Heather Novak stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Love Me Dead series, Dearly Departed!
Where did you get the inspiration for Dearly Departed?
The initial idea behind Dearly Departed—a woman who can write letters to the dead—came to me while I was working through the grief of losing a friend after a disagreement. I wished I could write a letter to her to apologize and tell her I loved her. Then, I thought about all the cons that would come with that power. I wrote a short horror story and filed it away.
When I lost my mom a few years later, I found a letter she wrote me buried in her things and it truly felt as if she sent it when I needed it the most. I thought about the short story again but had another book series going at the time and set the idea aside.
Then, when I met Eliza in Blood Thinners, she told me she could write letters to the dead. I was so excited to finally work with this idea in a romance setting! The prologue of Dearly Departed is a nod to the original short story.
Paris’s food allergies were also inspired directly from my real life as well. (My big question is, does my garlic allergy mean I’m half vampire?) I’m thrilled and proud to have both Eliza and Paris represent something very personal to me.
This is the third book in your Love Me Dead series. Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?
The third book is definitely my hardest. The first book is the MOST fun because it’s the start of the journey. I’m collecting people and plot lines along the way. Coming back for book two feels like a family reunion.
Then, BAM, it’s time for the final book. The most intimidating. This is when I discover where the cracks are in the foundation I’ve laid (picture me standing in front of a dam, trying to plug leaks with chewing gum).
Usually my popcorn, spoonfuls of peanut butter, and tortilla chip snacking reach a whole new level as I’m trying to climb out of whatever corner I’ve inevitably backed myself into with one off-the-cuff-sentence in an earlier book. (There’s always one!!!) Then when I finally make it through, I have to say goodbye. It truly feels like a breakup.
Both your heroines are psychics. Eliza is able to communicate with the dead through letters while Paris has prophetic dreams. Which of these powers would you prefer?
My knee-jerk reaction is Eliza’s power, but each letter to the dead costs one year of life and I have no self-control. I would 100% spend all my years contacting dead people, especially if I could write to Jane Austen and get her to beta read!! Ooo, this is a great spin off idea…
So, I’m going to go with Paris’s powers. I already have a knack for my gut being right, and I’m no stranger to vivid dreams.
What was your favorite scene to write and why?
The art piece I’m giving away for book 3 depicts my favorite non-spoiler scene. Eliza and Paris are staying at Mina and Carma’s (Blood Thinners) bed and breakfast. They’re taking a bubble bath in a decadent tub, and it’s this really quiet, tender, moment. Paris is explaining to Eliza about how bubbles work.
Excerpt: I rested my head against hers as my heart drummed a joyous beat. This was my happy place. Warm bath, Paris in my arms, soft conversations. These were the moments where I felt treasured, even if I was doing the treasuring. My heart reached through my chest and wrapped around Paris’s, and my entire body relaxed. Muscles I didn’t know I had released the tension and anger they’d been clinging to for the last six months.
She scooped up a bubble on the surface and held it in her hand. “Bubbles are so cool.”
I grinned against her shoulder. “You’re about to explain how bubbles work, aren’t you?”
“Yes. I absolutely am.”
As she spoke, I sent thoughts to whoever was listening. Please let me keep her.
If you want to nab an art piece, for Dearly Departed, visit: https://forms.gle/urVbpwv2kaKaRrXv9
What are you currently reading?
As soon as release week is done, I’m going to read ALL the things.
My grandma and I read a cozy mystery series together (Miss Fortune series by Janna DeLeon) and book 23 just came out. She’s already read it twice and is giving me grief—I need to catch up!!
Then I get to dive into my Tule friends! I’m super lucky to have an ARC of The Year of Cecily by Lisa Lin. I need to finish Kelly Cain’s Everheart Brothers series, which honestly should come with a professional chef to cook for me while I read. Fortune Whelan, Mia Heintzelman, Stacey Agdern, Rebecca Crowley, and Leigh Ann Edwards are all next on my TBR. Also, the new Sarah MacLean series is burning a hole in my Kindle.
About the Author
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.
Follow her at www.HeatherNovak.Net
You can learn more about Heather’s rare disease at: HeatherNovak.net/Hypopara
I enjoyed learning more about your writing and how these books came to. But I hate to see the series end. I have enjoyed them so much.