Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stolen Moments & Short Affairs: Welcome Guest Author Heather Long

Cheeky Reads welcomes Author Heather Long to the blog today! I met Heather on Twitter and then had the pleasure of reading her novella Remembering Ashby. I'll be reviewing it here soon, but the gist is that it's a beautifully told story and I highly recommend it!

Heather has a new book releasing soon titled Prime Evil, but in the meantime she is offering a FREE download of a short story titled It Happens that's a great introduction to her heroine Chance Monroe. I had fun with this introduction to Chance and now I can't wait to read Prime Evil! If you love earth witch stories you will really want to check these out!
In addition to writing wonderful novellas and short stories, Heather has a fantastic blog called The Daily Dose, which talks daily about Fantasy and Romance. Heather's blog posts are always interesting and entertaining so you should be sure to stop by!
Without further ado, welcome Heather!
Stolen Moments and Short Affairs
I have a confession to make; I love to indulge in short affairs rather frequently. That doesn’t mean I am opposed to longer term relationships, but those short affairs, one night stands, afternoon quickies, those short, brief passionate moments stolen away from everyone and everything else. Yes, I have a problem and that problem is the short story.

Passion for Short Stories
My passion for short stories began as a child. My grandmother used to read to me from her Harlequin romance novels because she didn’t like to read children’s books. I loved the stories, particularly when they were funny or adventurous. When I was five, she gave me a book of Aesop’s Fables. I devoured it. You know Aesop’s Fables right? The Boy Who Cried Wolf? The Dog in the Manger? The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs? The Tortoise and the Hare?

Of course those classics captured my imagination. Short, pithy stories filled with entertainment and a moral. Those were soon followed by books on Greek mythology and collections of tales from mythology with everything from Zeus becoming a Bull to the tales of Hercules. It wasn’t long before I was seeing Encyclopedia Brown and the Two Minute Mysteries.

Is it any wonder that I reached for Cats Fantastic? Horse Fantastic? Villains Victorious? And so many more that drew me in and I couldn’t help but read? I used to think the attraction was the swift read of short story books. I could satisfy my fiction needs in fast, furious bursts of goodness, but not get so sucked into a novel.

The Star
The best short story I ever read was called The Star by Arthur C. Clarke. In the story, deep space explorers are on their way home from a far away star system. During their journey, they found the archaeological remains of an advanced civilization that was ended when their star went super nova. The mission’s lead astrophysicist is deeply troubled by something from their journey. Throughout the story, we learn different things about the destroyed culture.

The planet and its people seemed very Earth-like in nature. The people knew well in advance that their star would explode. They didn’t have the interstellar capabilities to save themselves so they built a large time capsule on a planet with a distant orbit, where it would be safe from the supernova. They stored complete records of their culture, their society, achievements and everything they could to keep the memory of their exceptionally peaceful and advanced civilization alive in memory.

All of the explorers were deeply moved by the vault, especially the Jesuit priest. At the very end of the story, the Jesuit reveals what he has figured out. The exact Earth year that light from the supernova would have reached Earth equates with the year that Christ was born. That civilization was destroyed so that the wise men would know to journey to the Christ child. To this day, that story gives me total chills.

Writing, Reading, Loving Short Fiction
This love affair with short fiction continued into adulthood. While I was not necessarily a fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer book series, I adored the Tales of the Slayers, the short fiction collection books. I love short fiction because you get to meet lots of different writers. More recently, I’ve read short story collections like Mean Streets, Suite 606, Strange Brew and so many more than I can name.

As a writer myself, I appreciate the opportunities that short fiction provides to readers. Remembering Ashby is a novella, a short novel just under 30,000 words. I wrote two short stories, one that follows up RA called Forget to Remember and another called It Happens. The first is a follow-up to RA while the second introduces a new series that will be coming out this fall from Sapphire Blue Publishing.
Short stories can give you a window of opportunity into the body of an author’s work. I discovered Jim Butcher in a short story, I discovered Tom Sniegoski in a short story. I discovered Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, J.D. Robb, Simon R, Green, Rachel Caine, Patricia Briggs, Christopher Golden and so many more.

The list of authors could go on and on and on. I’ve gotten letters recently from a handful of people who found my short story on All Romance eBooks and others who found the short story on my website. They wrote to let me know they enjoyed the short stories so much; they wanted to see what else I wrote.

So the circle is complete. I read short stories because I love those moments, the swift introductions and thoroughly passionate affairs that can leave you breathless and longing for more. I love those short stories the best, I can’t wait for the next.

What is your favorite short story?


  1. Thanks for being with us today Heather!

    I adore novellas and short stories and love sharing them with others.

    I too discovered Kim Harrison through an anthology of shorts and she is now on my auto-buy list!

    In my younger years I loved Stephen King short stories - The Mist is my all time fav. Awesome short story that to this day is perfection to me.

    Lately, I've enjoyed Remembering Ashby (yeah Heather!) and also Tessa Dare's Legend of the Werestag. Great stories!

  2. Nice post Heather! I have found short stories a lovely addition to my general reading. I am definitely going to check out The Star!

  3. Thanks for having me Sabrina! I had a lot of fun writing about my passion for short stories and fast reads!

    And definitely check it out Mandi, The Star gave me chills the first time I read it and every time since. I even got chills writing about it last night.

  4. Hi Sabrina!

    My favorite short is one of Vickie Taylor's from Demon's Delight - The Angel and The Hellraiser. Sooo Good! Of course, I haven't read Jocelynn Drake's short in Unbound yet. Kim Harrison writes excellent shorts as well.



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