The Qwillery | category: Elena Hearty


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Interview with Elena Hearty - March 25, 2012

Please welcome Elene Hearty to The Qwillery. Elena is the author of Donor, which was published December 2011 (eBook) and in Trade Paperback on March 6, 2012. Donor is a chilling story of vampires that are far from romantic and one woman's attempt to survive them.

TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Elena:  I'm not sure if this is a quirk, but sometimes I have to write passages in first person in order to understand a character's point of view. Later on, I'll rework what I've written into third person so that it fits with the rest of the story.

Oh, and my other big quirk is that I won't let my husband read my novel in the bathroom. This means he hasn't read it yet, and probably never will.

TQ: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Elena:  Elmore Leonard for his dialog. Terry Pratchett for his humor. Stephen King for his versatility.

No matter what you think of these authors, you have to respect their sheer volume of original material. Some writers produce one great novel and follow it with an endless chain of sequels. These guys don't do that; they aren't one trick ponies.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Elena:  I like to think of myself as a plotter, but my stories tend to take on a life of their own. When that happens, anything goes.

TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Elena:  Dialog is my favorite part of writing, but it's also the most frustrating. My characters constantly surprise me with the things they say and do, which makes driving their conversations something of a chore. At one point while writing Donor, I had to put a chapter on hold because I couldn't get two of the characters to stop fighting.

TQ: What inspired you to write Donor?

Elena:  I'd say my primary inspiration was Bram Stoker's Dracula, with Jonathan Harker trapped inside the Count's castle. It amazes me there isn't more material out there based on that idea.

TQ: Describe Donor in 140 characters or less.

Richard is a vampire who keeps fresh victims trapped in his lair. Every captive eventually dies; Lenore hopes to be the first to escape.

TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Donor?

Elena:  Richard loves to play with his victims, and the turning point of my book is when Lenore decides to play back. In my favorite scene, Richard tells the human characters to pick a number between one and ten; the loser is dinner. Lenore not only avoids being eaten, but also manipulates the game to her advantage.

TQ: In Donor, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?

Elena:  The most difficult character to write was Lenore, and that's because I wanted to make her as real as possible. Real people are wonderfully flawed, which is what makes them interesting. But flaws can be a tricky recipe for a protagonist. I struggled with presenting Lenore's flaws in such a way that the reader would still root for her. She's hard to like, but easy to relate to.

Richard, on the other hand, was a great deal of fun to write because I didn't have to worry about making him likable. That freedom translated to his character; he isn't afraid of what others think. I've always had a sneaking suspicion that bad guys have more fun. And in Richard's case, it's true.

TQ: What's next?

Elena:  Naturally, since I enjoyed writing my first novel so much, I'm busy working on another. This next one takes place in the same universe, but features zombies instead. It's my take on zombies, though, meaning that they're real people. The main characters constantly inject themselves with serum to prevent from rotting. And when the sole provider of serum goes missing, they set out to discover what happened to him – and they don't have much time.

The book is tentatively titled Fix, and I should probably get back to writing it. :-)

TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Elena:  Thank you so much for having me!

About Donor

Samhain Publishing
eBook (December 6, 2011)
Trade Paperback (March 6, 2012), 224 pages

Interview with Elena Hearty - March 25, 2012
The life of a vampire’s live-in food supply is never long.

Richard is a modern vampire who likes to eat in. That's why he always keeps a fresh victim trapped in his home. All of his captives eventually die; Lenore hopes to be the first to escape.

Life at Richard's is short but never dull. Not with Richard's vampire friend, Paul, constantly popping in. Paul loves toying with Richard's victims before they die. But is Paul getting too attached to his plaything? His human servant, Charles, certainly thinks so. Charles is next in line to be turned and wants to eliminate the competition.

If Charles's schemes don't kill Lenore, then Richard's hunger surely will. Lenore has a plan to survive, but someone will have to die in her place. She now has something terrible in common with her captor: she must kill in order to live.

About Elena

Interview with Elena Hearty - March 25, 2012
Elena Hearty graduated from the University of Virginia in 2000 with a BS in computer science. After that, she bought a house, got married, and had two children, all while working full time to ensure that your online experience is replete with banner ads and pop-up windows.

You can learn more about Elena and her latest projects at


The View From Monday - March 19, 2012

Happy Monday! This week at The Qwillery:

Monday - Authors After Dark Spotlight Interview with Eliza Gayle.

Tuesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with David Kowalski. The Company of the Dead, David's debut, was published on March 13th by Titan Books.

Wednesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blog by Shawntelle Maidison. Coveted will be published on April 24, 2012 by Ballantine Books.

Thursday - Authors After Dark Spotlight Interview with Carolyn Crane. Carolyn is the author of The Disillusionists series. Devil's Luck, a Disillusionists eNovella was published on February 26th.

Friday - Interview with T.C. McCarthy, author of The Subterrene War series. Exogene (Subterrene War 2) was published on March 1st by Orbit.

Saturday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Simone St. James. The Haunting of Maddy Clare was published on March 6th by NAL.

Sunday - Interview with Elena Hearty. Donor was published in December 2011 (eBook) by Samhain Publishing and is now available as a Trade Paperback.

Here are this week's book releases:

March 20, 2012
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Cherry Adair PRS - Lodestone Trilogy 2
Born to Darkness
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Suzanne Brockmann PRS - Fighting Destiny
Death Sentences
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Kawamata Chiaki SF
Darkest Knight
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Karen Duvall UF - Kinght's Curse 2
The Werewolf's Wife
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Michele Hauf PNR
Spooky Campfire Stories, 2nd: Outdoor Myths and Tales for All Ages
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Amy Kelley Hoitsma H/ Ghost Stories
The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Natsuki Ikezawa F
And Blue Skies from Pain
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Stina Leicht UF - Fey and Fallen 2
Warrior Rising
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Pamela Palmer PNR - Esri 4

March 21, 2012
The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse (h2tp)
The View From Monday - March 19, 2012
Steven C. Schlozman H

h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback

F - Fantasy
H - Horror
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PRS - Paranormal Romantic Suspense
SF - Science Fiction
UF - Urban Fantasy
Interview with Elena Hearty - March 25, 2012The View From Monday - March 19, 2012

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