About Heather Kuehl

Heather Kuehl (pronounced "keel") was born near the Great Lakes, but made her way to South Carolina where she lives to this day. She's the author of Epiphany (an ARe best seller) and The Sarah Vargas Series. The first installment of the Sarah Vargas Series, Fade to Black, reached #1 on Fictionwise.com's best seller list for fantasy ebooks. For more information about Heather's published works, upcoming releases, and events visit her website; http://www.heatherkuehl.com/


To recieve her quarterly newsletter, email Author.Heather.Kuehl(at)gmail(dot)com


The Release of Of Wolf and Man

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interview w/ Dusty Pages

I'm being interviewed at Dusty Pages today! Stop by to see what I have to say about PROMISES TO KEEP, how my family feels about my writing, and if I would ever tell the whole truth in my biography.


http://www.sonnetodell.com/sonnetodell/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75&Itemid=13

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cover Art!




Interview Today

I'm being interviewed at C.J. Gabriel's blog today. Stop by to see what I have to say about writing PROMISES TO KEEP, the book that has impacted my life, and what people would be surprised to learn about me.



http://cjgabrielbooks.blogspot.com/2010/06/heather-kuehl-is-in-house.html

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time to Write

I'm so jealous! Many of my author friends on Facebook are talking about how they can get so much writing done during the summer. I wish I could say the same, but since I'm a mom my schedule doesn't really change with summer. I am still getting up early, taking care of the kiddo and our home, and struggling to get chores done during his naps. By the time he goes to bed at night I am so exhausted and wanting to spend a little quality time with my husband. I do get a little bit of writing done here and there, but not enough to keep up with the ideas in my brain. This is what my Works in Progress list looks like right now:

1) BLOOD MOON (finish by Sept at latest; you see, I like to have a book ready to submit when a new release is coming out. I submitted PROMISES when FADE came out, MALEVOLENT when PROMISES came out, and I'd like to submit BLOOD when MALEVOLENT comes out.) The final (?) book in the Sarah Vargas Series. The Blood Moon Corporation is coming for Sarah, and even she doesn't think she can make it out alive.

1.5) Xmas story for charity anthology. Theme: Just another Paranormal Christmas. Problem: I've never written a Christmas story before. I hope to have this one be about Damian from the Sarah Vargas Series.

2) OF WOLF AND MAN. I had just gotten through the hard scene when my computer crashed and I lost a good chunk of it. I have 25k written and printed out right now and I think if I go back through and polish it up I may get the inspiration to finish it. Plan to start polishing during July. Tells the story of Juliet and Jensen; Juliet discovers Jensen's dangerous secret and now a Clan of rouge werewolves wants her dead. It's my first attempt at YA.

2.5) ACROSS TIME. A novella about Amythist Dyier finding love again. Her short stories came out in quick bursts so I hope her novella does the same.

3) Untitled Technopath Story. Originally a short story, I realize that I have more to say. Samantha lives in a post apocalyptic world where a human created microbe can infect technology, making it alive. It needs the earth's resources to survive, and the humans are just scum standing in their way. Samantha is one of only a handful of technopaths, a person that can control technology, that can defeat them.

4) GREY MAGIC. T.D. Drake novel. T.D. has been assigned by the Covenant to find the Grey Magic, a witch with the ability to use both light and dark magic without being morally affected. For some reason unknown to her, Dez (my blue haired vampire) tags along and adventures ensue.

All of these characters are yelling at me, and I wish I had the time to write about them now but I'm having to settle with outlining. I hope when I get around to writing them that they are still trying to claw their way out of my skull like they are doing now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June Jubilee Winners!

Congratulations to the June Jubilee Winners!
brandyzbooks won a signed copy of PROMISES TO KEEP and yadkny won a signed copy of FADE TO BLACK!

CONGRATULATIONS!


And don't forget that the excerpt from MALEVOLENT DEAD is still up on my forum. Just scroll down and click on the Coffee Time Romance button on the right side of the screen to get there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

CTR June Jubilee Spotlight Day!

Today is my June Jubilee Spotlight Day! So what does that mean? It means from 9am to 9pm EST I'll be posting info about my books, interacting with commenters, giving away signed copies of my books, and posting an excerpt from MALEVOLENT DEAD!

Just scroll down on this blog and click my Coffee Time Romance button that will be on the right side of your screen. That will bring you strait to my forum.

Here are the contest rules: post a comment or a question on my page here at CTR on June 18th and you will be entered into a drawing to win. Prizes: I will be giving away a signed copy of both Promises to Keep and Fade to Black. If we get enough commenters, I will also be giving away digital copies of each of those books as well. That's a total of FOUR prizes! Once June 18th is over, the contests will close. Notice I did not say EST. That means that I'll keep my contests open until June 18th is over everywhere, giving everyone a chance to win! Winners will announced and notified on June 19th.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FADE TO BLACK at the library!


I think I posted this a while ago... The Berkeley County Library System carries FADE TO BLACK! It's one thing to see it in their catalog. It's another to go there and actually see it!













It's tiny, but it's there!

"The Escape"

"The Escape" is live at FLASHSHOT today! This little piece of flash fiction was previously published in Pen Pricks in 2008.


http://www.gwthomas.org/flashshotindex.htm

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting Stuck

Every so often I start to get worried about getting stuck. It usually happens when writer's block sets in, which is what's happening right now. BLOOD MOON is at a fight scene that I just can't write. Something is wrong with it, and I don't know what. But I'm getting off topic. I'm not talking about getting stuck like writer's block stuck. I mean in the publishing industry.

It should be no surprise what my final goal is; to walk into a book store and find my title on their shelves, and not because I snuck it in there myself or called ahead to order it. I'd also like to be on the New York Times Bestseller list. I think these goals are the same for every writer (correct me if I'm wrong).

I get worried, at times, that I'm going to get stuck in what I'm doing. I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this before, but I don't feel like looking it up. It's really getting to me lately. I was worried about that when I was just having short stories published (what if that's all I'm ever able to do?) and I worry about that now with my novellas (can't I ever write something over 30k?). I hope to keep growing as a writer, especially since over the last four years I have gone from two flash stories published to 3 books and over 50 short stories and poems published. I have a plan in my head about how the next couple of years will turn out (finish BLOOD MOON and get that published and start working on my paranormal romance novel. Maybe get a novella published by Nocturne Bites).

I know how to get to my final goal - I need to sit down and write - but with so much of my time sucked up my promoting the three books I have out there now I'm drained by the end of the day when I sit down to write. I've joked around with my husband, saying that I need to hire someone to do the promo for me, but I'm starting to think that's not a bad idea. Imagine what I could do with the extra time! Or maybe I need to start picking and choosing what to update. Using Ping to update my Twitter and Facebook has helped, but if I want to use graphics I can't use Ping to update my blog...not like I do that much anyways. Yahoo Groups just kill me, but I've gotten to the point that I post the same stuff every promo day, even going as far as having it saved in MSWord. Sign in, copy, paste, sign out.

I've just read through what I've written, and I realize that I'm whining. I'd delete this, but isn't that what blogs are for?

Monday, June 14, 2010

New review for FADE TO BLACK!


Wow that was quick! I sent Happily Ever After Reviews a request just the other day, and was surprised by this fantastic review in my inbox today.

"Ms. Kuehl was more than able to deliver with this short paranormal romance. From the first word, I was hooked and the end left me begging for more." Read More


It even received 4/5 teacups!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Acceptance for "Dalamar's Quest"

This has been a long time coming! "Dalamar's Quest" has been accepted for publication by Bewildering Stories. This is Amythist Dyier's debut story. The sequels, "The Hunt" (Ethereal Tales) and "The Final Goodbye" (Ruins Metropolis), have already been published. Amythist is one of my favorite short story characters, and I hope to have the chance to write about her in a longer work one day. So why did it take so long to get Amy's debut story out there?

Here's a little truth about the publishing world; just because it's been accepted, doesn't mean it will make it to print. "Dalamar's Quest" was slated for publication in Feb 2009, but the magazine that accepted it ran into some problems. First, they changed ownership. When that happens, things can either go really good like they have over at Eternal Press, or really bad like what happened there. They got behind on their publishing schedule, and finally they threw in the towel and closed down. I could see this coming from a mile away and crossed my fingers that they could published "Dalamar's Quest" before closing their doors. They couldn't, and all the rights reverted back to me. I started submitting "Dalamar's Quest" again this year.

I'm happy to say that this story has been accepted and you will be able to view online for free. I love Amythist, and I'm happy you get the chance to meet her. Right now I don't know the publication date, but as soon as I have it I'll let you know.

Second Edits and Release Date

I got my second edits for MALEVOLENT DEAD yesterday, and am happy to say that I made the changes, send it back to my editor, and it's now on its way to proofs. I also have to say that editing MD was the quickest editing EVER. I must be getting a hang of this writing things, LoL.

When I got my second edits I got my release date. MALEVOLENT DEAD will be released on...*drum roll*... September 7th!

So mark your calendars and get ready for the second installment in the Sarah Vargas Series. I promise you are in for a wild ride!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Malevolent Dead

Opened my inbox and what do I find? First edits! Fixed quite a bit and made MALEVOLENT DEAD flow better. Already made my changes and sent it back to my editor. I am a quick little worker bee. :o)

And being the quick little bee that I am, I've already made my book trailer for MALEVOLENT. I'm just waiting on my final cover art and the publication date. I hope to get the date soon. The cover art takes a little longer. Usually I don't find out until the month before its release what the final art looks like.

Edits make me so excited. While I hate doing them, it's one step closer to getting published!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ugh! Editing

I'm complaining...I mean talking about editing today at The Book Boost. I also have an excerpt from Promises to Keep on there as well.

http://thebookboost.blogspot.com/2010/06/editor-for-day-with-guest-blogger.html

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Wicked Deed

AnthologyBuilder has accepted "The Wicked Deed" as well! This short story, originally published by Every Day Fiction in 2007, is now available in the AnthologyBuilder database.

Double WOOT!

The Desire of Selkies

AnthologyBuilder has accepted "The Desire of Selkies!" This short story, originally published by Gryphonwood in 2007, is now available in the AnthologyBuilder database.

WOOT!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcoming Robin Wolfe

While there are many questions that are important enough to deserve capitalized status, when I think of The Question, one immediately comes to mind. It is a question that comes up in a huge variety of situations, often from people I've just met. It isn't about the big things in life: death, beliefs, philosophy, family, love. No, it's a small query, asked so innocently and with such good intentions: "So, what is it you do?"

Every time I get asked The Question, there is a space of a few seconds while I stare at the person and decide how to answer. See, here's the thing: I write smut. You can call it erotica, you can call it porn, you can call it a one-handed read, whatever you want; but it all comes down to the fact that I write about people having sex. I live in North America, and here we have a very fractured view of sex. We like sex; we like having it, we like gossiping about it, we like watching it on TV, we like looking it up on the Internet. But if you go that one step further and make it not just a hobby, but a job, people view that with suspicion. It doesn't matter what you do - writing about sex as an erotica writer, talking about sex as a phone-sex operator, having sex as a sex worker - if your interest in sex is professional as well as just personal, people tend to think less of you as a person. You can almost see the thought bubble above their head: "Oh my God, she seemed so normal! I suppose it goes to show you just never know who the freaks are."

A few years ago, when I was working on my first novel, I was ashamed of what I do, because I had drunk the cultural Kool-Aid of believing that sex work (in any of its forms) was something to be embarrassed about. Back then people would ask me The Question, and I'd mumble, "I'm a writer," hoping that would be enough. But no; people love writers. They'd lean forward, their eyes bright, and say, "Oh, you are? What do you write about?" And there I would be again, biting my lip, and finally I'd hedge, "Well, the novel I'm working on right now is about a sociopath and a prostitute." Generally that was enough to make them back off, since just the word "prostitute" tends to put a chill on conversation. They'd change to some other topic, and I'd feel myself relax, thrilled that I didn't have to go into more detail.

A funny thing happened over the next couple years, though. I'd previously done another form of sex work as a supervisor on a phone sex line (back then when people asked me The Question, I'd just say, "Oh, I'm a supervisor in a call center."), but I'd never had any contact with what I thought of as "real sex workers" - the kind who don't just write or talk about sex, they actually do it. But I believe in doing my research, and since I was writing about a prostitute, I started reading first-hand accounts of sex work, then made friends with some escorts. They were more than happy to discuss their jobs with me, and through them I began to get a very different view of sex work. I began to see that the way it's presented in the media doesn't hold true for all sex workers. Some women do enjoy what they do, and some of them choose consciously to be sex workers, not because they have to, but because they want to. They may find it personally fulfilling to bring that pleasure to others; they may just feel that it's a more interesting way to earn their dough than to spend eight hours in an office every day; they may find that it meets some of their own psychological needs in a generally positive way.

There is no doubt that many women go into sex work due to extreme fiscal need, and would not choose to do it if they had an alternative, and that prostitution is demeaning and soul-crushing work in those cases; but the women that do choose it, consciously and of their own free will, also exist, and they don't find it demeaning. While those women generally keep quiet about their activities due to fear of social repercussions, they are not ashamed of what they do.

The more I learned about their lives and views on sex work, the less ashamed I was of what I do. I came to see that I, and other erotica writers, provide a valuable service; we help to give people an outlet for their needs, a way to bridge the gap between frustration and release. Regular orgasms have been shown to have plenty of health benefits: reduced risk of death, reduced risk of prostate cancer and heart disease, stress relief, a stronger immune system, and more. If my work excites someone enough to get them to that point, when you look at it that way, what I do is basically a public service!

Unfortunately, much of society hasn't come around to the view that sex work is something that can be worthwhile and positive, so I still can't go shout what I do from the rooftops. When someone asks me The Question now, I have to run through a mental flowchart: "Is this person a minor? Does this person know certain people in my partner's family, who are still in the dark about what exactly I do? Would being honest with this person frighten or seriously disturb them? Is this person deeply religious or otherwise conservative?" If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then I have to modify what I do; I'll often give a vague, "Oh, I'm a writer, I write the kind of books that you wouldn't read with children around," and leave it up to them to wonder whether that means sexy books, or violent books, or horror books, or what-have-you. But if the answer to those questions is no, I now have my stock answer to The Question. "I write literary porn," I say proudly. "Not like Penthouse Forums where it's just sex; I write real stories, with sex scenes in it. And not like Harlequin books stuffed with purple prose and euphemisms, either; when I write smut, it's hardcore." I then smile and add, "In short, my job is to help make people happy. Hey, you should check my stuff out sometime! Everybody can use a little more smut in their life."

And now that I'm not ashamed, now that I let my pride in what I do shine through, it's amazing how the responses I get have changed. Before, there was often discomfort from the other person, and awkward silence; now, I'll generally get a few seconds of surprised quiet, and then they smile too, a big intrigued grin. "That's so cool! Where can I buy your book?"

--



Robin Wolfe is an early-thirties femme who is fascinated by the human animal and all the crazy ways we do what we do. Her first book, Ink Me, is available from Eternal Press. (No, it's not the sociopath/prostitute novel; she's still working on that one.) If you want to learn more about Robin, visit her website and blog at http://www.robinwolfe.com/. She also runs a weekly series on her blog called Victorian Porn Fridays, where she showcases excerpts from Victorian-era erotica novels.

Awards