Catching up with Lorraine Heath

(August 30, 1997)

I first met Lorraine Heath a couple of years ago at a local book-signing. She had just had Parting Gifts published, and I was one just a handful of readers to show up in support.

What a difference a couple of years can make! Since that time, Lorraine has had published Always to Remember, for which she won the 1996 RITA for Best Short Historical, and, more recently, Texas Destiny, which has been receiving accolades from readers and reviewers.

I interviewed Lorraine last year after having reviewed Always to Remember (I gave it 4 hearts) for The Romance Reader, and you can now read that article by clicking here. But I recently caught up with her and asked her to catch me up on her writing since then.

LLB: How did it feel less than two years after that disastrous book signing to win the RITA for best short historical?

Lorraine Heath: Receiving the RITA for Always to Remember was an overwhelming and wonderful feeling, but it truly did not hit me until almost two weeks after the conference that I had actually received the RITA. I'm honored that my peers think so highly of my work . . . and I hope that they will continue to do so.

LLB: The response you are receiving for Texas Destiny has been phenomenal. When is the second book in the trilogy set to be released and can you tell me a little about it?

Lorraine Heath: The second book in the trilogy, Texas Glory, is an April 1998 release so it should be in the bookstores around the middle of March. The story takes place 5 years later. Dallas has yet to find a replacement for Amelia and his desire to have a son has turned into an obsession. He trades his land and water rights to a neighboring rancher in exchange for the man's daughter. Cordelia is extremely shy, having been a virtual prisoner in her domineering father's house, and she is totally unprepared to become the wife of a man as strong and single-minded as Dallas is. Their marriage is fraught with challenges and heartache as they both learn to reach for their dreams and glory.

LLB: Texas Destiny features what I like to call less-than-beautiful lead characters. Talk to me about writing a hero such as that in Texas Destiny.

Lorraine Heath: I have always been more intrigued by what lies beneath the surface of a person - one of the reasons I have a degree in psychology. I had read a doctor's account of how devastating some of the facial wounds were during the Civil War and how many of the men who survived committed suicide or led lives of solitude. That touched a sympathetic chord within me, and soon after that, I envisioned Houston. I enjoy giving hope where there is none . . . and reawakening dreams. When I write, I don't give a lot of thought to "how" I want to tell the story. I simply reach deep within myself and begin to write, letting the characters weave their story.

LLB: You broke rules both with Always and Texas Destiny. Do you realize you are doing that and do you plan to continue doing that, or, is that just your style of writing?

Lorraine Heath: I don't intentionally strive to break the rules and as naive as it sounds, I didn't realize I was breaking rules. The characters always come to me first - and I simply try to capture their story. The characters are very important to me and I want the readers to come to love them as I do - flaws and all.

LLB: When I interviewed you last year, you indicated you wanted to write an historical set in England, where your mother is from. Is this something you still want to do?

Lorraine Heath: I would still like to write an English historical, but I think it'll be a while before I tackle that story. I've just submitted another Texas proposal to my editor and have ideas for several more that I would like to write.

Read a full-length profile of Lorraine Heath and find links to her reviews