Interview with Victoria Heckman/Book Review/Book Giveaway

Jan 29, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Marilyn Meredith, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn Meredith interviews Victoria Heckman, Sisters in Crime-Central Coast Chapter President, Author of the K.O.’d in…Hawaii Mystery Series, & the Ancient Hawaii Mystery Series. She also reviews one of her latest mystery novels, Kapu Sacred. Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this article!

Victoria Heckman

Marilyn: I’ve known you since a mystery conference in Texas way back when your boys were really young. And we’ve even been roommates in Alaska for another mystery con and served on panels and done booksignings together along the way. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Victoria: My local chapter of SinC sponsored a short story contest and the prize was publication.  I had never written any kind of mystery before (and had never published anything ever) and I don’t know what possessed me to try.  It was a LOT of hard work, but I won and that phone call saying I would be published was all it took.

Marilyn: Because your books are set in Hawaii, tell us how that came about.

Victoria: I am a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and had many friends in HPD.  I knew writing a novel, and perhaps a series, meant I would be *there* and with my characters for a very long time. Hawaii is the home of my heart, so setting the books there was easy to decide.

Marilyn: Tell us about the first books and what inspired them.

Victoria:I attended the Cuesta Writer’s Conference with some SinC members and since I love reading mysteries, I attended Carol Higgins Clark’s seminar on “Plotting the Mystery.” I had no intention of writing a novel (too many words!) but thought it would be fun to see how *real* writers do it. While sitting there, my first novel poured into my head and I couldn’t write fast enough to outline it. In the course of the workshop, I had the whole thing framed.  It’s the only novel I’ve ever outlined. It appears that I just needed some
instruction and guidelines, so thank you, Carol Higgins Clark. Of
course, it took five more years to write and get that novel

Marilyn: What was your path to publication?

Victoria:After the painful writing and editing period I followed traditional lines and sought an agent and large house. After many discouragements (some are pretty funny but too long for here) I
decided to seek a small house myself and found almost immediate
success. My publsher, Sandy Cummins, is out of WEE publishing of
Australia and bought it on one chapter. She is a delight to work

Marilyn: And this latest book, what was the inspiration for that?

Victoria: My newest book is Burn Out , due out in March we hope. It is somewhat autobiographical in that my husband is a fire fighter like Elizabeth’s, although my husband is retired now. Also, I have always communicated with animals and as far as I can tell, they respond. I know, weird, but true.  It is not something I ever worked at. So, Elizabeth has made a small career of talking to animals. (I have never charged for my services, I just do it for friends and family!)

Marilyn: What do you do for fun?

Victoria: I love to read and my New Year’s resolution of taking more naps has worked out nicely so far…  I also LOVE spending time with my two sons, one in college and one a junior in high school. We have so much fun with ‘mommy and me’ time.  I rarely have to ‘parent’ them and our time together is so precious–just eating or shopping or traveling is a treasure.

Marilyn: Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know about you?

Victoria: I love to talk books so if you visit me at a workshop, conference, or signing, please say hello!

Marilyn: Thank you, Victoria.

Review of Kapu Sacred

Kapu Sacred by Victoria Heckman surprised me. Though I knew before I began reading this was an historical mystery, I didn’t realize how fascinated I would be reading a story told by a basket weaver called Coconut Man in early times in Hawaii. Though a simple man with only the skill of weaving beautiful baskets, Coconut Man is an observer with the gift of noticing things others don’t. For the first time in his life he begins making friends and learns that some folks in the village are not what they seem. He puts together clues and realizes
something horrible is being planned, something that will threaten the
village and all the people who live in it.

Heckman skillfully weaves in the native culture and beliefs in a tale full of plots and mystery, along with the fury of nature, and a strong and courageous people who must battle for their lives. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story.

Learn more about Victoria and her books on her website.

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Kapu Sacred, simply email KRL at with the subject line “Kapu”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen next Saturday, February 5, 2011.

Marilyn Meredith is a Springville, CA mystery author and an ongoing contributor to our Local Literary section. Be sure to visit her website;


  1. How interesting that Marilyn mentioned meeting you at a conference in Texas. You and I met for the first time at a con in Dallas, and again at B’con in Austin. I remember both times well. I remember the fun we had on SMFS, and I remember the story of yours we published in Futures. I also remember how much I liked your first book.

    I said all that so I can say, “Thanks for the memories, my friend.”

    Best wishes for continued success.

  2. Victoria, looking forward to seeing Burn Out on the shelves soon. Also, hope to get an autographed copy of Kapu from you at LCC in Santa Fe–really sounds interesting!

    Good interview, Marilyn, love hearing about Victoria, all the activities she juggles, and her connections to Hawaii.

  3. <<<Also, I have always communicated with animals and as far as I can tell, they respond. I know, weird, but true. It is not something I ever worked at. So, Elizabeth has made a small career of talking to animals. (I have never charged for my services, I just do it for friends and family!)

    Out of all of your wonderful interview — the above is what caught my attention because I DO believe you! I really think and believe that they communicate quite well and that it takes a special person to actually "hear" what they are saying.

    And for your historical mystery — what a novel idea! I love the concept! Here's to many sales and more books for you!

  4. What a great interview! I’m a fellow member of the CC chapter of SinC, but I had no idea that Victoria had been inspired by SinC to start writing. Or that she was in that workshop with Carol Higgins Clark. I was there, too!

  5. What a wonderful interview.

    Victoria is a truly fascinating person and I am honored to have known her since the early 1980s. Her ability to capture the real nature of HPD personnel is uncanny; and for those of us who live here, make it easy to identify with the characters and scenes.

    I can’t wait to read “Burn Out”! And of course, I am eagerly awaiting her next visit to the Aloha State! I miss her.

  6. great interview and spot on. I’ve known Victoria through our Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime since the boys were little. I remember her at one meeting holding one in her lap.

  7. I wish I knew Hawaii well enough to use it as a setting. Such a beautiful state with fascinating history.

    • Thanks to all who entered! Jackie Wisherd is the winner of Kapu. Keep checking back for more mystery fun.
      Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



powered by TinyLetter