How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first book three years ago. That book took me 10 months to write and probably another year to edit. I’ve been published for one year.
Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
Yes! But I ignored myself for a very long time. I always made up little stories or poems here and there throughout my school years. Every time I got an assignment to write something creative in English class, I would cheer while everyone else in class would cringe. However, it took me a long time to come up with the idea I wanted to write my first book. Once the idea hit me, there was no stopping my decision to start writing.
What books or stories have you written? Published?
I currently have four books published — “Love and Lattes,” “Love on Landing,” “Bunny Hills and Bikinis” and “Falling For You.” “Love or Luxury” comes out in September, and I have a few other books that are written and still in the polishing stage that will hopefully be published soon.
Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?
All of my books are contemporary romances with a humorous, lighthearted feel.
My Meadow Ridge Romance series (“Love and Lattes,” “Love on Landing” and “Love or Luxury”) are about characters who all live in an elite, gated community. They may be stinking rich, but they still have their share of problems, and they all long to find the love of their lives.
“Bunny Hills and Bikinis” is a stand-alone novel about a girl who is forced to attend a weekend retreat for work with a colleague who won’t keep his hands to himself and a workshop presenter who makes her feel hot and bothered even on the coldest of nights.
“Falling for You” is the first in a new series of reality TV romances. Cassidy is a contestant of a new reality TV dating show where she has to compete for the bachelor with nine other women. And there *may* be a hunky cameraman following her around 24/7 who is impossible for Cassidy to ignore.
Newly single Cassidy Quinn is thrilled to be a contestant on the new reality dating show, “The One.” But her excitement turns to horror when the gorgeous bachelor turns out to be her ex-boyfriend. Seeing Brad again makes Cassidy realize she might not be as
“over him” as she thought—and then she meets hunky cameraman Evan Burke.
After watching his brother lose his wife in a tragic accident, Evan vows never to fall in love. But following Cassidy around as her personal cameraman makes him question his decision, and resisting her gets harder with every sunbathing, bikini-wearing day.
Cassidy and Evan begin a forbidden affair while her ex-boyfriend tries to win her heart back one groping, awkward moment at a time. If Cassidy can manage to stop falling off horses (literally), stop falling onto her ex-boyfriend, the bachelor (yes, literally), and stop falling in love with backstage playboy Evan, she might still make it through the show without becoming a tabloid sensation.
But soon Cassidy must choose between the ex who broke her heart and the cameraman who might never love her back. For Cassidy, this reality show just got real.
How did you get inspiration for the characters?
My inspirations come from all over the place. Sometimes I’ll see someone sitting in a restaurant gazing across the table at her love, and I’ll start to wonder how she got to that point in her life. Sometimes I get the general idea for the story first, and then the characters come to life because of the situation I’ve decided to put them in.
Are the books based on personal experiences?
No. I’ve never lived in an elite, gated community or had any part of that extravagant lifestyle. I’ve never liked skiing, and I would probably take a spill down the mountain like Amelia did in Bunny Hills if I tried to ski again. And I’ve never been on a reality TV show of any kind, although a watch a lot of reality TV.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep learning. It takes a lot of mistakes to make a great book happen! No one has the perfect first draft. Find trusted critique partners, preferably other authors who have books published in your genre and who are strong in an area where you are weak. Then listen to what they have to say! But at the end of the day, you have to make sure that your work is the story that YOU wanted to tell.
Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?
Professional editing is SO important. Editors know what they’re doing. They can find all those little mistakes and inconsistencies that we just don’t see after working on our stories for so long. Even if you decide to self publish, it’s wise to have your book edited by a professional editor you trust.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
I think the hardest thing to overcome has been my own fear. Every time I come up with a new idea, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to write it as awesome as it is in my head. Every time I submit a manuscript, I’m afraid it will get rejected. Every time a new book release, I’m afraid that readers will hate it.
But I’ve learned that the fear is just going to be there no matter what and if I embrace it, it will make me a better writer.
How did you find time to write your books?
I’m a full-time mom to two, have a dog, and my husband works crazy, long hours. Finding time to write has been very challenging in the last few years. I started writing once my kids started preschool. I would write while they were there for an hour or two a couple of times a week. Then I would try to sneak in a few words here or there whenever the kids were occupied or hubs was home. I burned plenty of pancakes attempting to finish a scene and cook dinner at the same time! It was tricky to fit it in, and writing was very slow going. Now both of my kids are in grade school, so I’ll be writing five full days a week starting in September! I’m excited to have so much uninterrupted time!! And hopefully the kids won’t have to suffer through more burned pancake dinners.
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
Writing is so freeing! I can be any person, go anywhere, do anything and all from the comfort of my own couch!
Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?
Writing is very relaxing…when I’m in the zone. Sometimes it’s very not relaxing. Sometimes it’s like pulling my own teeth with rusty pliers. Those are times when the words just won’t come to me. But when I’m in the zone and the words are flowing freely, it’s so relaxing! It actually feels a little bit like I’m watching a movie in my head, and my fingers are just typing what I see happening. It’s a little surreal. When I finish a writing session like that, I usually feel incredibly charged up and exhilarated. It’s awesome.
Has writing made you a better person?
I think it’s made me realize who I really am. I finally feel like I know where I belong in the world, and that is a wonderful gift.
Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?
I love to read! I read every night before bed and a little during the day if I can squeeze in the time. I love romance—contemporary and paranormal—urban fantasy, YA, dystopian/post-apocalyptic and the occasional adventure/mystery. I don’t like anything dark or disturbing.
Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?
Reviews are very important. Money is tight for most people these days, and I think readers are careful how they spend their hard-earned dollars. If a reader is undecided about a book, they may read the reviews to see what other readers think. Those reviews could make the difference as to whether or not the reader buys your book.
Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?
Yes, I have. I wouldn’t say it gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling that my five-star reviews give me, but it didn’t crush my soul either. I was disappointed to read that someone didn’t enjoy my book because I always hope people like what they read from me. But I also know not every book is going to appeal to every reader. How often have you read the back of a book and then put it back on the shelf because it didn’t really entice you to read it? How often have you read an entire book and then felt annoyed with something about the book? I don’t write my books with the intention of pleasing every reader. I write what I love, and hopefully the right readers will find my books and enjoy them.
I think the most important thing to remember about getting a bad review is that you can’t take every criticism to heart. Something that one person loves, another might hate. That’s okay. Read the review and then let it go. Don’t let it change who you are as a writer or let it influence how you write your stories. And if you ever find that you can’t get the reviews out of your head and they are preventing you from writing new work, STOP READING REVIEWS! 😉
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jason! I’m happy to answer any additional questions your readers might have. Just drop me a little note or question in a comment, and I’ll be back to check in!
Heather Thurmeier was born and raised in the Canadian prairies, but now she lives in upstate New York with her own personal romance hero (aka her husband) and their two little princesses. When she’s not busy taking care of the kids and an adventurous puppy named Indy, Heather’s hard at work on her next romance novel. Heather loves strawberry margaritas, hates spiders and is a reality TV junkie. Her passion is contemporary romance—writing stories filled with laugh-out-loud moments, uber-hunky heroes, feisty heroines and always a happily ever after.