February 6, 2014

Heather Webber/Heather Blake - Author Interview and book spotlight

Welcome to the second installment of my author interview and book spotlight.

I would like you all to meet Heather Webber. Now before you all get confused Heather also writes as Heather Blake so you get double the fun with her books. She writes cozy mysteries. I have read three out of four of her series so far and have enjoyed each one even though I think the Wishcraft series is my favorite. Now on to the interview so you can learn a little more about Heather and her books. 

What made you decide to write cozy mysteries?
I grew up wanting to be a medical examiner (thanks to my obsession with the TV show Quincy ME) and finally realized it was the mystery in the show that I loved, not so much the medical part. I love a puzzle with twists and turns, so it was natural for that to influence my writing. When I finished my first mystery, I didn't realize I was writing a "cozy" -- I'd never heard the term until my editor shared it with me. I'd simply written a mystery about a female amateur sleuth who happened to own a landscaping company. (A Hoe Lot of Trouble, written as Heather Webber) But the term fits the genre - and my writing - perfectly. 

How do you come up with the names of the characters for your books?
Sometimes the names just come to me, and sometimes I search and search for one that fits the character. I use a lot of genealogy search engines, baseball rosters, road names, and when I attend my kids' school events, I save the program booklets. From time to time I'll ask my readers for help via social media. There are a lot of creative people out there. 

Who designs your covers? Do you get any influence on them?
For my traditionally published books, I get some say in the design but not full control. I don't know most of the cover artists used--they're hired through the publishing company. I do know Bella Pilar designs the covers for my Wishcraft books, and she's wonderfully talented and uses a lot of my ideas. For my self-published books, I've used a variety of designers and have a lot more control over colors, fonts, images. 

I know this question is asked a lot but where do you get your ideas for your books and how long does it take you to do your research?
A lot of my storylines come straight from the news bites. It's usually something that sparks an idea then I then twist, turn and embellish into a fictional plot. Research is ongoing during my daily writing process. For example, the other day I was writing and needed to know what time the sun set in Alabama in August...Research. Then I needed to know how a certain poison affected a body. More research. And then I needed to know the proper name for the curved wooden arched thingy over a doorway...more research. I always keep a search engine tab open when I am writing. 

What keeps you focused when you are writing?
Ha! I wish I had an answer. I'm easily distracted. (Squirrel!)

Who is your favorite character and why? How about your least favorite character and why?
Oh gosh, a tough question. Too many favorites to choose from! I have to say some of my favorite characters to write are the familiars in my Wishcraft books. There's something so liberating and fun writing them. I've wracked my brain and don't think I have anyone I don't like to write. 

What can we expect from you in the future?
More books! I hope to have four out this year (A Wishcraft, a Potion, a Lucy Valentine and a Nina Quinn).

What is a favorite book or author you like to read or would like to recommend to your readers?
I primarily stick to reading mystery and romance with a few memoirs thrown in for good measure. For comfort, I go back to the classics. I love Jane Austen books and cna read the over and over. For mystery, I'm on a Lisa Lutz kick. 

Who or what influenced your love of books?
My parents always made sure I had books in my life. My love of mystery in particular was sparked by a 10th grade English assignment - The Hound of the Baskervilles - and was fueled by Mary Higgins Clark ad Agatha Christie. 

Is there someone who encourages you most in your writing? Who is it and how do they influence you?
My husband is the one who encouraged me to start writing all those years ago, and he's still my biggest supporter. I also have a group of critique partners and some close writing friends who continue to amaze me with their talent and creativity. 

When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I love to read, bake, crochet, watch movies with my family, and we're on a jigsaw puzzle kick these days, too.  

List five random things about yourself.
I apparently stole a Mary Higgins Clark book from my high school library. I recently found it when we moved. I can only imagine the fines...(The high school no longer exists, or I'd send it back.)
Even though I wake up early, I am not a morning person. I need a good coule of hours before I'm fully coherent.
I'm horrible at answering email.
I love thick fuzzy socks and wear them year round.
I adore the TV show Gilmore Girls and wish they'd have a reunion. 

Here is a little more about Heather. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, where she learned early on how to ride the T, skips rocks in the ocean, and root for the Red Sox. As a young mother, she tried her hand at writing novels and hasn't looked back. These days she lives in southwestern Ohio with her high school sweetheart and their three children. For more things you may not know about Heather you can check out her websites - both have extensive lists in the "About Me" tabs. Heather Webber (click here) and Heather Blake (click here)

Heather's series are:  Wishcraft Mystery and Magic Potion Mystery written and Heather Blake and Nina Quinn and Lucy Valentine written as Heather Webber. She has also written four novels, a Novella and a Non-fiction book. You can see them all at her websites. 

Lucy Valentine #1

Lucy Valentine #2

Lucy Valentine#3

Lucy Valentine #4

Magic Potion Mystery #1

Nina Quinn Mysteries 1-7

Wishcraft #1

Wishcraft #2

Wishcraft #3

Wishcraft #4


  1. Thanks for having me, Angela! It was fun.

  2. Loved the interview! I'm a big fan of the Lucy Valentine series, so I'm delighted to hear there's another one coming. Meanwhile, I look forward to starting some of the other series. The Wishcraft series in particular looks fun.

  3. Four books this year Heather? doesn't sound like a squirrel:). great interview! xo

  4. Great interview! I enjoy all of Heather Blake/ Heather Webber's books! =)

  5. I love these books. I wish I could get paid to read.