Thursday, 15 August 2013

On The Window Seat with Harper A. Brooks

Well, another week has gone by and I have a new guest sharing my window seat today. Harper A. Brooks is looking out over the O'Reilly property with me today! Welcome Harper!

So why don't you tell us a little about yourself, Harper?

Well, I'm still in college technically. I have a semester of student teaching to do in the fall. During a session of writer's block, I taught myself how to crochet. I do that a lot now. People call me a grandma, but I love it! His Haven is my first published novel, but I have many others completed and just waiting for the next step. I love the Victorian and Regency eras. I'm a big Jane Austen fan, and sometimes I believe I was born in the wrong time period!
Me too! Love Austen. And I love historicals and Regencies. :)

When did you first start writing? Was it just an unbridled urge to write or had it been a matter of ‘it’s now or never’?

I have always been creating fantastical worlds of magic and mystery. I was never a big “dolls” or “house” playing kind of kid. I made characters and acted out stories—most of the time about magical beings like witches and vampires. I want to say I really started writing at the age of twelve. Then is when it really consumed my life. I wrote a lot about books I was reading, but I liked to make my own characters. Those characters gained a life on their own. I was hooked.

Is there a reason as to why you write? And what’s your favourite part about being a writer?

Honestly, I love the surprises that come with writing. I'll write something and put it away for some time, and when I go back to it, I can't believe I wrote it. It amazes me. When I read my work as a reader and not the writer, I can't believe that I created something so wonderful.

It's mind-blowing isn't it! It's like someone else wrote it when you return to a work after so long.

So what inspires you, Harper? The novels you read? Other authors? Life itself?

Everything inspires me—nature, music, putting away the dishes, believe it or not. But what really helps when I'm stuck is just talking about writing. If I have someone who is willing to listen and can talk to about what I have written so far, it makes me want to keep going. I even like bouncing ideas back and forth with other writers. Helping other people with their stories inspires me with my writing.
I know exactly what you mean. My poor twin sister suffers when I have the block. I make her ears bleed until I've awakened my muse :P

When did your writing dream become a published reality?

On April Fool's Day, I got the email from Secret Cravings Publishing saying that they had excepted His Haven for publishing. At first I thought it was a joke. Then I started crying and laughing at the same time. It was quite a sight!
Hahaha! What a day to send a contract! Bet you were pinching yourself.

What was the hardest part of the publishing process for you?

I would say the WAITING. Oh my goodness, the waiting is torture. I found out how impatient I really am through the publishing process. I'm a very organized person, and I like to know all my information up front, so when I had to wait for the cover, the edits, the release date, I was itching!

Do you have any inspirational words for aspiring writers?

Yes. NEVER GIVE UP. And never think you need to change your writing style because of what other people think. I almost made that mistake. A publisher told me I had to rewrite my entire novel because it was different. It was a great story, great characters, they loved everything, but they wouldn't publish it because it wasn't “what was selling now.” I believe someone should never be punished for originality. Aspiring writers should be true to themselves. There is a publisher out there that will respect their style, and there are readers who will love their writing.
Very wise words. :)

Can you pitch you current/upcoming release to us in ten words or less?

His Haven—expect the unexpected, twists, and complex, real characters.

Who is your favourite character in His Haven?

My favorite character in His Haven would have to be Lysander. He is a secondary character, and the hero, Avrum's, closest friend. He holds a lot of secrets and pain inside because he believes he has to. Not much is explained about him in His Haven, but I guess I like him because I do know his background and because of the mystery surrounding him. He will be the hero of the next book in the Redemption Series, so all his secrets will be known then.
Now, I've never heard of a secondary character being bested by the hero haha. I'm sure after I read His Haven, I'll be interested in Lysander's secrets too.

What’s next for Harper A. Brooks?

What's next for me? Writing the next book in the series, of course! I'll even share the title with you—Patterns in the Ivy. I've also been challenging myself and writing a shape-shifter novella at the same time. So, yes, I'm very busy!

If you had to write a warning to your readers about your novel, what would you say?

Warning: This novel contains Victorian vampires. If pulses continue to race after the completion of the novel, please consult a physician because this can lead to more serious complications, such as sexy hallucinations, need to take cold showers, and a raised temperature.  
Hehe, sounds great!

Now, this author runs on coffee and the occasional nip of whiskey. What refuel your writerly engines?

Absolutely coffee. I am addicted, and there is no hope for me to ever quit. And the Italian dish, chicken francaise, helps too. Yum! That's my favorite.

Now, for all writers, there’s something magical about creating a novel. What is your favourite part of creating a novel? Are you a Happily-Ever-After kind of writer, a cheeky black moment maker, or a first-sight-and-first-kiss kind of writer?

I have two. One would be the creation of a character. I want to make my characters as believable as possible. I love making their back stories complicated and realistic. I want my readers to connect with them. The second would be creating an ending that is unexpected, leaves readers guessing, and is also bittersweet. I've never been a big “Happily Ever After” fan, but life isn't like that. To me, it's not believable. Even though my novels have magical elements in them, they can still be realistic.

Now, I’ve had some strange encounters where I’ve met my characters in real life. After I’d created them! Has this ever happened to you?

Something like this did happen to me actually, but it was when I was writing my historical romance novel that is still a WIP. I was working at a bakery at the time, and I was paying a customer out. When I swiped his credit card, his last name popped up on the computer screen. His last name was DeMonté. That is my character's last name. Not only that, but it is a last name that I completely made up! I put two French last names together to create this one, and apparently it was real!
Haha! I love these moments!

Thanks so much, Harper for joining me today. Hope you've enjoyed our chat and find the landscape of Ireland inspiring. :) Best of luck with your novel. I can't wait to read it!

Now about the novel!

Handsome and diligent Avrum Brenin should have died in the fire with his mother and older brother. Instead, he is saved by the powerful and wealthy immortal, Lord Henri. Placed under his care, Avrum shares in his world of endless splendors. He must do one thing in return—look after Haven, a human and Lord Henri's newest rescue.

The simple task proves to be more complicated than it seems. Haven is disobedient, ungrateful, and hostile, yet she is beautiful and mystifying at the same time. One night, when Avrum stumbles across Haven barely clothed and bound at the wrists, the world he has trusted in unravels before his eyes. He soon discovers that no one—from Lord Henri and Haven to his closest friend, Lysander--are who they seem to be.

Now faced with the truth, will Avrum choose to surrender to the man who rescued him, or will he have the courage to save the woman who captivated him?

Grab a copy at the following websites:

And for readers wanting to know more about Harper, you can reach her at the following places:


  1. Congrats. I am so excited about your launch. And I totally agree on the waiting part of writing being so hard. Here's to lots of sales coming your way.

  2. Thanks for having me here, Whitney! I had an amazing time!

  3. Great post. I love the Regency and Victorian times too and vamps so this sounds awesome.