Tuesday, 29 July 2014

My Writing Process

Firstly, my apologies to anyone who is following the blog tour and may have looked in on Monday for my post. Forces beyond my control, I'm afraid ~ my internet connection was down! So, here we go without any further ado:

My thanks to Mari Christie, who tagged me to take part in this Blog Tour. Mari is a professional writer, editor and designer from Denver, Colorado. She writes historical fiction, Regency romance and poetry.

http://www.facebook.com/l/IAQHe0pZBAQGsfPPzgRuGc4KYGJGxb87bCXwzGPZxKnmfxw/www.marichristie.info http://www.facebook.com/l/AAQFPf5vXAQF59nWDp5_5F4TxA_7gWg9_4PY2u8lwg66uRA/.marichristie.wordpress.com)

For anyone new to this blog, my name is Heather King, writer, bookworm and mum (aka general dogsbody) to a varied menagerie. I write Regency romance, historical fiction and, as my alter ego, Vandalia Black, Vampire romance and shape shifter novels. I also write short stories for women's magazines.

I have always been a dreamer and as a child would go off for hours into a make-believe world peopled by imaginary characters. I've loved writing since I won a third prize in a short story competition at school when I was about seven. Apart from looking after my animals, I enjoy nothing better than to curl up with a good book.
Feel free to comment here, or catch up with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heather.king.author

What am I working on?

I have various projects on the go at the moment. This isn't unusual! Sometimes a longer work will be pushed aside when the idea for a shorter one grabs me and the characters won't give me any peace, or something else ~ such as a magazine story, for example ~ takes precedence. Currently I am working on a short story serial, a novella, editing my next-to-be-released Regency An Improper Marriage and a collection of vampire short stories, Vampires don't Drink Coffee.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There appears to be a trend in some modern Regencies towards a 'contemporary tale with a bit of costuming thrown in'. The reader gets little sense of the worlds the characters inhabit, their mores or even what they eat! My characters (I hope) jump off the page, giving the reader a clear picture of what they are wearing, their mannerisms, meals and the settings in which they move. With the standards of Georgette Heyer as my template, I also like to think that my characters behave and speak as they would have done, rather than in some hybrid style employed to make the story more accessible to the modern reader. How dare we so presume? Who are we to treat our readers' intelligence with such condescension? I dare to hope my work contains a tiny morsel of GH's wit and fun. That is my aim.

Why do I write what I write?

I love to write. I love to create a world to which I can withdraw and escape the pressures of modern life. I want to share that world with my readers, so they may also lose themselves in the fantasy for an hour or two. For most of us, reality is becoming increasingly demanding and the simplest pleasures are being left behind and forgotten amidst a world of technology. There is no doubt there was a seedy, treacherous side to life in Georgian times, but in general I like to follow the fabulous legacy of the genre bequeathed by its appointed queen and look more towards the gaiety, elegance and romance of a glorious time in British history. It gives me such a wonderful excuse to write about horses and gorgeous men in top boots and breeches! What more could a romance author wish for?

How does your writing process work?

It begins with the seed of an idea. This can come from anywhere ~ mist shrouding the hills, a raindrop on a spider's web, a picture, a snippet of overheard conversation, a book title, a line of prose or a poem; even the antics of my animals. I let it grow naturally for a while until it starts to take over my thoughts. Then I will splurge some ideas down on a 'plot circle' or grid. For a novel or novella I will usually take that a step further on to a large sheet of paper, where I can go off at tangents. A rough chapter list of plot points follows ~ it is very rough as everything can change when I begin to write. I usually write a novel as I read one, but often refresh to foreshadow later ideas as the story develops.

A Sense of the Ridiculous

A list of outlets for my current Regency novel can be found in an earlier post... just scroll down. It is published by Musa Publishing, at http://musapublishing.com for kindle, mobile and computer and from Amazon UK via this link... http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I04PYPE and Amazon US on this one... http://www.amazon.com/A-Sense-Ridiculous-Heather-King-ebook/dp/B00GCTZAPI

I now have pleasure in passing the baton on to the talented Rena George, Jen Black and April Taylor, who will be blogging next week on 4th August. "Well met, ladies!"

The All-important Addresses:



Far After Gold ~ eleventh century Vikings
Dark Whisky Road ~ nineteenth Century smugglers


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Heather Visits Her Dark Side...

Vandalia Black's Vampire Collection Is Now Available!

THEY'RE HERE AT LAST!!!!!!! Forget Dracula. Forget the Vampire Diaries. Here are the most gorgeous undead men you'll ever find, battling loneliness, demons, muggers and unholy thirst to find their eternal loves. Available NOW in E-book, the PRINTED BOOK to be ready soon!!!


There isn't a Regency vampire in this collection, but there is a story set in Victorian times, one during the English Civil War and another involving a beautiful female vampire who was burned at the stake in 1630...

If you like your vampires handsome and sexy, then this collection of short stories is for you! Vandalia Black's anthology is funny and sensual, revealing the human frailties of the undead. No matter your mood, there is a story here to suit, from 2000 word short stories to a novella. Sit back with a glass of red wine and enjoy! Highly recommended.

Out of the night steps a figure; mysterious and dangerous, sensual and otherworldly. An individual destined to spend eternity alone, forced to hide in the shadows, preying on the innocent to survive and yet...

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Give Your Story Its Best Chance


Following our recent short story competition, I thought I would post on this important subject. Some of those entering the 'Ridiculous' Short Story Competition, shot themselves in the foot, so to speak, by the way they set out their documents.

Title Page

This is your first impression. Make it count. Set out all the information in an orderly and clear way. You should include your name, contact details with email address and phone number, title of the story and word count. Also include your author name if different from your true appellation. This could be set out as follows:

Mr. N. Nobody,
Nowhere Cottage,
Somewhere Lane,

10100 500010

Email: n-nobody@mail.co.uk

                                       A MURDER IN MIDDLESHIRE


                                                   NICK NOBODY

Word Count: 1439


You should not put your name on the story itself, but you SHOULD put the title and page number on each sheet in case pages become separated. Unless otherwise stated in the competition rules, it is a good idea to either put the story in a clear plastic punched pocket or hold the sheets together with a paper clip. It is customary to put the title in the header and the page number in the centre of the footer.

Check the document settings on your computer programme. Some put an extra space between paragraphs and this is not normally required. Double space the text only on A4 paper, indent the start of each paragraph and also each line of dialogue. 12pt font is the standard size; Times New Roman and Arial probably the most common type in the UK. Whichever font you choose, it must be clear and easy to read.

Do not fold your entry.

Check competition rules carefully as some larger comps will reject out of hand any entry which does not, in any way, comply with their requirements.

Also remember to check spelling and punctuation!

Word Count

Ensure your story is within the word count for the competition. If submitting to magazines, this may be a little bit flexible, but it is not so for competitions. If your story exceeds the stated word count, it will not be considered and you will lose your entry fee.

Entry Fee

Ensure you send the correct amount ~ and check the currency in which it should be submitted! $5 is not the same as £5! It might seem obvious, but it is amazing how easy such mistakes are to make.