Author Interview - Heather Webber

Earlier this year I had the fun opportunity to sit in on a panel discussion at the Printer's Row Literary Festival in Chicago.  The discussion was about cozy mysteries and one of the authors was Heather Webber, a writer I knew from her book Truly, Madly that I read back in January.  I was already impressed with Heather's writing so it was a pleasure to find a fun and witty personality behind the smart books she authored.  While waiting on Deeply, Desperately (the recently released sequel to Truly, Madly), I dove into Heather's other mystery series starring gardener Nina Quinn and greatly enjoyed A Hoe Lot of Trouble.  So without further ado, it should come as no surprise that I am thrilled to welcome to my blog author Heather Webber!

*applause, applause*

Thanks for agreeing to this interview!  When writing mystery novels, how do you find the balance between making the central case challenging for the reader to solve, while still providing enough clues so the solution does not seem too far fetched?

For me, it’s really about the characters. Because my mysteries are character driven, I make sure I have plenty of interesting suspects with strong motivations. All my clues usually come from those characters and their behaviors and are tied into the crime in some way. If I’ve introduced a motivation for murder, I make sure that it’s resolved and not left hanging. Hopefully it all makes sense and ties together by the end of the book.


Is it hard to keep things fresh and unpredictable when writing multiple books in a series? Which is more enjoyable for you, starting a new series or continuing a current one?

Tough one! There is something so fun about creating a new series, but for me, it’s also really hard. The rest of the series is based off that very first book. If I decide three books in that I don’t like a main character, I’m out of luck! There’s a lot of planning ahead that has to be done.

Writing a book in the middle of the series is fun because I know the characters, know how they’re going to react in certain situations, and I love to see how they’ve grown throughout the series. That’s my favorite part—seeing the characters grow and evolve.

Do you think Nina Quinn and Lucy Valentine would be friends? How do you imagine a lunch date between them would go?

I think they’d definitely be friends! Imagining it is making me laugh. A lunch between them? Nina would probably talk Lucy into getting into trouble with her, and Lucy would probably be thinking of a way she could move her parents (or Dovie!) into Nina’s neighborhood. Both would be talking about their complicated love lives.

Have you always wanted to write mystery novels? Are there other genres you've considered writing?

I started my career writing romances, and I think my readers would be able to tell I still love that genre. I love the puzzle of the mysteries, and I love the characterization and happily-ever-afters of romance—so I usually to blend all three in every book I write.


You recently announced on your blog that you were given a Kindle for your birthday (and by the way, happy belated birthday). As a reader, how do you like the switch to digital books? As a writer, in what ways does the digital movement influence your work?

Thanks! I think digital books are here to stay and that authors would be best served to learn as much as we can about them. E-books haven’t made much impact on my writing life yet—but I have many friends who are starting to publish books that never sold traditionally. It’s also a great market for short stories and novellas that are often hard to place in the print market. As a reader, having a Kindle has been great. It’s hard to beat the instant gratification of buying a book with one click. Hard on the book budget, though! I’m working on the balance of buying print versus e-books, because I do still love holding a book in my hands.


Absolutely, Positively (Lucy Valentine book 3) is due out in February, and like many of your readers, I'm pretty excited about it!  What other projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on a couple of new projects. One’s a paranormal mystery series, and the other is more of a cozy/traditional mystery. I also have the beginnings of a paranormal romance series—but that’s still in the brainstorming stages.

Thanks again for being part of this interview!  Where can we find out more about you and your work?

The best places are my website (www.heatherwebber.com) and my blog (www.heatherwebber.blogspot.com), which is updated four to five days a week. I’m also on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Webber/107003867409).


Check out all the fun facts on Heather's blog and check out the wonderful adventures of Nina Quinn and Lucy Valentine in Heather's books at your local bookstore!

5 Response to "Author Interview - Heather Webber"

  1. EJ Says:
    November 18, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    I read the first 2 Lucy Valentine books and loved them - great to find out some fun stuff about the author!

  2. Heather Webber says:
    November 18, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Thanks for the great interview. Loved those questions!

  3. StephanieD says:
    November 18, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    Now I feel like I have to meet Nina Quinn and Lucy Valentine - they sound like fun heroines. Great interview!

  4. Petrina says:
    November 18, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Hi, Heather.

    Very excited about all three of your new projects. The February Lucy Valentine will have to hold me until they reach the release stage, but I'm happy dancing at the promise of future projects. You're such an amazing writer, I can hardly wait to see what you come up with.

    Petrina

  5. Dru says:
    November 18, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    I'm looking forward to reading the next Lucy Valentine book.

    The projects you're working on sounds like fun. Good luck with them.

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