Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hello Heather Haven

Hello, Heather Haven. So nice to have you on my blog.

First, let's learn a bit about you. Let me ask you some questions.

When did you start writing?

I can’t really remember, but I do know that as a teenager, I was writing a column for the Miami Beach Sun, now defunct. For the record, I was born and raise in Florida. My first writing job wasn’t much of a creative outlet. It was more the comings and goings of people who lived in a large high rise, but for a seventeen-year old kid, it was terrific. And I got paid $25 a week! I did it for almost a year.


What genres do you like to write in?

Mysteries or suspense are my subjects of choice for novels. When you write, you’re in your head all the time. I want to have a good time in there. For my short stories, I write whatever strikes my fancy. And, seriously, that would be almost any genre.


             Is there something unique about you that you’d like to share with the readers?

I like to write about survivors and family connections. First, it isn’t so much what gets thrown at us in this life, but how we handle it. Then I tend to write about protagonists within families that share love, a positive attitude, respect, and humor, humor, humor. Humor will get you through anything. It doesn’t make the problems go away, but it sure makes them more bearable. I would also like to add that blood ties aren’t all that make up a family. We choose our family as we go through life. There’s that saying, ‘you can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends’. But you can and we do! We choose a spouse or life partner, we choose heart sisters and brothers. We have mentors who act like parents, people we learn from and look up to. All these people make up our family. What the saying should be is ‘You can choose your family; you just can’t choose the blood ties. They’re with us forever.’ Of course, some family members do unload one another, and I find it so sad. Family is about people who are supposed to love us, nurture us, protect us, and vise versa. It’s really sad when that doesn’t happen for whatever reason.


             Who is your favorite character in your stories? Why?

Don’t make me do that. I love them all, even the louses. I know them, feel for them; they live in my heart. But I must say, my two protagonists, Lee Alvarez from the Alvarez Family Mystery Series and ‘Percy’ Cole from the Persephone Cole Vintage Mystery Series are two women I admire, even though they are poles apart in many ways: location (California vs. New York), time frame (today vs. 1940) and station in life (Lee is a privileged Stanford graduate and Percy is a struggling street-smart gal). Both women live true to themselves, look out for the underdog, and are survivors. I adore them.


             What do you find is the most difficult part of the writing process?

Finding the time to write! Where does the day go? Between my home life (hubby, two indulged cats), promoting my books, teaching a class in beginning writing, I find I have less and less time to produce my work. I hate that.


             Who gives you the best encouragement to keep writing?

My husband, Norman, my family, and all my friends. It’s amazing how supportive people can be when you’re smart enough or lucky enough to surround yourself by the right people.


            Do you have a critique group or a special author circle?

Yes, yes, yes. I couldn’t survive without my writing groups, writing friends, and special writing buddy, Baird Nuckolls. She and I meet and write together, at least once a week. It’s a very special time. I encourage everyone to find and share a form of osmosis with writers you can trust, who value the work, your contributions to the craft, and help you find your muse.


    Do you have any pet peeves?

Mostly I have pets with the occasional peevish side. Take Ellie, my black cat. She applied for a job as a witch’s assistant this Halloween. I tried to help her with the reply to the want ad, but she insisted on fifty bucks an hour for sitting on a silk pillow and looking intent. She felt her eight-hour day should consist of two thirty-minute breaks, with one two-and a half hour lunch. This would be for a minimum of six days. Amazingly, she didn’t get the job! I think what did her in was the mandatory hourly snack. Anyway, Ellie is still pouting. To pacify her, I gave her an increase in her allowance and have stopped rationing little porkpie’s treats. There’s a pet peeve for you.


    Where is your dream place to live and why?

Waikiki, Hawaii. If you’ve been there, you know why. Any place that has the scent of flowers in the air is my kinda place.


           What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. Not sure why. Guess I believe in peace for mankind.


    If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would purchase?

A lung for a friend of mine who has Lupus and needs a transplant. Bet you didn’t expect that sort of reply from me, but if I had a million bucks, that’s what I’d do.


    Who would you want stranded on a deserted island with you?

Believe it or not, my husband. Norman is my best friend, as well as my soul mate. I wouldn’t mind having some sun block, either. I tend to burn. Norman feels some air-conditioning and tequila, would be in order, too.


    Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know.

I have absolutely no idea. I put everything out there. How about this: I am the daughter of a couple that met during the heyday of Ringling Brothers Circus. My mother started out as a First of May (chorus girl) and rose to become a specialty act. My father was an elephant trainer. They met, married, and had me. I have recently written a mystery noir, which should come out within the next few months, using all the tales and stories Mom told me of her daily circus life as a backdrop for my murderous book. It took me six-years, on and off, to get it done.

Wow, talk about interesting, I bet they told you many stories. Ahem, let's get on with the introducing of your great book.


Tell us a bit about it. The title is as intriguing as the cover.
Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick -- a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand – sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? As PI for the family run business, Discretionary Inquiries, Lee follows the clues to Vegas, where she joins forces with Shoshone PI, Flint Tall Trees. Together they uncover a multi-million dollar betting syndicate, a tacky lounge lizard act, and a list of past but very dead runners, plus future ones to off. At the top of the ‘future’ list is the love of her life, Gurn Hanson. Hoping to force the culprits out in the open, Gurn and Lee’s brother, Richard, vow to run San Francisco’s famous Palace to Palace footrace in only a few days. Can Lee keep the two men she loves from hitting the finish line as dead as her cousin? With more at stake than she ever dreamed possible, Lee is in a battle against time to stop the Alvarez Family’s 12K race with death.

This third offering of the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery Series is a finalist for the EPIC Best eBook Mystery 2013. Published by MuseItUp.
Buy page for Death Runs in the Family: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088HSIYW
Heather's blog at: http://tinyurl.com/4nensnp
Again, wow! Looks like a lot of action in your book. Right up my alley.

That's me, Lorrie, running to my E-reader to purchase a copy. Follow me folks.

Leave a comment for Heather. She  and I would like to hear from you.

Thanks again, Heather, for being my guest today. It's been fun.






  1. Lorrie, thanks for sharing your time and blog with me. Much appreciated. I hope someday to meet you in person. I suspect you're my kinda pal...and love your writing!

  2. Forgot to add, leave a comment to win a short story of mine, Socks. One of my favorites.

  3. I've read everything Heather has written. She's a fabulous writer. Her books are definitely on my keeper shelves!

    Question - What challenges do you face when creating characters who are polar opposites? You have Lee Alvarez from Northern CA and then you have Percy Cole from New York. One highly educated and one with street smarts. Of course, one series is modern day and the other historical. But not just that, there is also Corliss, who is nothing like Lee or Percy. Yet each of your protagonists have amazingly unique personalities and lives. If the planet had three polar regions, each of your characters would occupy each one of them very well :-)

  4. Oh, girl! How I love you! Soul sisters. This blog proves it. Without humor and family (of the heart), how would we get up in the morning? Give Ellie my best. And you gotta come up with something else nobody knows. I already knew your Mom rode elephants and your Dad trained them. Which is something not too many people can say. That they did it, I mean, not that they knew it.

  5. I love Heather's Lee Alvarez mysteries. I've read the entire series. If Heather releases another, I'll be the first lined up to get it.

  6. Count me in as a top fan. I've shared this post on FB, Google and Twitter.

  7. Really nice interview ladies. The circus? I can honestly say I have never known anybody who was involved in the circus. What wonderful stories they must have shared.

    Readers, I have read Death Runs In The Family and you won't be sorry if you get this one - It's a goodie!


  8. I would like to read your story, Socks, and if I win it, I will send you a copy of a story I wrote, titled, oddly enough, Socks. And, by the way, we have a cat named Socks!

  9. I just went on Amazon to read first few pages and, since I loved the voice, it's now mine! :) Along with the other two 'Alverez Family Murder Mystery' books.

    Coming from someone who has lupus, I really hope you win the lottery. Soon.

    Great interview.

  10. I bet Santa will bring me your latest book since I told him I loved your first two in the series...but that means I'll have to be good..hmph...Hey, didn't know your tie in to the circus. Did you read Water for Elephants? Loved that book too! Quite a powerful team together here...Lorrie and Heather. Very entertaining and fun post. Thanks so much. Best wishes!!

  11. Hi JQ. this is Lorrie here. I read Water for Elephants. Very cool book. Loved the voice in it. Powerful.