Thursday, February 21, 2013

UtopYA Interview - Heather Sutherlin

WE are going to UtopYA!!  In case you've been hiding in a book for the past few months and hadn't heard, Supa Heather and I (Chele) will be in Nashville this June for the UtopYA Con!!

The Basics...

When: June 28-30, 2013
Where: Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN
UtopYA Con 2013, is a convention for female authors of paranormal stories involving romance, dystopian futures, vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and demigods,(and everything in between), and the fans who love them.

Not only will we be there hanging out but Heather will be hosting her very own panel (amazeballs right?) on Book tours, blogging etc..
So, if you can make it to Nashville you MUST come find us and say HI!!

However, we aren't the only ones who are going to be there!  Tons and Tons of authors, bloggers and fans will be there too.  

We have decided to start introducing you to some of the authors who you might run into if you can make it to the convention.  

If you can't make it please take the time to check these peeps out on Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook as these are all awesome writers of the Paranormal genre!

Today's Interview:
Heather Sutherlin

- What is the one book of yours (if you have more than one) that you would suggest a fan read before going to UtopYA?
SEEN. It isn’t what I would consider paranormal, but it was a ton of fun to write. The sequel should be available before UtopYA.

- What is your favorite paranormal element/character to read (angels, vampires, werewolves, time travel etc.)
I have a fondness for spirits and things from the spiritual realms, especially if the author drew inspiration from ancient texts like the Bible. That fascinates me. As a matter of fact, my next series will deal with a lot of those elements including demons and spiritual powers.
(But I like vampires, werewolves and time travel, too!)

- How many books do you find yourself getting to read a month?
Ugh! Zilch! Ever since I began writing full time my reading hours have disappeared. I tend to write like a maniac for months and then come up for air, desperate to read something other than my own work for a change. That’s when I catch up and read as many books as I can before the writing pulls me back to the desk.

- Do You have an Author you are dying to meet at UtopYA?
Yes. I am hoping to meet Susan Kay Quinn, but I’m not sure I can keep the freaky fan girl inside of me locked up. Susan and I have been Pinterest pals lately as I’m planning a steampunk book for later this year and she’s apparently working on a fabulous steampunk idea herself. I won’t give it away, but her Pinterest boards are stellar! *Chele is running to Pinterest now!

- Random question ALERT if you are a coffee drinker what’s your fave flavor/kind?
I LOVE coffee! Huge fan of Hazelnut lattes, but there are few coffees I won’t drink.

- Random question ALERT part 2, what's your writing snack to have on hand?
Peanut M&Ms.

- Are you going as a Panelist, an Exhibitor or just as an Author to learn more?
Just an author this year. I am soaking up all the awesomeness and then I’ll go home and pour it into my work. I hope to publish two or three more books this year after UtopYA, and I want them to knock your socks off!

- Can you give us a small excerpt from one of your books?
Sure, here’s a chapter from my latest book, Seen. (See below)

-What if we want to stalk you? Where can we do that....
Preferred stalking methods:
My website is a great place to start. There you can find all the scoop on my books and read a little about me. I also showcase a lot of fabulous indie authors with book reviews and interviews.
I chat obsessively on Facebook. Seriously, I check it every five minutes! (Pathetic, I know.) If you want to ask questions or just chat, that’s the place to find me. FaceBook Page
You can also find me on Twitter.

Excerpt from Seen by Heather Sutherlin

She led me through the gate without even a backward glance.  That was fine because it left me free to admire how she looked as I followed her down the hillside.  We made our way along a well-worn path and into the woods.  Her long hair swung back and forth just above her little derriere, and her skirt followed the rhythm.  She seemed comfortable here, and I imagined her as something like a tree nymph, dancing through the woods, luring guys like me into the darkness with a flirty smile.
It was early, but the trees were full of sound as birds and other animals chirped and rustled through the branches.  As we walked I wondered what on earth this was all about.  What could be so special that she had to show me?  Couldn’t she just tell me whatever it was?  Something like, Hey, sorry, Jaron, but I’ve been stalking your brother.  Or, I’m an alien and have been sending Rin telepathic messages for five years.  Whatever it was, I was sure she was up to something, no matter how much she said otherwise.  She clearly had some secret to tell me, and I wasn’t going to leave until I had heard or seen it all.
The path we were on looked much like any other path through a wood.  I glanced around, wondering if this was the same place that Rin always saw in his dreams of her.  She stopped a few feet in front of me.  I stopped, too, listening.  Something had changed in the air.  It took me a minute to realize that the birds had gone silent.  I felt the hairs on my arms stand up, the sensation spreading slowly up my neck.
The wind gathered slowly behind me and I felt the tension grow as it raced toward us through the trees.  The rustling grew louder as it came nearer, as though a great message were being passed from tree to tree behind us.  Soon the whole wood was singing together and still I stood, waiting.  Waiting for something, though I couldn’t guess what.
I glanced up at Ree.  She was standing perfectly still, as though frozen, in the center of the trail.  The breeze was whipping her hair away from her body, billowing behind her like a flag.   Leaves swirled around my feet as an expectant tension began to build somewhere deep within me.
That’s when I realized it.  It came crashing down on me with a force I didn’t expect.  I cursed, but the words were carried away on the wind.  I can’t quite describe how surreal it was standing there watching her.  I had seen this hundreds of times before, sketched frantically onto papers of all shapes and sizes, even books, furniture and walls.  But to be standing there, watching the figure in my brother’s paintings come to life with each fevered brushstroke of the wind... it was indescribable.
Then, suddenly, as though at one end of a vacuum, the sound and force of the gale was past, swirling down the pathway ahead of us.  The breeze had moved on, leaving the woods silent again.  A bird sang softly in the distance and was answered by another until, slowly, the normal sounds of life returned to the place where we stood silent and transfixed.
She turned to look at me and I saw the fear in her eyes.  The expression on my face must have been something similar, or perhaps more extreme.  She watched me carefully for a moment, her face growing a little more despondent with each passing minute.
“Who are you?” I asked, at last finding my voice.
She shook her head in despair.  “I wish I knew.”
I cursed again, running a hand through my hair and letting it stick there as I thought it over.  "What does it mean?"  I asked, shaking my head in confusion.
I don't know," she said, allowing a touch of frustration to reach her voice.  "I've been trying to figure it out for years."
"How long?"
"Five years.  The same as your brother."
I glanced around, comparing the scene to Rin's painting.
"Does it always happen here?" I asked.
"Not always, but more frequently."
"So, sometimes it happens somewhere else?"
She shook her head.  "No.  It's always here.  Only here."
I frowned. "You just said 'not always'.  So, which is it?"
Ree sighed in frustration.  "It only happens here, but it doesn't happen every time I come here," she explained.
"Okay, so..." I glanced around again, spinning in a slow circle as I tried to take in every detail.  "So what is making it happen?"
"I told you, I don't know,” she groaned.  “All I know is that when I come down here sometimes on my way to the rocks, I feel... well,... That!”  She gestured upward, as though trying to point to the wind.
“That magic,” she said, “or … whatever it is."
"Well, what would you call it, genius?"
I ruffled my hair with one hand and then shrugged.  "I don't know, but magic seems a bit of a stretch, don't you think?"
She closed her eyes and sighed.  I think I was starting to get on her nerves because she sure looked like she was counting silently to ten or maybe chanting a mantra or something.  I tried not to laugh.
“Your brother has been seeing me in this wood for five years without ever being here,” she said calmly, looking up at me now.  “Didn’t you just move here?  Where did you come from?”
I stared at the ground for a moment, kicking a rock with the toe of my boot.  “Texas,” I finally admitted.
“Okay,” she said nodding, “See, I knew it.  He’s been seeing me from Texas!  Hundreds of miles away.  For five years!  You don’t call that magic?!”
I looked up into her angry brown eyes and tried hard to focus on the conversation at hand instead of how pretty she was or how intimate it was to be here in the woods with her alone.  I thought of that leaf stuck in her hair yesterday, the dirt smudged on her jeans, and wondered if there had been a boyfriend who had helped her get dirty.
“Where does this trail lead?” I asked, giving myself a mental shake.  If it was magic, it had to be coming from somewhere.
She sighed and pointed ahead of us.  “It ends at the rocks.”
“They’re these giant slabs of granite that stick out of the ground at the back of the wood.”
“Show me,” I said.
It was a five minute walk, but it seemed much longer as my thoughts kept drifting to the girl who walked beside me through the dark wood.  I wondered if she had a boyfriend, what kind of guy she dated, where she planned to go to college.  I wondered if she’d go out with me when this was over.  Maybe the summer wouldn’t be so boring after all.  I still had two months before I had to report to school for football practice.  Yesterday it had seemed like two months would be an eternity, but now it seemed all too short.
The birds were singing their early morning songs again, and the earth was quiet and damp beneath our feet.  Moss clung to the few stones we could see peeping up from the deep piles of leaves along the edge of the path, and tiny streams of water trickled down from hidden springs along the hillside to our left.  I could hear what sounded like a creek rushing over rocks to my right, but it was hidden at the bottom of the hill through a thick covering of green trees and shrubs.  As the path narrowed, I tried not to bump into Ree, but our arms kept touching, sending little electric shocks through me that I knew weren’t from static.
As we reached the stones, I was awed by how large they were.  Twice as long as I was, they jutted out from the ground at angles that had their ends meeting high above the ground at a point, so that they resembled a giant stone triangle.  They were almost seven feet tall, so that there was room for me to walk underneath.

Ree stopped just in front of them and smiled.  I watched this with curiosity, but then began to pace around the stones, inspecting each one as though looking for its weakness.  “They’re granite,” I said.

She rolled her eyes at this statement of the obvious.  Crossing her arms in front of her chest, she waited for me to finish my inspection.

I turned and looked into the forest behind the stones.
“Why does the trail stop here?” I asked.
She shrugged.  “I don’t know.  It was like that when we moved in, I think.”
“You never go past here?”
“No, not since I was little,” she admitted.  “This is my favorite spot, so I come here several times a week to read or do homework.  That’s why the trail is so worn.  But there isn’t much beyond here, so there’s really no need...”
She stopped, frowning, as I raised a hand for silence.  That’s when I heard it.  The wind.  I looked backward, up the path the way we had come and could see the leaves beginning to swirl in the distance.  My eyes grew wide as the hair on my arms began to stand on end.  Then, the strangest thing happened.  The stones began to hum.
It freaked me out, I gotta admit, and Ree must have felt the same way, because we both took a few quick steps away from the stones.  The wind was rushing toward us now, a giant roar of sound, much louder than before.  I felt it rush past me.  It pulled at Ree’s hair and clothes, and she looked up at me in surprise.  Her eyes widened as she noticed that the wind was not having the same effect on me that it had on her.  My clothes hung flat, my hair unruffled by the gale.  Still, I was more than a little worried at how forceful it seemed this time. It seemed to be pushing her, threatening to pull her to her knees.
I watched her struggle against it, trying to decide how to help, but then the humming grew louder, and it seemed that the stones were vibrating.  As I watched, they began to turn bluer, and then the space between them seemed blue too.  The roar of the wind and the humming of the stones reached a crescendo just as a shape began to form in the center of the stone arch.  I blinked in surprise as a man stepped forward, one hand outstretched, the other holding what looked like a very tall wooden stick.
I could see that Ree tried to back away from him, but she couldn’t.  She seem pressed in from all sides, as though the wind were forcing her toward the stones.
“Welcome, Wanderer,” said the man in a deep voice, though I have no idea how I could hear him with the constant roar that surrounded me.
“Is the Watcher with you?” he asked Ree.
“The watcher?” I asked.
The man frowned, still looking at Ree as though I weren’t there at all.
“You must go and bring the Watcher with you to the portal stones.  You shall not pass without him.”

There you have it! A new author to read and stalk friends!
Make sure you keep coming back to visit us as you never know when we will be
adding another interview!


  1. Thanks for quizzing me, girls! I can't wait to meet all these fabulous authors at UtopYA this summer. See you there!!!

  2. Congrats to Heather for the hosting gig! That's quite an honor. U deserve it! I would LOVE to be there, sadly I cant. I am doing BEA13, but this sounds freaking amaziiiiiing. Beyond amazing. Plus you'll be in Nashville? That city ROCKS. It doesn't matter if you are into country or not, Nashville is epic. There are so many cute boys and girls there too! If you're single and ready to mingle watch out baby! lolz..
    Thank you for the author showcases too. I love to find out about new authors and books in this genre.
    Always a pleasure to visit, have a great day gals <3


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