Though Heather Grothaus’s daily life revolves around her family, home, garden, and trying to find ways to utilize the daily supply of eggs her chickens lay (if you have some fun recipes, send them to her), her imagination swirls in the age of half-clothed, sword-wielding warriors roaming the Highlands and the women whose hearts they would die to win.
Where Heather’s fantasies become reality is not only in her writing, but the recreational enjoyment that doubles as research. When she writes about a warrior’s swagger under the weight of chainmail, a man’s muscles twitching as he hefts a steel broadsword above his head, the cut of cloth, the smell of sweat, hay and horses, she is writing from experience. Heather and her husband enjoy the world of renaissance fairs. Yes, Heather dresses in costume, the majority of which she has made herself.
Heather’s published author career began with “The Warrior,” the story of a man fighting to regain his stolen lands while having to face the realization that true love can only be found in the half-sister of his bartered wife. Six more books followed. In the course of writing about the masculine and courageous heroes, Heather conjured the three Foxe sisters who decided they wanted their own set of stories centered around their life in Fallstowe Castle and a magical stone circle.
“Never Kiss a Stranger” introduces Lady Alys to a midnight stranger of mysterious intent and intrigue. In “Never Seduce a Scoundrel,” Lady Cecily is charged with caring for Lord Bellecott during his stay at Fallstowe. But it is his past that provides the danger not just to their future, but their lives. Now it is Sybilla’s turn. “Never Love a Lord” casts Lady Sybilla in the thankless role of defender of the keep as the king first sends a representative, Julian Griffin, to lay claim to Fallstowe Castle. The attraction between the two is instantaneous, as is their resolve to play out their believed destinies and divided loyalties.
Heather provides superb tales of romance, betrayal, and daring set in a period of history that has enthralled readers’ imaginations and libidos for decades.
Q) What made you decide to go from renaissance fair visitor to active participant?
A) I attended my first fair in "street clothes," and it felt kind of like taking a shower in a hat - just out of place. The prices of ready-made costumes were completely beyond of my budget at the time, so I looked around at craft stores and was happily surprised at the selection of patterns. From that point, I never looked back.
Q) You’re a former journalist who enjoys reading nonfiction books. So why write fiction instead of nonfiction?
A) Mostly because embellishment is generally frowned upon in journalism. With fiction, I can devour a book of history and then take out whatever tickles my imagination to create a unique, breathtaking tale. For instance, in my latest novel, "Never Love A Lord," there is a thread of historical fact running through the plot line of Sybilla's alleged treason. Oh, and the bad guys always get it in my books. Sometimes they really get it, and that's satisfying.
Q) I’m intrigued with renaissance fairs providing your stories that added touch of realism. Was that by design, or did the two interests meld on their own?
A) I have loved the time of knights, ladies, and castles since I was a very young girl, and so ren fairs let me play grown-up pretend in my favorite time period. I've never attended a fair and not uncovered some idea or detail for a story.
Q) You have mentioned in the past your love of magic, religion and ghosts. Will we see more of that in your work?
A) Absolutely. I believe life itself is supernatural--the awesome powers of love and hate, questions about where we go when we die, and what that journey might look like, the miracle of new life. Even though my stories are set hundreds of years ago, the characters in them deal with many situations and emotions that we can relate to today.
Q) I want to point out to readers that you hold your family first. As your author fame increases, how will you ensure you don’t lose that time with your loved ones?
A) I write in the afternoons, because that's the time of day when Daddy is home, school is over, the house is as clean as it's getting, everyone's been loved on and played with, and I have some idea of what's for dinner. All of those things have to be in order before I write a word because everything flows from my family. They are the reason I can craft a highly character-driven, emotional story, so each book is actually a happy by-product of protecting and nurturing our time together.
Q) Any parting comments for fans and potential new readers?
A) I love hearing from readers! Visit me at HeatherGrothaus.com for news of current and upcoming releases.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author. www.kevad.net