Interview with Heather McCorkle, author of Honor Before Heart

Today we’re chatting with Heather McCorkle about her book Honor Before Heart  — the first in a series!

Please describe what the story is about.

When Corporal Sean MacBranian awakens after being injured in battle, he is sure the luck o’ the Irish has run out on him. Or that he’s died and gone to Heaven. There can be no other explanation for the blonde-haired, blue-eyed angel standing before him. But his “angel” is a truehearted lass named Ashlinn, and she wears a nurse’s uniform. Her tender ministrations have brought him back from the brink of death—and have given him a new reason for living.

Ashlinn knows their parting is inevitable; her handsome hero must return to the 69th infantry of the Union army, and there are no guarantees of his safe return. With most of her family already destroyed by the war ravaging America, she is sure she cannot survive another loss. Yet she feels powerless against the draw of Sean’s strong and steady heart. Neither time nor distance nor the danger of battle seems to lessen their bond. But when their secret letters are intercepted, the devoted nurse’s love will face the ultimate test . . .

Share a teaser sentence or two from your novel.

Those eyes she had wondered about were copper with sunbursts of darker brown coming out from the pupil. They fixed upon her, their pain and beauty ensnaring her so that she couldn’t move let alone look away.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?

That I’m deeply interested in Irish American history.

What was your timeline from drafting to publication?

One year.

What is your favorite part of writing (drafting characters, making up scenes, plotting, developing emotional turning points, etc). Why? 

I love the editing process. It’s where everything comes together and the diamond is pressed from the coal.

Briefly, where did the idea for your book come from?

A Dropkick Murphy’s song about the 69th infantry.

When do you do your best thinking about your work in progress?

Either in the shower or on a motorcycle ride (I’m not the one driving. That would be dangerous because I ‘see’ my ideas).

What would you like people to know about your book? 
Perhaps that I chose to center it around the all Irish (at the time) 69th brigade out of New York due to a desire to bring to light the important role the Irish played in the civil war.  

Share something people may be surprised to know about you?

I practiced tae-kwon-do for fifteen years.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

She who doesn’t give up, makes it. Keep writing.

What’s next? 

A sequel! This is the first in the Widows of the 69th series. And, readers will see a paranormal romance series from me soon as well.