When and why did you start writing?
I’m a former CPA/accountant who knew there had to be something more interesting out there for me to spend my time doing. So, after twenty years in the corporate world, I took the leap into writing and publishing. I published Mindspeak in 2013, and my life and career began the exciting transition into an ever-changing writing and publishing career.
What inspires your writing?
Everything. My family. The news. Books I read. My dreams.
How would you define creativity?
Creativity is the ability to take the things that inspire you and turn them into well-told, fictional stories.
Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
If making a large mug of coffee and sitting my butt in a chair at my computer is considered a ritual, then I guess. I also like to listen to a couple of different playlists on Spotify. My daughter sent me the latest playlist I’ve been listening to a playlist called Dark & Stormy, which is very telling to the types of books I write.
If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?
You got this. Don’t waste time worrying about the things you cannot control. If you remember to write good books, then have them edited well, everything else is out of your control. Once that well-written, well-edited book is written and published, move on to the next book.
What do you believe make for great writing?
Great writing comes from re-writing. It’s difficult to get the story right the first time through. It’s during the re-writing and editing that stories truly become great.
Which writers have influenced your writing?
So many. Too many to name. Every writer I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way. I’m also influenced by the writers I’ve met at conferences, signings, and most recently, at Writers Police Academy. (Yes, that’s totally a thing and it is so much fun—Disneyland for Writers!)
How do you measure success as a writer?
I measure success by the kind notes I receive from readers telling me that they couldn’t stop turning the pages, or that I kept them up all night with one of my stories. That’s when I know that I got the story right.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
I’ve hated every novel I’ve written at some point during the process. But that’s why it’s a process. I’ve also been in love with every novel I’ve ever written during the process and always love them by the time I hit publish.
What’s your biggest fear as a writer?
Obscurity. As I’m writing a book, it’s mine. It’s the world I wish to live in for a time. It’s the story I wish to tell from my heart. It’s the story my mind has begged to create. But once I release a book into the world, that story belongs to every reader who is willing to pick that book up. And it is my dream to share that story with as many readers as possible. Obscurity has the power to kill that dream.
What traits do you feel make a great writer?
Bravery. Anyone can write, but it takes courage to write from the heart—from really deep within—to be great.
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
I like to escape into other worlds when I read, and I hope that I can provide escape hatches into other worlds for readers with the stories I write. I tend to write emotionally-driven, fast-paced, thrill rides with a little romance thrown in for good measure.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Rinse. Repeat. My advice to writers who are just starting out is to find what you love about writing and the art of storytelling early on and hang on to that feeling. It’s easy to lose sight of that love when you get bogged down into the business of publishing or you get sucked into deadlines that you’re scared you might not meet. It can be very stressful, but when you remember why you’re a writer and why you fell in love with your art, everything’s easier.
Can you give our audience a writing prompt to help get them writing?
A man walks into a café. He’s wearing a trench coat. Beads of sweat dot his entire face. He is scanning the room with wide, desperate eyes.
What’s next for you?
Cut in Darkness, Book 2 of the In Darkness series is in the final stages of editing and I’m already plotting books 3 and 4. This series is scheduled to release very quickly in 2017.
I invite anyone and everyone to sign up for my newsletter at http://heathersunseri.com to stay on top of all news in my world. I’ve also been known to give stories away from time to time. (Hint: Sign up to see what I’m currently offering.)
Just days before the running of the biggest thoroughbred horse race in the world, an act of bioterrorism kills Kentucky’s lieutenant governor, and former FBI Special Agent Brooke Fairfax receives a video of the murder from her long-time anonymous source. When Brooke discovers domestic terrorists are actually after the governor—her late husband’s brother—and that the radicals are eyeing more targets, she heads to Kentucky to stop the threat.
Shortly after the political assassination, the FBI zeroes in on one person: international mogul Declan O’Roark. Though Brooke has been out of the game since her husband was murdered, her former boss thinks she is the perfect candidate to connect Declan to the crime.
Despite the FBI clearly establishing means and opportunity, Declan remains unfazed; his motives have nothing to do with murder, but with getting closer to Brooke Fairfax. And Brooke finds the case becoming even more unclear as she falls for the FBI’s number one suspect.