Today I’m truly happy to welcome the sweet Heather Frost to Darkest Sins!
Heather Frost writes mostly YA fiction and has a soft spot for tortured characters, breath-stealing romance, and happy endings. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She owns two typewriters, sings in the car, and dreams of living in a castle someday. She currently lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in Utah.
Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved books, and I’m lucky to have grown up in a home surrounded by them and raised by book-loving parents. When I was really young, I wrote lots of short stories and also entertained my younger siblings with made-up tales. When I was 11 I started writing my first fantasy novel, and that was when I realized I wanted to be an author.
You have a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, how fascinating! Are there any particular tales that stuck with you the most?
I don’t know about a specific tale, but I definitely had some favourite classes and books! Internet Folklore was fascinating (studying memes is a thing!) as well as Jewish Folklore and Native American Folklore. I also loved studying fairy tales from across the world and finding the similarities as well as the differences in the stories. (“Speak Bird, Speak Again” is a fascinating collection of Pakistani fairy tales!). I love learning about different cultures, and folklore is like the heart of a society’s culture. Really, I just love learning!
What comes to you more easily and what is the most difficult part during your writing process?
Honestly, the first draft usually comes super easily to me. Discovering characters, watching them progress, figuring out the plot twists—that’s all so fun, and I’m really pretty fast at it. The revision process is the hardest part overall, because my creative side and my more critical, perfectionist side have to strike some kind of balance, and because of that, I am more likely to go slower during that phase.
Your YA fantasy novel, Royal Decoy is out today, YAY! I’m fascinated by this non-magical fantasy world you created, and I found the decoy idea refreshing to read about. How did it come to you?
The idea for Royal Decoy grew from a couple of “what-if” questions that randomly popped into my head: What if the main character of a story wasn’t the princess, but her decoy? And what if the decoy was forced into it?
Suddenly Clare was born and the plot began to fall into place. (Letting my mind wander can be really dangerous, because errant thoughts can turn into an entire series!) I think what made me excited to write the book really was the uniqueness of the decoy concept. I was excited to play with an idea I hadn’t seen before, and writing a story from the decoy’s perspective was really fun.
Like you, I have a soft spot for tortured characters. How do you feel when you are writing from their POV?
My heart breaks. A lot! And I usually feel absolutely terrible for what I put them through. Especially when I write Grayson, who has truly horrific parents and just all-around horrible things happen to him. And sometimes I worry about myself, that I can come up with such awful ways to torture my characters!
But I think what makes a tortured hero so compelling to me—whether I’m reading or writing them—is that no matter how dark their lives were, or currently are, I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This moment of pain isn’t the end of their story. And it may sound corny, but that perspective brings me peace as I go through my own struggles. I hope others can feel that as well. This moment of despair or pain that you feel, it isn’t the end of your story. There is hope, redemption, and happiness ahead. And you will come out stronger and more resilient.
If you could switch places with one of your characters, who would it be?
Probably Clare. She has some hard things to overcome, but she gets some really great experiences and, you know, Bennick 🙂
What about the Era that fascinates (and inspires) you the most?
I’ve always loved castles, and that drew me into loving all things medieval—which translated well to my love of fantasy. There’s just a lot of freedom in the genre. It feels like a giant playground, where any kingdom or culture is possible.
I know you like to travel. What would you say is the most magical place you have visited so far?
Haha, my first thought is that the most “magical” place I’ve been is the Hogwarts Great Hall, which I stood in when I visited Harry Potter Studios. 🙂 But I will never forget my visit to Blarney Castle, in Ireland. It was one of my first castles, and as I was walking the grounds toward the ruined castle I was like, “Be still my fantasy-loving-childhood heart!” It is an incredible place to visit. Everything is so green and lovely, and you can feel the history in the air and within the ruined castle. And yes, I kissed the Blarney stone!
And we shouldn’t forget about music, right? Isn’t that an essential thing to have when you travel and also when you write?
So essential! Never go on a trip unless you have a book (or five) and tons of music. I listen to a lot of movie scores, especially when I’m writing. Hans Zimmer, any Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings soundtrack—it’s all great, inspiring music that helps me get into the zone. I’m really pretty eclectic when it comes to my musical tastes: Hamilton, Enya, Linkin Park, Lissie, Good Charlotte, Luke Bryan, Josh Groban, Goo Goo Dolls, Florence and the Machine, Kane Brown, Breaking Benjamin, almost anything 80s—seriously, when you shuffle my music, you never know what you’re going to get! But music is powerful, and I need favourites in every genre so I can find the perfect fit for my current mood.
Anything you can tell us about any upcoming projects you have?
I’m working on revisions for the sequel to Royal Decoy, and I’m also editing the first book in a new fantasy trilogy that involves arranged marriages, an empath, and a wounded soldier turned spy. More to come on that soon 🙂
Thank you so much for your time and the lovely chat, Heather,
I can’t wait to read more of your stories!
Nope, your sight works just fine and there are really two titles above 😉
Royal Decoy is officially out and an exclusive bonus short story might be in your hands, too!
Since up until now the pre-order for Royal Decoy was only available in Kindle edition, the author kindly extended the exclusive pre-order gift to any physical copy purchases made on release day, June 18th -> TODAY! *throws confetti*
To claim your gift, purchase Royal Decoy and then fill out this form, where you will also need to upload an image of your order receipt. The author will then email you The Prince and the Prisoner, the story of how a young Grayson met the little girl who would change his life forever . . .
Enjoy and don’t forget to add Royal Decoy to your Goodreads list!