Friday, July 29, 2011

Welcome Heidi Champa

Welcome the lovely and talented Heidi Champa to Dawn's Reading Nook. I haven't read any of her books but after reading the sneak peek excerpt here, I plan to remedy that immediately. :) Now onto the show....

Why don't you start us off by telling us how you discovered/decided you wanted to become a writer?

-I’ve been writing for a long time, just for fun and to express my thoughts. When I was in college, I did my internship at a music magazine and got the taste for writing for deadlines and getting published. I did a bunch of other jobs before finding myself drawn back to writing years later. I sent out a few erotica stories in 2007, and they got accepted! After that, I was hooked. It all sort of snowballed from there. I was drawn to M/M romance, so I decided to give it a shot. And, here I am!

Do you have a favorite TV show you can't miss?

-‘Wilfred’ and ‘Archer’ are at the top of the list right now. And, there is an Australian show called ‘Rake’ that I just started watching. It’s amazing!!

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

-I’d say it is a combination of both. Some stories seem to require more research, and therefore I usually spend more time outlining and drafting. Other stories just seem to flow, and are much more spontaneous.

So what is your latest or upcoming book about? Give us all the details behind this masterpiece.

-All Expenses Paid is about a guy named Davis Harper who’s life isn’t going well at all. He enters a contest to win a trip to Australia, and by some chance, he ends up winning. Instead of fixing things for Davis, he ends up going on the romantic trip alone. Then, he meets tour guide Judd and things start to look up for Davis. It is a love story in a beautiful setting and I’m very proud of it.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
-I started writing erotica first before I got into more romance themed books, so writing love scenes is usually one of my favorite parts! Some are more explicit than others, but I enjoy the interplay between characters at their most intimate. I try to give the readers a real glimpse into the chemistry between characters, and it’s always a challenge to keep things new and fresh.
Could you tell us about any work-in-progress, current projects, what we can expect from you in the future?

-I’ve got several things in the works, including several more novellas that should be out within the year. One has a western setting that should be finished very soon. Then after that, there is a transformation story wrapped in a love story that I think a lot of people will be able to relate to. Now I just have to finish them!

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be?

-I’ve never actually thought about that before. Good questions. I’d have to say the title would be, Heidi Champa: The Gift of Sarcasm. It is my most recognizable feature, most people would say.

Have you ever found that you didn’t like your Hero or your Heroine? If so, what did you do to change that?

-I wouldn’t go so far as to say I didn’t like them, but I may not like everything that they do. People in real life make bad choices and do silly or stupid things, and my characters are no different. As long as my characters ring true to me, I like them enough to keep writing about them. Perfect characters are boring. The bad boys are usually more fun!

Do you have any weird writing habits?

-I’m not sure if they are weird or not, but I like a little background noise when I write. TV or music, it doesn’t matter. Silence just doesn’t work for me. I need a full glass of iced tea in front of me at all times too. And, I sit with my legs crossed, which sometimes results in pins and needles if I’m really in the groove, but it’s how I’m most comfortable.

What do you do to unwind and relax?  

-I like to hike, read and spend time with my husband.
Is there a genre you haven’t done that you would like to explore in the future?
-I’ve never written anything supernatural, and I’d love to give it a try. Not only because it is so popular, but it seems like such fun to create a whole new world for the characters to inhabit. Anything goes, which I like!

What book that you've written so far is your favorite or the most meaningful? Why?
-I’d have to say All Expenses Paid would have to be my favorite. I’m in love with Australia and that’s where I set the book. As I was writing the main characters, one of whom is visiting Australia for the first time, I got to see the country through new eyes. Writing this book was a joy on every level.
What is your favorite candy bar?
-Plain M&M’s
When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
-I need more sleep!!
What is your favorite pizza?

-Classic Margarita Pizza from Darling Pizza in Sydney, Australia. Preferably eaten by the harbor on a warm evening and in good company.

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

-I love Jean Thompson, David Sedaris, Emily Maguire and Shayla Black.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

-I would start with All Expenses Paid and then move on to White Out and once the new ones come out, they can pick them up too!

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

-Just to stay tuned. There’s plenty more to come!

Sneak peek into All Expenses Paid
Available at Amber Allure

Davis Harper's life isn't going according to plan. He hates his job and his boss. And, to make matters worse, his long-term relationship with his boyfriend, George, isn't what it used to be. One day, desperate for something to change, he enters a contest to win a three-week trip to Australia, all expenses paid. Despite the impossible odds of winning, Davis feels hopeful for the first time in months.
Actually winning the trip was the last thing Davis ever expected, but when the phone call from Down Under comes with the good news, not everyone is so thrilled. Not willing to pass up a golden opportunity, Davis leaves behind George and his lousy job, intent on getting on with his life and having fun for a change.
And he certainly doesn't plan on falling in love...until he meets Judd...


...When I arrived at the dimly lit pool, it looked like someone had the same idea I did. When he popped out of the water, I noticed who it was. As he pulled his wet body up the ladder, I spotted a familiar bright blue pair of board shorts.

"Hey, Davis, how ya going?"

"Fine. How's the water?"


It was Judd, looking delicious in the hotel's version of a tropical paradise. I threw my towel down on a lounge chair and walked to the water's edge. Without thinking, I jumped in the water, staying under in the silence for a moment before surfacing. Judd had moved to sit on the concrete lip of the pool, his feet dangling in the water.  

"I really shouldn't be doing this, Judd."

"What, swimming? Why not?"

"I just finished eating about fifteen minutes ago."  

He threw his head back in laughter, clearly expecting me to say something else.
"Well, I'll tell you what, if you start to cramp up, I can help. I'm a trained lifesaver."
"That's good to know. So far, I feel fine. I'll let you know if I need help."  

Judd slipped from his perch, swimming quickly under the water until he popped up right in front of me. He shook his head, water droplets hitting me in the face before he spoke.  
"Please do."  

I stopped floating, letting my feet touch the bottom, while keeping my eyes on Judd. The electricity I'd felt before with him was back, crackling in the few inches that separated us. Judd reached out toward me, sweeping a piece of hair off my forehead with the tip of his finger. It made my cock stir in my swim trunks, the touch so simple yet so intense. I felt the warmth of a flush creeping into my cheeks, my whole body heating up. It was overwhelming, and my first instinct was to flee.  

"I think maybe I should go Judd."

"But you just got here. I'm the one who should go. My hands have turned to prunes."  
He held up his hand; the moisture had made his fingertips wrinkly. I felt the water move around me as he inched closer. My breathing got heavy. I couldn't speak, so Judd kept going.  

"You don't really want to leave, do you, Davis?"

"No, but I'm afraid if I don't, I'll do something stupid again, like I did the other night in Sydney. You must've thought I was a real idiot."  

He moved closer still, and now my heart was going fast enough to explode.  

"Davis, I walked away that night because I don't fool around with guys who have boyfriends. But that's the only reason."

"Oh. Good to know."

"So, you see, now I know the truth, you're free to be as stupid as you want."

"Luckily, that kind of thing comes naturally to me."

"So I've noticed."  

He smiled, putting his hands on my hips, the inches between us gone in a second. This time, Judd leaned in, and I didn't move away. When his lips touched mine, I clutched his shoulders, my mind completely scrambled. Judd moved a hand up my back until his fingers were twined in my hair. When his tongue moved into my mouth, I felt my knees go a bit weak. I hadn't kissed anyone but George in years. It felt foreign, but amazing. I thought I'd never experience the rush of a first kiss again. Thank God, I was wrong. This was what I had wanted to do from the first time I'd seen Judd. Now that it was happening, I was a bit panicked. It just felt too damn good...


Dawn Roberto said...

Welcome Heidi to the blog. I hope you have a wonderful time and thanks for being my guest today.

Heidi Champa said...

Thanks for having me!!

Guest Author Day with Kelli A. Wilkins

Romance Rewind - Loving a Wild Stranger By Kelli A. Wilkins Hi everyone, Believe it or not, it’s been a y...