Rebecca: Welcome, Heather! Thank you for joining us today. I have to ask, because I see that you are also a screenwriter – how different is it to write a screenplay as opposed to a novel?
Heather: Hi, Rebecca! Thanks for having me on your amazing blog! To answer your question, both novels and screenplays must have a solid story, well-developed characters and great dialogue, but that’s where the similarities end. With novels, I can be much more descriptive and delve deep into characters’ thoughts. However, with screenwriting, I have to “show, not tell” so I have many more limitations. Also, formatting is very different, with scripts definitely having a stricter format to follow. Although novels and screenplays differ greatly, I enjoy them both equally. There’s something so special about seeing your ideas and characters come to life, whether it be on page or screen.
Rebecca: Your short bio says that you are working on television shows. What can you tell us about that?
Heather: I’ve created and written pilot scripts (the first episode) for five different television projects. They have all been optioned (picked up by a production company), but that doesn’t mean they will get produced. Too many times I’ve worked with established producers for several months, only to have the project fall through with the broadcaster. It’s my dream to have a TV show one day, though, so I’m not giving up. Right now, I’m most excited about The Horror Diaries – a series based upon my scary books for middle graders, which have sold tens of thousands of copies in six continents! I’m also hopeful about my original series, Camp Strange; it’s such an awesome mix of mystery, paranormal, romance and adventure, and best of all, it’s appropriate for all ages.
Rebecca: Have you thought about writing for the movie industry?
Heather: I’ve had two feature scripts optioned, with one currently in the pre-production stage – the executive producer is seeking financing. This project, The Rarity, is actually based upon my short film with the same title. It was produced in Australia and has done well on the film festival circuit, so fingers crossed we’ll see the production of that movie. In case anyone’s interested, here’s a link to the trailer for the short film, along with behind-the-scenes pictures and video interviews: http://heatherashbeck.wix.com/writer#!the-rarity/c3qn As a fun side note: Vampire Academy’s Lucy Fry auditioned for the role of Jillian Ford – the lead in The Rarity!
Rebecca: Getting back to your books, FROSTBITTEN in particular, where do you get your ideas from?
Heather: For the longest time, I wanted to write a young adult paranormal romance novel featuring werewolves. Frostbitten actually began as a screenplay back in 2007; however, I decided it would work better as a novel since the movie would require a lot of special effects. The inspiration for the book started with my interest in werewolves and the mythology surrounding them. I wanted to stay true to their original mythology (silver bullets, etc.) while also adding my own touches. I just wanted to make this fast-paced love story with relatable characters and a plot that’s filled with twists and turns. Setting it in a small town in the dead of winter was another inspiration because, like werewolves, winter is stunningly beautiful and magical.
Rebecca: FROSTBITTEN is a Young Adult, Paranormal Romance. Is this your favorite genre to write in?
Heather: Absolutely! I’ve been writing about witches, mermaids, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, mummies, and several more supernatural creatures for the past 13 years. I started with paranormal horror for kids (found in The Horror Diaries) and then quickly found my passion for new adult paranormal romances (the Legends Unleashed series). Some of my screenplays (most notably, The Rarity) have been young adult paranormal romances, but Frostbitten is my first book in that genre and age category. I love paranormal romances for so many reasons. First, I’m intrigued by stories which are filled with mystery, lore and adventure. For the most part, reading fiction should be an escape, and I love getting lost in fantastical worlds. Second, I love romantic stories which are epic and have consequences, whether good or bad, beyond the two people involved in the relationship. In my opinion, good paranormal romances always have both of these elements. Third, I feel paranormal romances inspire readers never to settle, but rather to seek adventure and true love in their everyday life.
Rebecca: At the end of FROSTBITTEN, there is the suggestion of a sequel but I haven't found any information on that possibility. Can we look forward to one? Pretty please?
Heather: I left some questions unanswered and ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger because I really wanted to write a sequel and quite possibly make it a series. Truthfully, I was hesitant about committing to more than one book since I didn’t know how people would respond to it (although I have eleven books previously published, they were all anthologies or novellas, making this my first full length novel). Reading all the nice reviews has instilled more confidence in me, though, and I’m delighted to say I’m currently outlining the second book. I will be starting off exactly where Frostbitten ended and all questions will be answered. I’m going to delve deep into the lore of the Cedar Falls werewolves and there will be plenty of adventure and action. I promise that what happens will be a shocker, with no character being safe!
Rebecca: It looks like you have a lot on your plate! What do you do to unwind?
Heather: The best way for me to unwind is by being outdoors. I am addicted to the sun, sand and surf and could happily spend forever swimming or just lounging on the beach. I also love hiking and fishing – two activities I’ve done since I was young. Additionally, I love volunteering with non-profit organizations. It’s a huge passion of mine and something I take great pride in. It’s a beautiful thing to make a difference in someone’s life.
Rebecca: Before you go, what can you tell us about future projects and what's coming next?
Heather: My next release will be Shivers, the fifth book in The Horror Diaries series. It includes five stories, all revolving around creepy characters, mysterious towns, and some seriously scary storylines. I promise it won’t disappoint!
--Thank you so much, Heather! You're a real gem and I can't wait to see so much more from you!! Readers, learn more about Heather Beck and her work by following the links below:a Rafflecopter giveaway