen the cover and it’s glorious! I’m not entirely sure what Heather Hiestand is up to. Krinar Solace came out on July 31st, and it’s selling well. I don’t know if I should write some more dark science fiction romance or follow my muse elsewhere. Mostly, I can’t wait for fall, with the cooler temperatures and the kiddo going to school all those lovely hours so that I have time to finish the third Dickens book.
On the eve of the Victorian era, London has a new sleuth . . .
In the winter of 1835, young Charles Dickens is a journalist at the Evening Chronicle. Invited to dinner at his editor’s estate, Charles is smitten with his boss’s daughter, vivacious Kate Hogarth. They are having the best of times when a scream shatters the evening. Charles and Kate rush to the neighbors’ home, where Christiana Lugoson lies dying on the floor. With a twist or two in this most peculiar case, he and Kate may be in for the worst of times . . .
All I can find are listed at:
bio: Heather Redmond is an author of commercial fiction and also writes as Heather Hiestand. First published in mystery, she took a long detour through romance before returning. Though her last known British ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century.
She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Her 2018 Heather Redmond debut, A Tale of Two Murders, has received a coveted starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
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Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.