Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tagged by the Lovely Linda Kage

Tagged by the Lovely Linda Kage

A couple of weeks ago, I learned that I had been tagged by Linda Kage over at her blog "Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt". to answer some questions about myself and my writing. Apparently, she’d been tagged by another blogger and was told to pass it on to three other blogs.

My first instinct was to kick her, but I can’t because a) she’s very pregnant and b) she’s a lovely person whom I like a lot. So, after much grumbling to myself, I sat down to answer these questions which I will then foist...er, I mean...give three other writers the opportunity to keep the game going on.

For my victims, I shall be choosing three very interesting and varied blogs:

Gretchen Jones because she’s totally cool, very funny and she recently mentioned a trebuchet in one of her posts. How awesome is that? (hopefully she won’t aim it at me when she finds out what I’ve done).

Judy Ridgley over at her blog, Writers Riding Horses. It’s a super blog full of tidbits about writing horsemanship correctly. It particularly rocks if you write historical. Ever wanted to know what it feels like to ride side-saddle, or how to handle a coach and four? Check out Judy’s blog.

Simone Ogilvie over at The Romantic Query Letter and Happily Ever After who writes a beautiful blog chock full of history, art, music and prose who promised to share more of herself on her blog in 2010. Well, Simone, here’s a great way to start.

Hopefully these three wonderful women will still be talking to me tomorrow.

And here, for my first post of 2010...more than you've ever wanted to know about Heather Snow.

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?

Hey, that’s two questions in one. Not fair!

Sadly, the last thing I wrote was a blog post! I am stuck...stuck...stuck on my current WIP.

The first actual completed story I ever wrote that I still have was a novella fairy tale (written with my then best friend) as an assignment for our HS gifted class. It was a fun story, full or heroes and heroines, gods named so originally after the Seasons and dwarves named Peterbilt and Kenworth (which are actually the names of semi-truck manufacturers. What can I say? We lived in a small town off of an interstate with tons of billboards. You never know where inspiration will strike!)

2. Write poetry?

Not so much. I have written a poem or two in my life. Here’s one~once you read it you will know why I don’t write it!

The Butterfly

In this life, if truth be told
Just caterpillars are we
We’re plain, we’re small
We inch, we crawl
As we all try desperately to be...


We wrap ourselves in cocoons of silk
Or of wit or charm or flair
Or of food or drinking
Of drugs or ‘higher thinking’
We hardly even care

As long as it makes us feel...


But it never does, and in the end
All we can hope to see
Is that we were already beautiful
Just as God made us to be

But don’t forget, amongst your regrets
His love is the key
He shows us with the butterfly
One day, the caterpillar will still fly free

3. Angsty poetry?
Not really. I’m a chemistry major, remember? I don’t do angst.

4. Favorite genre of writing?
Romance, primarily historical. I love the fairy-tale aspect of historicals and I’m a sucker for the happy ending. I used to read more horror than romance, and actually wrote some horror/suspense but as I got older, it got too dark for me. After spending time working in the prison system on a volunteer basis, I realized that I wanted happy endings. Lots of happy endings. So I went back to romance.

5. Most annoying character you’ve ever created?
I wrote a character named “Maddy” in a serial killer suspense novel. She was the cutesy new wife of my kidnapped heroine’s filthy-rich father. She sort of existed as a foil for the secondary love-story between my heroine’s divorced parents who were brought back together by their daughter’s disappearance. She also was a red-herring, but in the end, she was too annoying to live! I axed her because I just couldn’t stand her anymore. And by axed, I mean cut, not killed. Although that could have been fun, too!

6. Best plot you’ve ever created?
I LOVE the plot in my current WIP, which interweaves history, lost Egyptian treasure, and science. I also love a parallel universe young adult story. Neither are published yet, so you’ll have to wait to know why I love them so much!

7. Coolest plot twist you’ve ever created?
I’m with Linda Kage, here...I’m not ready to tell because I don’t want to give it away!

8. How often do you get writer’s block?
More than I’d like, for sure! I think with more discipline I could break through it faster, but I allow myself to get distracted by all of the other pressing things of life. The more days I go without writing, the harder it is to get back into the flow. I know this! So why do I still do it? A question for the ages...

9. Write fan fiction?
I’m not really a writer who writes for the fun of it. I write with the intention of getting published. I am pretty career minded, so writing fan fiction and posting it online just never really appealed to me. That being said, I did write a “Quantum Leap” novel once, with the intent to sell. I LOVED QL, and bought all of the spin-off books back in the day. I became on-line pals with one of the authors who encouraged me to write one, so I did and actually submitted it. However, by the time I did, the line was closing. I got a lovely rejection letter telling me they’d be happy to look at any future projects, but I never really got into any other world.

Oh wait, I did actually write a story with Cary Grant in it for a CG website once...I guess that’s fan fiction. Mmmm.......Cary Grant.

10. Do you type or write by hand?
Type. Only. I can do plotting by hand, but when I’m actually writing, I have to have a computer in front of me.

11. Do you save everything you write?
I still have the fairy-tale, the serial-killer suspense, some other short stories, the young adult, the QL novel and two versions of my current WIP.......I’m guessing yes, then. However, I did make myself throw away all of my college papers last time we moved!

Although I must say, lugging all of those papers around for years actually did pay off for me once. When I went back to college for my chemistry degree, I noticed an ‘incomplete’ on my transcript for an undergrad creative fiction class that I knew I’d gotten an A in. Luckily, the current professor (who was a grad student when he’d taught me 8-9 years earlier) vaguely remembered me. He told me he remembered I was a good student, but I’d have to rewrite the papers for him to give me a grade. I dug through the boxes and found all of my old papers, as well as the daily journal he’d insisted we keep—which he'd graded and effusively commented in. I dropped them off at his office and had my A in a few days!

Just don’t tell the hoarders this story.

12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you’ve abandoned it?
Yes. I’m forever trying to see if I can make it work.

13. What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
I still haven’t written my favorite yet.

14. What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written?
My family and friends wish I’d go back to the kidnapping/serial killer story.

15. Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?
Romance, yes. Angsty teen, no. Hey, maybe that’s what’s wrong with my young adult parallel universe story...not enough angst.

16. What’s your favorite setting for your characters?
I’m an Anglophile...put me in historical England and I’m thrilled. Heck, put me in current day England and I’m still thrilled.

17. How many writing projects are you working on right now?
I’m a person who has to focus and see something through or I won’t ever reach the end (proven positive by the many unfinished projects hiding in the closet). So, I’m only working on one—unless you count the blog, which sadly I’ve been writing more on than anything else of late.

I hesitate to even let myself start plotting the next for fear that I’ll lose interest in the hard work of revising the one I’m on.

18. Have you ever won an award for your writing?
In high school, I won a haiku contest...I wish I could find it! It was called “The Tie” and basically had a tie morphing into a noose. It was cool because Southwest Missouri State University picked it up and turned it into an interpretive dance, so somewhere I have a dusty old VHS of a lovely ballet dancer dancing around with a tie around her neck which she hangs herself with as an announcer reads my haiku. Where IS that tape????

I’ve finaled in two RWA chapter contests...I took 3rd place in the SpacecoasT Authors of Romance’s “Launching a Star” contest and I’m still waiting to find out my placement in the RWI’s “Where the Magic Begins” Contest.

19. What are your five favorite words?
I couldn’t pick 5 favorite if I thought about it for months. I love words, love language, especially the nuances. I particularly dig clever wordsmiths who can twist language, no matter the medium—like Cole Porter does with his lyrics. He rocks.

Right now, however, my 5 favorite words are in toddlerese: gall (ball), gog (dog), git (kitty), gink (binky) and Mommy. That little man melts my heart with his silver tongue.

20. What character have you created that is most like yourself?
Each of my characters has something of me in them. It’s how I connect. Maybe, as I become a more skilled writer, I’ll be able to write a heroine completely unlike me. I guess the heroine who is most like me is Liliana Claremont, from Sweet Enemy. She’s a chemist who has based her whole life on cold science rather than deal with her feelings of abandonment from her father (although he was murdered, so he didn’t abandon her by choice, but hey—feelings aren’t always rational). She keeps her emotions strictly under control, which I tend to do...and you know I love chemistry!

21. Where do you get ideas for your characters?

I tend to start with a plot idea, then decide what kind of character would fit well into that scenario. My current WIP’s original plot came from a traveling exhibit about Napoleon’s expedition into Egypt. I started playing “What if?” and my story came to life. From that, I had a heroine who had a specific occupation and I had to create a hero who would be a good counterpoint to her...one who would throw a lot of conflict her way, yet in the end would be the absolute perfect partner for her. That was a little harder to flesh out.

22. Do you ever write based on your dreams?
No, though sometimes if I go to bed worried about how to solve a certain situation, I’ll wake with the answer. I won’t see it in my dreams (which I rarely remember), but apparently my subconscious mind will be chewing it over while I sleep.

23. Do you favor happy endings?
Yes. I see enough unhappy endings in real life.

24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes! Yes! Yes! (and yes, that was an over-usage of exclamation points).

25. Does music help you write?
Typically I need silence. I can put on music without lyrics to get me in a mood to write, but once I’m actually writing, the music goes off.

26. Quote something you’ve written. Whatever pops into your head.

From my current WIP. This has been cut, but I’d love to find a place to add it back in.

For an instant, the pain of losing his father sliced through him like a blade, stealing his breath as memories he’d long since locked away assaulted his senses. Closing his eyes, he could see his father’s laughing face transformed into the stiff countenance of death, his normally robust coloring turned pale and cold. Geoffrey could hear his mother’s sobs echoing through the halls at night. He could smell the cloying flowers, could taste the salt from old tears and unbidden, the backs of his eyes burned with fresh moisture that he viciously blinked away.

Well, there you have it. See you next week for a MUCH shorter post!


  1. How lovely, 26 questions. I would like to thank you, honest I would only the words fail me. I've seen this on other people's blogs and thought how awful but I'm not vexed with you. I'm too resolved for that so you take care. Oh and Heather here is a little something about me. I never forget a kindness done, not ever.
    Every happiness deserved my dear,

  2. Oh Simone, I am quite terrified! I feel rather like I just ratted out Don Corleone... Should I be expecting a horse head in my bed tomorrow morning?

    No, I'm sure whatever you devise for me will be much more exquisite torture than that. And I'll deserve it :)

  3. Thank you so much for not kicking me. Baby thanks you too.

    But seriously, that was wonderful. I'm so glad I made you do it. I loved learning about you, and totally enjoyed the poem. And I gotta agree about Cary Grant. That scene in Arsnic and Old Lace where he falls over a chair and lands with his tush in the air: Nice.

  4. Ah question 23, I'm with you. I want a happy ending, too!

  5. Heather, I was scared when I first started reading your post. I thought, oh no, I hope I'm not one of the three. lol After I discovered who the lucky three were I was eager to read on.

    Great post, Heather. I learned a lot about you.

  6. Great answers!

    I'm a big historical fiction fan. Just posting to say hello.

    I added you to my blogroll. :)


    from the desk of a writer

  7. It's my first time to your blog, and... lucky me it was a questionnaire so I got to know you right away. I look forward to reading more. Keep writing and don't let writers block get you down!

  8. Corra and Eva...Welcome! Great to meet you and hope to see you again soon on my blog or on yours!

    Sandy...don't think I didn't think about it ;)

    Linda B. Thanks for stopping by. Happy endings rock :)

    Linda K. You've got me in all kinds of trouble with this!!! :)

  9. Kind of makes me glad I don't have a blog as of yet. Did you remember to call no tag-backs?

    And don't worry about the writer's block, we'll get through it. Even if we have to call each other for one darn word. Thanks for the save.