Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spotted: Heather Beck + Paranormal Prize Pack Giveaway

Hi everyone! This is the first Spotted feature I’ve done in months and this will probably be the last Spotted since I’m starting a new feature soon. I have Heather Beck with me, a Canadian author and screenwriter, for an interview. Stick around for a giveaway later. ;)

Who are your influences? Why?

My literary influences are Tennessee Williams and Jack London. I’ve read all of Williams’ plays and am amazed by his ability to be so blatant, accurate and compassionate about the human condition. He really gets to the core of what it means to be human, and he does so in a beautiful and entertaining way. In my own writing, I strive to achieve Williams’ signature feat. Regarding London, I am impressed by his depiction of the struggle between man and nature. This is a theme that has always interested me, probably due to my love of nature. London has helped to shape my goal of writing a great wilderness adventure.

Have you ever experienced writer's block? How do you deal with it?

To date, I’ve never had an issue with writer’s block. My problem is that I have too many ideas for stories and not enough time to write them all. I have a few notebooks where I write these ideas in hopes of one day executing them into books.

If you would be given a chance to bring one of your characters on earth and talk to him/her, who would it be? Why?

I would choose Forrester from my TV series, Harbor Boys, because he is undoubtedly flawed but strives very hard to overcome the less than stellar circumstances he was born into. He is strong, both physically and mentally, ruggedly handsome and possesses a rational foresight that aids him when he’s inevitably put into difficult situations. I admire these traits and find Forrester to be an extremely multifaceted and interesting character. Since he is an avid outdoorsman, we would spend the day hiking and fishing.

I noticed that most of your books are collections of short stories. Can you tell us why you chose short stories?

I write anthologies simply because that’s what I love to read. Short stories are so great because they offer instant satisfaction and require less of a commitment than novels. As I’ve already mentioned, I have a ton of ideas so writing short stories allows me to execute these ideas in an efficient manner. Short stories also compliment my writing style since I love fast-paced tales that are packed with continual action that keeps the plot moving forward. When an author offers excellent character development, a strong sense of setting and a satisfying plot in the form of a short story, I believe they have achieved a venerable feat.

The Rarity, your latest film, is a vampire romance. We all know that lots of vampires are dominating media such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. What makes The Rarity stand out?

I actually wrote The Rarity in the summer of 2007 and, since getting screenplays produced takes a very long time, the short film just premiered in September of 2011 and the feature is in pre-production. When I was writing it, vampires weren’t so predominate in television and movies. Luckily, The Rarity is quite different from Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. It’s a paranormal dystopia about the upheaval of Pamveer (the realm of vampires) after the long-ruling royals are usurped by an insurgency led by a powerful dictator named Kage. Amid the chaos is the Ford family who must flee Pamveer after breaking one of Kage’s cardinal rules. With their half-blood daughter, Jillian, they travel to Earth where they must adapt to a “normal” life. A lot of the story focuses on Jillian (played by Christie-Lee Britten) who is a multi-faceted anti-hero. Outwardly, she is confident, sexy, mysterious and a troublemaker, yet she secretly struggles with many insecurities. Jillian finds love (with neighbour Levi Hudson [played by Ben Adams]) and enemies (Levi’s sister, Hayden [played by Genevieve O’Keeffe]). However, the most important discovery she makes is the role her family and the Hudsons must play in overthrowing the insurgents and saving Pamveer. Overall, The Rarity takes the mythology of vampires to new heights by offering a unique perspective of their origins and society, and then causes conflict by throwing their world into disarray. On the surface, it’s a fast-paced, entertaining movie that’s filled with action, drama and a high stake romance. Underneath these layers, it’s an insightful view on the significance of identity and belonging.

What Legends are Made of and Whispers in the Shadows is your latest collection of short stories. What can readers expect from these two books? 

What Legends Are Made Of and Whispers In The Shadows are part of the Legends Unleashed series. Like all the titles in the series, these books were created from my love of paranormal romances and fantasy worlds where anything can happen. I strive to write plots that are well-developed, fast-paced and filled with unexpected twists. The books feature strong, multifaceted female protagonists who transcend the ordinary to find a beautiful life. It’s definitely an escapist series inspired by imagination and boundless possibilities. My favorite (and most accurate) review of this series comes from Chris Chat Reviews who states: “None of her stories are conventional. None follow the tried and true. You will not unravel anything till the last scene is played out. You will relish the originality of Ms. Beck.” That sums up perfectly what you can expect from all the books in the Legends Unleashed series.

Paranormal Prize Pack Giveaway

What’s up for grabs? 3 stories from What Legends are Made Of and a story from the Syren Signature Series!

Summer vacation gets a lot sweeter for Jade Addams when she meets the handsome and caring Russell. They quickly form a deep bond but it’s tested when a car accident causes a feud between their fathers. Jade and Russell’s secret is revealed when they fall asleep in a hammock and are awakened by her father. A physical fight occurs between Mr. Addams and Russell, furthering the rift between the neighbours. However, it’s Russell’s father who gives the gift of second chances when Mr. Addams has a heart attack. Some relationships truly are a Godsend…

Skye, a magazine photographer, is sent to the Sir Tristan Estate to capture the sadness behind the historical landmark. Guided by Tom, an estate worker, she learns about the devastating civil war which tore Tristan’s family apart. However, Skye’s waking nightmares reveal Sir Tristan on a much more personal level...

Beautiful, independent and living on the shores of Hawaii, Mandy’s life should be perfect – too bad it’s not. Things are about to change for the seemingly cursed Mandy. All it takes is the love of a wealthy man and a very close encounter with a merman...

Karyn and Max’s dreams come true when they open a costume and magic shop. However, it’s a waking nightmare for their customers when the products malfunction in terrifying ways. Maybe that walking, talking skeleton they found in the closet can help them break the curse...

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  1. Love this giveaway. Thanks for introducing me to Heather Beck. Her books sound amazing. Can't wait to start reading the Legend series.

    laura thomas

  2. I'm quite impressed that Heather's literary influences are Tenessee Williams and Jack London. I think of them as "men's men" and not very pro females. Guess I better read one of Heather's books to see where their influences might show up!

  3. I love the idea of a merman in Blue Water. I'm not sure if that would help my problems or just make them worse. I really do want to read the book to find out though. Thanks for the chance to find out for free.

  4. I would like to thank you for an amazing book giveaway, and a truly interesting and insightful interview. I am definately going to add her work to my to-read list, and try to find out more about this author. Thank you x

  5. I love that the author is a fan of Jack London. Call of the Wild is one of the best books ever! The giveaway looks great!