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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Workshop Your Story: Author Interview with Heather B. Moore

Today's interview is with a five-time USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than 70 publications.She writes historical novels and thrillers under H.B. Moore, such as Finding Sheba, Lost King, and Esther the Queen. She also writes women’s fiction, romance, and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore, including the Pine Valley series, Prosperity Ranch series, and the Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthologies. This lady keeps busy. Read on to discover how she keeps all those books rolling out!

In your website bio it says that it wasn't until your third book was finished that you got your first book contract. What kept you going after getting numerous rejections from the first two to continue writing a third book? 
Writing a my first novel at age 30 was a strange phenomenon for me. I became hooked on writing. I found that I was willing to sacrifice my down time in the evenings when the kids were in bed to write instead. Writing really became my passion so I was willing to keep working at it and improving until I could earn a publishing contract. 

How many more books did it take before it became a full-time writing career?
I feel like my writing turned into a career in 2012 when I started self-publishing along with trad publishing. I was able to write more and publish more, instead of being restricted by gatekeepers/

You write in multiple genres from historical novels and thrillers to women’s fiction, romance, and inspirational non-fiction. Is there one genre you feel more comfortable in writing? 
I love to write them all, and I feel comfortable writing them, but I think what sets them apart is the time investment. Thrillers take a lot of time because they are so intricate and technical and the suspense has to keep climbing. Inspirational non-fiction is more a matter of determining the viability of the subject and its angle on what I want to present. Women’s fiction and romance are deep-dives into the motivations of the characters and their emotional journeys.

How do you keep the writing fresh and contemporary after so many books?
Perhaps switching genres does help. I do love series, though, but they can be challenging to make sure I’m staying in the same world and not writing myself into a corner. I create playlists for the different genres that I write, and I feel like that helps set the mood and tone of each book.

Since you write historical novels, you’ve had to do a lot of research over the years. During that time can you think of times when the results surprised you in a special way?
I’m always surprised (and I shouldn’t be) at how much there isn’t always a black and white, right and wrong, to a historical figure. Whether the character is the protagonist or the antagonist, there are a lot of shades of gray making up that person. I find the backgrounds, childhoods, and circumstances surrounding iconic figures fascinating.

Which book style sells better for you -- eReaders or paperbacks? How are the sales for your audiobooks? 
I sell more e-books with my indie books, and more paperbacks and audios with my trad books. I have produced several audio books, but they do take several months to earn back the production cost, so it’s a constant cycle. There are a lot more resources to advertise e-books than there are audio books, so that has been a challenge.

You’ve received numerous awards for your writing over the years. Is there one that stands out with special meaning for you?
Any award I’ve been given has been such an honor. I remember when I was awarded a Whitney Award for my novel, Condemn Me Not—Accused of Witchcraft. This award meant a lot because it was a self-published book I’d written about my 10th great-grandmother who was accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials. I felt like it was an honor to the hardships and sacrifices my ancestor had made.

You also have an editing service. How does that work?
Yes, I run the freelance editing company Precision Editing Group. I do some editing still, but not when I’m dealing with writing deadlines. I do contract with other freelance editors so that we can serve more genres and offer various types of editing.

What is some of the best writing advice that you’ve received or could give?
Treat your writing like a business even if you’re not self-publishing. This means that you should have goals and plans, as well as back up plans when you get something rejected.

Are there any other points about writing that you would like to add?
Always workshop your story—whether it’s hiring an editor, using beta readers, or swapping chapters at a critique group. Don’t grow out of getting feedback on your writing before submitting. And always submit and/or publish your best work.

Can you share a short synopsis of the next book that is coming out?
Sure, my upcoming fall release is called In the Shadow of a Queen, which is the story of Princess Louise who was the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria. Here’s a snippet: In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of an epic battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown’s reputation unsullied no matter the cost.

Sounds intriguing! If you'd like to learn more about Heather's writing, here are some links to get you connected.


Twitter: @heatherbmoore

Instagram: @authorhbmoore


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