I write both psychological suspense (in my Profiler series with MIRA Books) and romantic suspense (in my Lawmen series with Harlequin Intrigue). My Profiler series features FBI Profiler Evelyn Baine, a dedicated agent who joined the Bureau because her best friend went missing when she was twelve – and Evelyn was supposed to have gone missing with her. The third book in the series, Seized, just released; in this book, Evelyn finds herself on the wrong side of a hostage situation and in the middle of an emerging terrorist threat. I also have a free short story in the series, Avenged, releasing a chapter a day. My heroine, Evelyn Baine, was called “one of the most amazing characters created in print” by Fresh Fiction. My Lawmen series features a group of best friends who join the FBI when violence tears apart their lives, and the third book in the series was recently nominated for RT Book Reviews Best Intrigue of the Year award.
I can’t help it. I LOVE to write. I always have; I suspect I always will. From the time I was very young, I knew I wanted to grow up to be a novelist. And even when I was young, I was drawn to suspense. I love creating the pieces of the puzzle, mixing them all up and sprinkling them through a novel for readers to figure out. Suspense in particular also appeals to me because it (usually) promises that at the end of the book, there will be some kind of justice (which isn’t always the case in real life). I like that promise – in my books, by the end of the story, there will be some kind of closure and the villain will get what they deserve!
I’m a plotter. With every book, I begin with that spark of an idea that I can’t let go – usually a plot twist that keeps me thinking “what if?” When I wrote the first book in my Profiler series, it was the idea of writing a profiler – a character who wouldn’t follow standard investigative methods, but would instead look at the behavioral clues left behind by the perpetrator – that started the story for me. From that spark, I write a bulleted list of plot points and character sketches for all the major characters in the story. Then, I start writing! I like to write with music and a mocha latte, and I’m a night owl, so I do a lot of my writing in the evenings. I edit some as I go (when I start each day, I begin by reading over what I wrote the day before, then I keep going), and then I do several rounds after the book is finished (including reading the whole thing aloud). Because I plot carefully before I start, I don’t tend to have major plot changes (although I do give myself room to make changes as I go if the characters want to do something other than what was planned for them!). Then, off it goes to my critique partner and beta readers, the book gets another round of edits, then it goes to my editor, and then we start again! Meanwhile, I’m already plotting my next (several!) books…
Critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. Learn more about Elizabeth and her books at www.elizabethheiter.com.