Hi Heloise, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
What is the most satisfying thing about being a writer?
I love the act of creation, but right now it’s about having readers. Fiction is about entertaining people, taking readers out of the mundane world and immersing them in a fictional one. It’s satisfying to succeed, for the most part, at that.
Do your characters ever take over your writing and make the story go somewhere you hadn’t originally planned?
This is exactly the reason why I don’t bother sitting down and working out a plot. I have a number of places I want to get to in the story, but I have to get out of their way in order to get there.
How did you celebrate the release of your book?
With Prosecco because I don’t like champagne. As a matter of fact, we’ll be coming home from a vacation in Baltimore on
How did you come up with the idea for this book?
If I Were Fire started out as a short story for Dreamspinner Press’s “The Kindness of Strangers” anthology call. The editor asked me to add another 5000 words and resubmit (the best kind of rejection) and that’s what I did.
Stories usually are born for me through the juxtaposition of an image and a prompt and that image for this story was the cellar and two desperate men. Then the questions start—who are they and how did they get there?
Have you ever written naked?
Nope, but in just a big T-shirt when it’s too damn hot in the garret.
Everyone knew everyone’s business in the small hilly honeycomb town of Siena. The house the Masello had once occupied for short periods during the year belonged to a rich merchant now. The eldest Masello had died in a hunting accident in the countryside, and his father, it was said, died of grief a year later. This event had brought the new conte home to the villa with the leaky roof, the broken-backed barn, and massive debt. Yet perhaps Conte Masello was not as bad off as they said, for he had paid Amadeo’s debt to Guelfetto.
Likely Amadeo was wrong about that, too, as the conte had traded for his freedom with silver dishes and spoons. Amadeo swallowed hard but could not dislodge the lump in his throat, a combination of gratitude and resentment. Life in a Florentine bathhouse and sexual slavery to the traditional enemies of Siena was no life at all. He shuddered. He had meant it about throwing himself on the tender mercy of the river.
What kind of master was the new Conte Masello? He glanced at the man beside him and found warm hazel eyes gazing down at him. His new master’s hair was as brown as chestnuts and touched with gray strands. Whatever he’d been doing while the family fortunes dwindled—soldiering, sailing, perhaps even tramping about in the New World—had made him a man with a face weathered by the sun and muscles that strained the seams of his fine clothes. He was broad-shouldered and a forearm’s length taller than Amadeo, who felt like a willow tree beside such an oak.
“We have another stop to make,” the conte whispered. “Finish your prayers.”
The hard press of the conte’s velvet-clad shoulder and the intimacy of his warm breath on Amadeo’s neck sent a small shock through him, and his cock stirred restlessly in response.
Oh no, you don’t. You are not to ruin this chance for me either. Pardon me, dear Saint Catherine. I pledge to you I will stay away from the gaming tables and this man’s bed.
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Meet Heloise West
Where to find the author:
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6-Oct Prism Book Alliance
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20-Oct MM Good Book Reviews
27-Oct, Divine Magazine
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24-Nov Parker Williams
1-Dec BFD Book Blog
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