Writer Wednesday: HR Savage

Author HR Savage

Author HR Savage

I have the enormous pleasure of introducing you to debut author HR Savage, author of the new paranormal romance, Lost in Vengeance. Heather, or HR, shares a little about herself, her writing process, and even delves into advice on writing those steamy romance scenes that always trip me up, personally. Read more and make sure to check out her book. Links below!

Hi Heather! Let’s start with a little bit about you. Where are you from?

I’m from the sunny Southern California (San Bernardino to be exact), but if I could move, I would. I actually really hate it here lol. I’d like to live somewhere like Texas or Colorado. I’m a stay-at-home mom with two beautiful children (6 & 3).

What is something people might not expect about you?

Honestly, I think the thing that’s most surprising to people is the fact that I write romance that is so erotic. People see me as this really innocent woman I guess, so when I explain my book they’re very surprised. Only my close friends see my sexy side apparently.

Tell me about your writing and editing processes.

I’m most definitely a plotter. When I started Lost in Vengeance, I tried being a pantser and it turned out awful. My characters had multiple personality disorder and I had no idea where my book was going. It led to me having to rip apart all the chapters I wrote and try again. Now I outline, but I allow myself some leeway with the scenes. I start with 3×5 cards and write out little scenes or dialogues that pop into my head, then I start fleshing everything out. During that process I’m creating character interviews (very basic ones) that allow me to get a deeper insight of my characters. I even do secondary character interviews because I always figure there could be another novel from their storyline. I write with Scrivener so it helps a lot with organization.

TonightTeaser - CopyAfter I finish writing, I do a quick scan for editing and then send it off to beta readers. They help out with any inconsistencies, where the story gets slow, and let me know if I called somebody by the wrong name (it happens more than you’d think lol). Then I edit as much as I can, yet my editor still managed to find a thousand errors *laughs* Editing is so extremely time-consuming. I use The Red Pencil Round-Up in order to edit. The find feature on Word is awesome, and I’m getting really good at the replace feature as well 😉

So far it’s taken me on average about a year (maybe even 8 months) to write a book. It depends on how large the storyline is and how much world building I have to do before hand.

I’m so awful at schedules. Whenever I schedule writing time, it gets flushed down the toilet by an over-grumpy child who refuses to take a nap, or a husband who fiercely wants to catch up on the latest episode of The Walking Dead (or whatever we’re watching). I write when I can.

Do you listen to music when writing?

Oh, absolutely. I love music. It’s such a huge part of my creative process and can help me focus on the mood of the scene.

Here’s some songs that inspired Lost in Vengeance:
•Safe by Britt Nicole (technically a christian song, but it fit Cat so perfectly).
•Must be Doin’ Something Right- Billy Currington
•Bring me to Life- Evanescence
•Why Don’t we Just Dance- Josh Turner
•Untouched- The Veronicas
•Take me There- Rascal Flatts
•Cannonball- Damien Rice

I also have a collective playlist that I use universally in books. Especially for the sexy scenes. This one keeps growing!

•Strip it Down- Luke Bryan (Because seriously…I could listen to this guy all day)
•Thinking Out Loud- Ed Sheeran
•I Won’t Let You Go- James Morrison
•Love me Like You Do- Ellie Goulding
•Sugar- Maroon 5
•Boom Clap- Lennon & Maisy version
•Kiss me- Ed Sheeran
•Stay With Me- Sam Smith
•I’ll Cry With You- Hunter Hayes

Click here to explore Heather’s playlist.

Tell me about your journey to publication.

When I finished Lost in Vengeance, I basically couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. I had done extensive research into self-publishing and originally planned to do so, but I couldn’t afford it. It was really heartbreaking for me. So I did the alternative. I worked my butt off and edited it myself. I wrote query letter after query letter using some awesome resources like agentqueryconnect.com and Absolute Write’s forum. I wrote a one page synopsis, then wrote four more. Then I finally sent it off to every agent I could find that took paranormal romance (which is very few by the way). Many don’t know this but the submissions process is single-handedly the most frustrating time. Agent response windows can vary between 6 weeks to 6 months, and that’s if they respond at all. A majority of the time you won’t receive anything in response. Once I calculated all the response times for the agents and realized that it had been past all their windows, I finally subbed to publishers. Many big publishers won’t take unsolicited submissions (meaning from an agent), so I was pretty limited here too. Again, there is a long waiting process. I had a few bites, even a revise & resubmit, but didn’t get a contract until recently. I had to choose between two publishers, and decided to go with Loose ID.

Closeup portrait of a beautiful male modelYour debut novel, Lost In Vengeance, came out on 5/24/16. What actress could you see playing your protagonist, Catrina Macintyre? What about her love interest, Killian Stone?

Oh gosh. I’m not 100% sure I should answer this because it can mess with the reader’s imagination of what the character should look like. But I’ll answer 😉 For Catrina, I think Ginny Gardner would be great, or Jennifer Lawrence (Umm. I love that woman!). For Killian I have always imagined Hugh Jackman without the beard. Especially the younger Hugh with the medium length hair. But I’ve always thought of Killian a little tanner. More Native American looking. I would love to see what readers imagine though! I’m sure there’s some actors out there I haven’t seen that could work really well.

You’re having a release event on Facebook on Saturday 5/28. What can people expect at this event?

I think it’s going to be a really great time. It’s an all day event from 10AM-7:30PM PST. Authors will be taking over for 30 minute slots and will host special games and talk about their books. They’ll also have giveaways of their own book(s) and swag. Some may even offer a copy or two of mine! You never know 🙂 My book is on the erotic (not erotica) spectrum, but the heat levels vary by author. There’s such a wide arrange of genres as well. My friend Danielle Ione will be there, and her books are awesome. They have lots of emotion and focus a lot less on the sexual relationship. Shannon O’Connor has a trilogy about a sexy surfer and a nurse. I have some just starting authors joining me as well, like Tarina Deaton, Caroline Andrus, Stephanie Raylyn (also a blogger), and J.C. Rochford. Addison Kline and Fanny Lee Savage will be there with their great contemporary romances, and Chloe Hammond wrote a great Fantasy romance. And the amazing author team of Trim & Julka will be there with their delicious paranormal romance. The list is still growing, so there may be more surprise authors during the event!

Click here to RSVP!

Kiss understatementAs a romance writer, do you have any advice to other authors about writing those steamy love scenes?

Those steamy scenes are so hard. Some authors have a natural knack for writing them, but for others like me, we genuinely struggle. My only advice would be to read a lot of books for inspiration. Then sit down with your drink of choice (mine is an icy glass of Stella Rosa), put the headphones in, and let your imagination go wild. I’ve even heard that some authors watch porn to get into it. Whatever floats their boat ^_^ For me, just reading a book by Elle Christensen, K. Bromberg, or other equally steamy novel, can help me start getting into it.

You also have a book review blog. What book are you reading now?

Yes I do! Right now I’m reading The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux. It’s a pretty light-hearted romance about a famous actor and a small-town caterer. I grew up reading Jude Deveraux so I loved trying out one of her new books. I don’t keep up as much with the review blog as I should, but I do post when I can.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, what is your Hogwarts house and why?

Well, if I had a choice it would be Gryffindor. They just always seem like they’re having so much fun, and I love a bit of adventure 🙂

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m obviously a big reader. I also spend a lot of my time at church (and write romance? *gasp*), play with my kids, hang out with friends, you know…the usual stuff. I don’t do anything special. Oh, I also love to sing. Like…if you ask me to go to a karaoke bar, I’m all for it! haha.

Where can we find you on social media?


HRSavage_LostinVengeanceLOST IN VENGEANCE (find it on Amazon here)

Bloodcurdling screams haunt her memories…

Shifter Catrina Macintyre roamed the wilderness of Alaska as a lone wolf for six years. Imprisoned in her wolf form by a promise to her mother, she seeks the opportunity to discover the truth about her parents’ murders. When an Alpha saves her and takes her to his pack, she has to decide whether he will aide her…or destroy her.

Killian Stone is the Alpha of Wolf Creek, determined to save what the Shifter race is quick to dismiss or kill: lone-Shifters. After years of disappointment, finding Cat was a relief. That is until the intriguing and challenging she-wolf reveals that her past could put his pack in danger.

Their undeniable attraction toward each other threatens to collapse Cat’s defensive walls. She’s torn between the hope of a future, and the lingering pain of her past. The truth may be more than either of them anticipated, threatening not only Cat, but the whole Shifter race.

Will Killian convince Cat to abandon her quest for vengeance before it destroys them all?

Find Lost in Vengeance on Amazon here, or through the publisher here.

[Tweet theme=”basic-border”]#WriterWednesday – Debut author @AuthorHRSavage talks about her new release, Lost In Vengeance, on the #blog: http://tinyurl.com/ztgwa7j[/Tweet]

Author H.R. Savage (Heather) started reading romance at an age that made her father cringe as she tried to hide the cover behind her hands. She technically finished writing her first book in Junior High, where it mysteriously disappeared in a reformatting incident. Due to the encouragement of her English teachers at her small town school in La Verne, California, she never lost her love for the art. Now a woman who swears by the power of coffee, Chinese food, and wine (not necessarily in that order), she decided it was time to create stories from the characters in her head.

When Heather isn’t writing, outlining, or pinning pictures of hot ‘character inspirations’ on Pinterest™, she is spending time with her two beautiful children, handsome husband, and dramatically energetic Australian shepherd at their home in San Bernardino, CA.

Do you have any other questions for HR? Leave them below. If you would like to be featured on Writer Wednesday, send me an email at cassidytaylorauthor@gmail.com.

Until Friday! <3 Cassidy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.