"The Chemist who can extract from his heart's elements compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called Love..."
Heather Snow is an award winning historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab. She is forever trying to wrangle her left and right brain to work together (some days with more success than others!), but if her two sides had to duke it out, left would win every time—which can be a creative challenge. Luckily, she loves challenges…she just goes about solving them analytically.
Frequently asked questions:
Have you always wanted to be a romance author?
No. I didn’t start writing until my early thirties. But I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’ve been hooked on historical romance since the day I outgrew Nancy Drew. I considered many genres when I decided to try my hand at a novel, but in the end I decided to write romance because it is a genre that celebrates love, growth, positive emotions and happy endings, and putting more of that into a world where endings are not always so happy, putting more of that hope out there, is important work.
But you have a chemistry degree… How has that helped you as a romance author?
One of my favorite quotes is from Carl Jung, who said, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
My background in chemistry prepared me for writing romance better than you might think: There are rules to follow, and some you can break when you want to experiment. Historical romance, like science, requires careful research. Most chemical reactions require a catalyst to drive them, just like characters require motivation to drive the story forward. And finally, both chemistry and writing, if done well, involve a precise mixture of elements and careful manipulation to achieve that perfect reaction that makes you want to sigh with satisfaction...
If you could have dinner with any three romance authors, who would you choose and why?
Lisa Kleypas, definitely. I’m a huge fan of her writing, first of all. Second, listening to a talk she gave at a Romance Writers of America® conference is what pushed me over the edge into writing historical romance when I was debating about leaving behind my career to write. I’d like to thank her for that. Next, Julie Garwood—besides being an absolute favorite author of mine, she had young children and an outside job in the early days of her career—I’d love to talk with her about how she juggled it all and still created such amazing stories. Finally, Sabrina Jeffries—she’s an author on my auto-buy list and there are always one or two moments in her stories that I just stop and think “Wow…that was beautiful!”.
Why do you call your sons “The Heir and The Spare” on Twitter and Facebook?
I made the decision not to share my children’s identities in a public forum, either by name or face, but I can’t NOT talk about them! They are too adorable J.
As for why I call them The Heir and The Spare, it’s a little historical romance author humor playing on how the sons of noble families were referred to (and certainly not a reflection on how I feel about the boys, particularly the Spare!). Since only legitimate sons could inherit, aristocratic wives were expected to keep having children until she’d provided her husband with an Heir and at least one Spare, in case something happened to the eldest (to prevent the family holdings falling into the hands of distant relatives or worse, reverting to the Crown if the lord died without issue).
What of Mr. Snow? And what is this List we’ve heard rumor of?
Mr. Snow is a wonderful man. He truly is. But as for the List... Well, basically, Mr. Snow understands that if any of these men ever show up on my doorstep with a smoldering, come-hither look, I’m hithering. Just as I understand that if Salma Hayek or Reese Witherspoon ever glance my darling husband’s way, I’m history!
Gerard Butler – You had me at Phantom, but won my heart in P.S. I Love You. You can sing me to sleep anytime, be it Andrew Lloyd Webber or an Irish Lullaby…
Ben Affleck – You’re the only American to make my list…what you lack in cool accents, you make up for in sheer tall, dark, handsomeness. You briefly dropped off of the list during your J. Lo days, but I’m happy to have you back…
Come meet Mr. Snow and find out, in his own words, what it's like being a Romance Husband!
(It's never this clean. Just saying.)
Armando, the cravat-wearing armadillo and Jane, my office companions...
Erin Knightley and I as flappers at RT Booklovers Convention 2012
Me with critique partner and fellow 2010 Golden Heart finalist, Elisabeth Burke
With Jade Lee
With fellow 2010 Golden Heart finalists Erica O'Rourke, Rochelle Staab & Cat Schield
Photo © Portraits by Lucinda