Interview with K.J. Heritage

Published 2019-01-09.
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written
I've written four books and many novellas and short stories. I've three more books close to release sometime in the next six months. And a fourth book - a paranormal London mystery - is almost done.

I believe in having many fingers in many pies. It suits how I like to write.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book - out March 2019 - is book two of my space noir action mystery series 'Vatic', called Ariadne. Another sci-fi mystery

Part one was inspired by... who knows?

I had this idea about a guy waking up from hyposleep with no idea who he was or what was happening.

It was supposed to be a short but was soon a full novel. A thrill ride.

I love it when that happens.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I'm a pantster, which means I start off not knowing where I'm going or whom I'm going to meet - writing by the seat of my pants!

A real journey of discovery.

This means that I regularly hit brick walls. But I just I move on to something else for a while, until my subconscious can come up with a solution - which it usually does.

However, it can freak me out a bit when I get really stuck. But I've learned to trust that other part of my brain working in the background.

I'd be lost without it!

I can work anywhere. I'm not bothered by noise - unless it's high-pitched. I have ASD which means certain sounds drive me crazy - anything that beeps for instance. But I can sit in a loud pub and tap away lost in my own little world without any problems.

I regularly change where I write, as I get easily bored. So sometimes I pop out with my trusty laptop, find a new cafe, order a large mug of tea, power up - and its 'tapping the plastic' time.

I also listen to music - drum and bass does it for me. Gets me fired up and increases my words per minute.

As for inspiration? I design all my book covers, and sometimes I design the cover first. I know, its a bit arse over tit. But it somehow works. Other times I just have a single idea and start - finding out where I go.

It can take me a while to find characters. They emerge from the mist as I write them - although I feel that they are there all the time, just waiting for me to come get them. They slowly become very much alive in my mind and I can hear them speaking to me.

Once created, they are as real to me as actual friends. And I think of them like that. Even when I have to kill them...
What authors or books have influenced you?
Nearly every book I've read has influenced me. It's the story that matters. I find there's nothing very interesting about authors. I couldn't care less why they wrote their story or who they were/are.

A good story can transcend human life. It can take us out of ourselves and transport us away to fantastical lands. Finding out about the author only serves to bring us back to real life with an uncomfortable bump.

Like the 'behind the scenes special' of Star Wars from years ago. I remember quickly switching it off because watching it was ruining the experience.

I find it hard enough to get lost in a movie or book as it is, without all those extra thoughts of 'why and how'.

Who cares?

If it was up to me, I'd ban all 'behind the scenes' shows. Why are they needed? And why do people watch them?

Same with author interviews. And yes, I'm aware of the irony.

I suppose, I'm an escapist at heart. That's also what writing gives me. A way to escape the mundane day to day.
How do you approach cover design?
I design all my own covers. I had some graphic skills but I've spent the last few years enhancing my skills to make sure I have the ability to create the covers I want. I'm not a control freak, honest! it just saves me money.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have over 140,000 Twitter followers - so I use that extensively. As well as Facebook and fans and reviewers.
What do you read for pleasure?
I tend to read two or three things at once depending on my mood.

I'm presently reading a never-ending collection of Stephen King horror shorts (which is fascinating) 'Perfect Remains' by Helen Fields (a cleverly-plotted detective mystery, probably little over-plotted, but it's a great read) and 'The Dispatcher' by John Scalzi (a neat idea).

That's this week's reading. The search for stuff to read is never-ending...
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. Paperwhite for home and holidays - phone app for commuting and waiting rooms.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Running around around shouting 'Buy my book you bastards!' doesn't really do much, but it sure is a good way to let off steam.
Describe your desk
It's a pristine mess.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I moved around a lot. It was horrible. Books were the only things that didn't change. I'd go back to them again and again. I still do.
When did you first start writing?
I've always been a writer and a dreamer - Same thing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book - out November 2017 (ish) - is book two of my space noir action mystery series: Vatic.

Part one was inspired by... who knows?

I had this idea about a guy waking up from hyposleep with no idea who he was or what was happening.

It was supposed to be a short but was soon a full novel. A thrill ride.

I love it when that happens.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write 1000 words a day every day. Read every day. Finish what you start. Get it edited professionally. And buy my book:

'The Complete INDIE Editor - 55 Essential Copy-edits for the Professional Independent Author'.

Available here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/411446
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I'm not a great fan of advice. I'm a bit bull-headed and resistant. Always have been. If someone tells me this is the way to do something, I'll probably do the opposite. I much prefer to make my own mistakes - it's just a better way of learning for me.

If pushed, I'd say, learn to accept criticism. Or, more precisely, critiques. Getting feedback is gold dust. Use it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Starting and finishing. The horrible never-ending months long slog in between - not so much.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Fear.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write and perform music. I love science - particularly astronomy, but all of it. F1. I've also done stand up and improv. Which was a leap for someone with ASD.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I ask my legion of twitter followers for recommendations.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was awful.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I hate questions like this. I'd take my trusty Kindle - it's got thousands of books on it.

Job done.
What's next for you as a writer?
I may go mainstream! We'll see. And I need to start investing in some audiobooks.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

Dying Is Easy
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 104,060. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(5.00 from 1 review)
Staying alive is an entirely different matter... Aspiring Brighton comic, Jozee Jackson, has gone missing from the flat she shares with her boyfriend, Adam Hanson. Despite everyone believing Jozee had left him to pursue a new life, Adam suspects foul play and becomes determined to find her. Adam won’t give up looking until he finds answers to these questions - no matter what the consequences.
Ariadne (Vatic #2)
Series: Vatic. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,340. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Sequel to bestselling sci-fi mystery, VATIC Experimental bioship, the CSS Ariadne, has cut all communications and launched herself into hyperspace—heading towards enemy territory and certain destruction if she cannot be stopped. Vatic, a Skilled empath in the reluctant employ of the Company, is drugged and forced to board the rogue ship. But what he finds there is far more than a simple mystery.
Quick-Kill And The Galactic Secret Service (Part Four)
Series: Quick-Kill And The Galactic Secret Service, Part Four. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,580. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Never, ever, cross Quick-Kill, who knows what may happen? Quick-Kill is determined to find Sirena, aka The Bluetongue Lizard, but the Secret Service has turned our gender-bending heroine into a goddamn desk-jockey. But not for long. Quick-Kill has an audacious plan that will take her back to where it all started. Quick-Kill is going home...
The Lady In The Glass
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,610. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
12 tales of death & dying from international bestselling UK author, K.J.Heritage
Quick-Kill And The Galactic Secret Service (Part Three)
Series: Quick-Kill And The Galactic Secret Service, Part Three. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,920. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Military, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
After breaking in to one of the Gilligan’s biggest vaults, Quick-Kill finds a mysterious box. Plunder of a kind she is not exactly sure how to deal with. Quick-Kill is forced to make a choice… but sometimes going with your gut will get you into all kinds of trouble.
Vatic (français)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,100. Language: French. Published: April 4, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
Les morts n'ont pas toujours dit leur dernier mot Préparez-vous à ne plus vouloir dormir une fois plongé dans Vatic ! Un délice de science-fiction ! Kate Danley, auteur et bestseller US TODAY. Rentre-dedans, jusqu’au-boutiste et implacable – laissez Vatic vous emmener dans une enquête sans pitié. Peter Cawdron, bestseller international en science-fiction.
Quick-Kill and the Galactic Secret Service (Part Two)
Series: Quick-Kill And The Galactic Secret Service, Part Two. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,880. Language: English. Published: August 17, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The 2nd part of Quick-Kill and the Galactic Secret Service by K.J.Heritage There is no in between... Brand new, gender-re-orientated and ‘green behind the ears’ Galactic Secret Service agent—code name Quick-Kill—is on her first mission as a man. A mission she’s keen to get over and done with as soon as possible. But nothing in the Galactic Secret Service is ever easy. Not even close.
Quick-Kill and the Galactic Secret Service (Part One)
Series: Quick-Kill And The Galactic Secret Service, Part One. Price: Free! Words: 22,430. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Another fast-paced thrill-ride from international bestselling author, K.J.Heritage Never, ever, let yourself never get caught… who knows what may happen? The forgotten, seedy backwater planet of Plenty (the most unfortunately-named world there ever was), is no place for a girl to grow up parentless and alone. But self-styled, femme fatale and genius gun-for hire, Quick-Kill, was no normal kid
Vatic
Series: Vatic. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,160. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
“The best thing since Hugh Howey’s Wool! Prepare to lose sleep reading Vatic! Delicious Sci-Fiction!” –Kate Danley, US TODAY bestselling author. The dead don't always die... Vatic, a half-alive empath with no memory of who or what he is, will die in six-hours if he can’t find out why Chen Jelinek died—or so the Company tells him. And ‘the Skilled always get their guy’… don’t they?
God Gold (The Scowl Part Three)
Series: The Scowl, Part Three. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,140. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
The Scowl: Part Three - God Gold. A complete novella “Dark, epic fantasy at its very best” In an explosive finale, iron is pitted against gold, but there can be only one victor.
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