Author Spotlight: Heather Novak Brings Us Paranormal Romance and a Giveaway!
Congratulations to Susan Nenonen–you are Heather’s giveaway winner! Heather will be in touch with you. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!
What a treat to welcome fellow Tule Author Heather Novak to the spotlight today! In her own words, Heather writes Bold, Breathtaking, Badass Romance.
When she’s not pretending to be a rock star with purple hair, award-winning author Heather Novak is crafting sex-positive romance novels to make you swoon! After her rare disease tried to kill her, Heather mutated into a superhero whose greatest power is writing stories that you can’t put down.
Heather tries to save the world (like her late mom taught her) from her home near Detroit, Michigan, where she lives with Mr. Heather and a collection of musical instruments. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and believes Black Lives Matter.
Heather, the floor is yours…
Thank you, Nan, for inviting me to be here! I just released Dearly Departed, the final book in my Love Me Dead series and I’m still in disbelief. Two years ago, I thought I’d never write again, and one television show changed my life. I’d love to share the story!
It was September 10, 2020, and I was just stabilizing after a health crisis a year prior. I’d met virtually with an agent to pitch a few ideas and they were not a good fit. After a year of just trying to survive, it was, I thought, my final blow. I washed off my makeup, grabbed a snack, and slumped on the couch determined to look for a new job the next day. Then, I picked up my remote.
A fan of Kenny Ortega since his Dirty Dancing and Newsies days, I saw he had a new series on Netflix called Julie and the Phantoms. It was the story about a young girl who stopped playing music after her mom died and a ghost band who helped bring music back into her life. Just the kind of silly I was in the mood for.
Except it wasn’t just a silly show. For me, a woman who had also recently lost both her mom and nearly herself, the show hit the exact right buttons. From a diverse cast, to Emmy-award-winning music, to the romance—including an LGBTQ+ romance—it was everything I needed. I couldn’t turn it off, and by midnight I was standing on the couch, yelling at the tv as the ghost band fought to stay in the human world to play music with our heroine.
When it ended, I told my partner I wanted to write a fun, LGBTQ+ romance with gay ghosts and mystery and characters who were disabled like me. I went on social media to try to find fans of the show and discovered some of my best friends from around the world. My new friends read my books and shared them all over social media. I began writing short stories and flash fictions, and they kept asking what was next. I knew it was time to write a new book series.
I dug out an old paranormal romance idea and got to work. Within three months, Blood Thinners (book 1) was drafted. A sapphic, forbidden romance with disability representation, nosy ghosts, a demon who loves sweaters, and the beginning of a spine-tingling mystery—it was exactly what I’d hoped to create. Two days before Tule closed for the holidays, I submitted my book.
Eighteen hours later, Tule emailed me a multi-book offer! Fast forward two years, and I’m sending the third book out into the world and waving goodbye. I’m so excited to close this beautiful series with Dearly Departed, a sapphic, enemies-to-lovers, second chance romance.
Every book in this series was a plot I’d been carrying in my back pocket for the perfect moment. Blood Thinners came about when the security guard at my old job wondered what it would be like if we were the only humans in the office. I took the idea and ran with it.
Grim and Bear It, my grim reaper/human romance came from a discussion about how much it would suck to be assigned a job in the afterlife that was a poor match. And Dearly Departed came after attending a loved one’s funeral. I wished I could write them a goodbye letter, then thought about how terrifying a gift like that would be.
I’m so proud of this series. I’ve been humbled by messages from readers who’ve shared their excitement over finally seeing themselves in romance, how it helped them get through hard times, or how it opened important conversations with loved ones. These characters are like family to me, and I think I’ll miss my nosy ghosts and sweater-wearing demon the most. This series, my readers, and Tule made so many of my dreams come true, and it all started because I turned on a show about a ghost band. I am forever grateful.
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Giveaway! Heather is giving one lucky a commenter a $10 Amazon gift card for more books, so be sure to comment below for a chance to win! A winner will be drawn randomly on Saturday morning.
Who would you betray to save a life?
Medium Eliza Robinson will do anything for her daughter, including working on a confidential investigation at the Supernatural Human Accountability Partnership agency with her ex—the person who killed her fiancé, Ben. She’s desperate to find out the truth about Ben’s past and what really happened the night he died, and she won’t let anyone stand in her way. Her daughter’s life depends on it.
Paris Evans knows Eliza will never forgive her role in Ben’s death, but has vowed to protect Eliza and her daughter at all costs. She can’t let anyone learn the truth about what happened that night, or who Ben really was. Not when so many lives—including her twin’s—hang in the balance.
As the investigation heats up, it reignites the fire between Eliza and Paris. These two powerful psychics—one who can communicate with the dead via letters and the other who has prophetic dreams—will risk everything to protect their loved ones and discover the traitor…even as Paris’s visions warn there may be no happy ending to their mission.
As always I am excited for every new book you get to hit publish on. Congratulations on another fabulous novel. I wish you the best my friend!
Your book sounds intriguing! Not only am I adding it to my list, I am added Julie and the Phantoms to my Netflix cue. Good luck saving the world!
I am a long time fan of Heather’s books, and I’m so excited for this third installment to be in the wild. Heather is one of the few authors I’ve found to include accurate food allergy representation, and that is AMAZING.
Thank you Amber! Getting your reactions when I have food allergy rep is truly my favorite.
Thank you so much!!
Oh Julie and the Phantoms is such a fun ride. I hope you enjoy it!! I am sorry to say that Netflix did cancel it after one season despite all its acclaim, but it’s definitely worth the watch
I am so glad you started writing for Tule, so I was able to discover your books. I have loved them all. I can’t wait to see what you come out with next. I enjoyed reading your interview and the inspiration behind how you came to write this book series.
Thank you Janine! This means so much.
Heather is an amazing and inspirational person! I loved the first two books, and I am excited to read the final one!
Susan, I’m blushing! Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you love Paris and Eliza’s story! Watch out for demons wearing sweaters though, they’re up to shenanigans…
A great inspiring story behind the story!
Leigh Ann Edwards
I’m already half done Paris and Eliza’s story. It’s wonderful. You can just feel their emotions.
I’ve loved this entire series, Heather! I’m so glad you found Tule. You’re an inspiration and I love how you incorporate some of your struggles with your characters’ lives!
Very well done! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!!!
Leigh Ann, I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you through Tule! I just adore you and am so grateful for your support.
Maria, thank you so much!