New York Times and Amazon bestselling author Heather Graham is as lovely and charming as her writing is prolific and beloved. With over 100 books under her sparkly belt, Graham has won the hearts of fans, as well as a slew of major literary awards, through a collage of genres. Historical romance, paranormal, vampires, historical fiction, suspense, contemporary, this lady writes with style as she opens her heart to all who surround her, Heather is a Renaissance woman whose pen is mighty when her words flow. She is famous for dressing the part, too, often garbed in richly woven fabrics and beautifully-crafted headdresses for author gala events.
Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans is an annual event held in a city very near and dear to the author’s heart. Annually, Graham organizes the charity writing conference to bring together authors from across the nation for panels and parties where aspiring writers can meet and interact with literary agents, publishers, and experienced authors, then learn from the best. Moreover, everyone in attendance is treated to a welcoming, friendly atmosphere. The 2015 event was held in early September at the conference’s forever hotel venue, the Monteleone in the French Quarter.
Returning to New Orleans for Halloween week, Graham is a special guest author of the annual UndeadCon writers’ conference to be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in 2015. Heather will be part of the Ghost Panel on Friday, October 30, where audience members can ask questions to Graham and the other author panelists. She is also a featured guest of the annual Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Ball, this year entitled the Gathering of the Ancients. Anne herself will be in attendance, as well as Anne’s son, author Christopher Rice, writer/actress Naomi Grossman (Pepper of American Horror Story), and the delightful author Andrea Perron, eldest of five daughters who grew up in the house made famous by the movie The Conjuring. A portion of proceeds will go to the charity Friends of St Alphonsus to help rebuild the church of Anne Rice’s childhood.
In collaboration with 13Thirty Books, Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans offered the opportunity for anthology inclusion to authors attending the 2015 conference. Per 13Thirty’s Lane Taubold, “The response was tremendous, and we have entertained submissions from over thirty authors, including bestselling authors: Heather Graham, F. Paul Wilson, Sylvia Day and Jon Land.” The November 30th (Cyber Monday) release will be the third book of the Never Fear series and will be entitled Never Fear–Christmas Terrors. Graham’s first horror story appeared in the original Never Fear anthology, . Never Fear–Phobias. 13Thirty is also the publisher of Heather Graham’s Haunted Treasures, a binding of three paranormal romance tales written by Graham as well as Heather Graham’s Christmas Treasures, a book of three historical Christmas-themed stories.
Her latest release, The Hidden, Book 17 of Heather’s Krewe of Hunters paranormal mystery series, debuted on September 29. Her short story “It’s All in the Eyes” was released as part of The X-Files: Trust No One anthology, released July 28th. The very talented…and very busy Graham was kind enough to answer some email interview questions about her writing, upcoming projects, the X-Files anthology, her annual New Orleans writers convention work and October appearances for atombash.com New Orleans Literature.
Dionne Charlet: Heather, thank you for donating so generously year after year through proceeds from Writers for New Orleans to help rebuild NOLA libraries, and for inspiring and encouraging others to do so. What made you decide to champion the city’s libraries?
Heather Graham: “A few events that took place–I was back in the city right after the summer of storms and talking with a friend who owned a carriage company. She said the area had been failed by all government agencies–but the American people had been great. They didn’t want handouts, though, they wanted to get back to work. To work, they needed people. Writers was born. I belong to everything, so we thought about what kind of writers–then figured all writers, any genre, fiction, non-fiction, whatever! Maybe you didn’t write, maybe you were a reader–or maybe you had just been dragged along! So, we’d have editors and agents and guest speakers–and, for those who were dragged along, we’d have parties! We’ve donated to various causes over the years–first, the libraries of the Gulf region. Then, when James Rollins was a vet, we donated to animal shelters. We’ve given to Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Fund and this year, Wounded Warriors.”
“New Orleans has been used as as setting by so many writers! The writers I know love the idea of supporting the city that has provided so much inspiration for so many people–for so many years!”
DC: Your convention is such a family! When I talked to you during the last day of your event, you mentioned a few marriage proposals that took place at Writers for New Orleans through the years. What special moments do you remember during the 10 years of the con, and whom did they involve?
HG: “Susan and Kevin! They came together as dates–he proposed to her there. We were thrilled. Loved them both, and they’ve supported NOLA from the beginning!”
DC: Your recent short story “It’s All in the Eyes” was the perfect Halloween story for The X-Files: Trust No One anthology! How did your story evolve within the given parameters by editor Jonathan Mayberry?
HG: “I loved being able to do the story–and legally put my spin on Scully and Fox! My favorite episodes have to do with really questioning what is going on. I also love the concept that aliens might not be little green men–or anything like us at all. Alien life could be anything! And, of course, Jonathan Maberry is one of the finest men in the business and I was delighted to work with him.”
DC: Which of the episode types most attracted your interest? The mythology? Aliens?
HG: “Mythology. Gets me every time.”
DC: When I saw your Facebook post about loving the X-Files, I immediately wondered if you particularly enjoyed the episode with the vampire town, where the vampires are OCD about toothpicks falling on the ground. What are some of your favorite episodes?
HG: “You just nailed it–or toothpicked it!”
DC: If the show ever reappears on television/movies, can we all be hopeful for a Heather Graham-centric story line?
HG: “Heather Graham would certainly love it if such a thing were to happen!”
DC: What is the name of the war-era stories anthology you are currently working on?
HG: “LOL–I’m not sure! I just jumped at the chance. The book will be a companion to a re-release of The Bearded Warriors, by the late Richard Matheson. His son, R.C. Matheson, writer and screen-writer as well, is putting together the anthology. I was in awe of Matheson since I was a kid; his Twilight Zone stories, I am Legend, and so on. So grateful to say that I did meet him before he passed away. My story is about a moment of humanity in the middle of the Civil War. I’m so honored to be a part of it!”
DC: How do you switch genre gears in your mind when you are commissioned for a story?
HG: “I’ve read anything and everything all of my life. And, I love to switch over to change up and do different things. I am one of those people who will read every word on a cereal box if there is nothing else within reach to read,”
DC: What do you love most about UndeadCon, the annual Anne Rice Vampire Ball, and, of course, Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat Fan Club (ARVLFC) president Sue Quiroz?
HG: “Sue is simply one of my favorite people in the world. Everything she does is all heart–she was right there to help me when I started Writers for New Orleans and I think all of us who love the city so much are simply ready to do anything they can for–all of us who love the city so much!”
DC: I always love your costumes, Heather! Anything special planned for the Gathering of the Ancients Ball?
HG: “I love costumes–and I especially love Fifi Mahoney’s on Royal Street where we buy our wigs to go with our costumes! Hm. Not sure yet what I’ll be yet–it’s kind of a challenge. There are always so many people there with absolutely incredible costumes. It’s a guaranteed wonderful time–because Sue plans it and, as I said, it’s all heart!”
Heather Graham also writes under the pseudonym Shannon Drake. Under both names she has written an astounding number of award-winning novels, including her Fire series, No Other series, and Alliance Vampire series. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her web site.
For more information on Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans, click here. For tickets and scheduling information for Heather’s upcoming Halloween week appearance at UndeadCon writers conference and the Gathering of the Ancients Ball, go to ARVLFC.com.