We don’t have nearly enough interviews on this blog. Legit.
Since childhood, I have a habit of talking to myself. It’s true. Sometimes I’m in need of expert opinion. Sometimes I just like, you know, writing my novels out loud. Facial expressions and dramatic hand flailing and all.
I’m aware I’m rare.
This weekend I’ve been sitting around, writing and trying to be as glamorous as a person can be in velour butterfly pants and a black sweatshirt (Warrior Salute, baby) can be, and trying to figure out marketing. Marketing, ugh, I’m so bad at it so far. This is why I’m not in sales anymore: I’m bad at working my hustle. I have no clue where to start, what to spend money on, who to bug, etc. etc. This should not be rocket science.
Annnnnnd yet here we are. I’m interviewing myself.
But hey, I’m a pretty big authority on myself and also happen to be my biggest fan! I’ve read all my books. And I’ve seen myself naked. So, yeah, you know. Epic.
- Tell us about yourself!
I’m Heather, a writer from Western Pennsylvania who started out writing historical fiction and is now obsessed with writing paranormal romance/suspense. I’m in my “dirty thirties” which was initially horrifying, but somewhere along the way I’ve proverbially found myself. I didn’t go out looking for myself, but on the way, I’ve discovered this person that I am (wife, mother, professional, writer, free spirit) is pretty cool. I’m happy with who I am and enjoy what I do. I’m obsessed with One Direction (Harry Styles, I’m looking at you), getting tattoos, traveling to warm locations, and running/working out. I’m also anxious, medicated, and weird. Weird is good.
- How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’m pretty intensely in love with history. When I finally sat down and got serious with writing, the first novel I cranked out was historical fiction. I volunteered with an archaeological dig for a hot minute in 2004 and this eventually morphed into my Lazarus Society series: a female archaeologist who can hear the dead. Now I’m addicted to paranormal and it’s edging out historical in my “work in progress” pile.
- What kind of things influence/inspire you as an author, either growing up, as an adult, or both?
I’ve always been inspired by movies and music in a minor key. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by my favorite movies (Ghostbusters, The Last Unicorn, The Dark Crystal, The Hugga Bunch, Beetlejuice, Return to Oz, The Great Muppet Caper) which, I realize, when viewed in a sentence looks a little odd. But, a lot of these have dark undertones to them. My writing tends to be darker in nature. I’m not fan of entirely happy endings. I’m a perky, happy flower child most of the time, but the other part of me is dark, dressed in black, and very emo.
As an adult, I’m influenced by the same movies and I still prefer music in a minor key (or BOY BANDS!!!). I like stories of the unexplained, of ghosts, and of mysterious–or forgotten–things. Hidden diaries, rings that need taken back to Mordor, Harry Potter verses Voldemort, mysterious disappearances, stolen blue police boxes. All the biggies.
- What kind of challenges did you have getting your first book published?
I ran into every challenge trying to get my book published. Query letter after query letter and massive bouts of rejection and self doubt. It’s constant expectation and rejection and then “I’m never going to write again.” And then, finally, there’s that sweet moment of acceptance! And then, you write a book and start the horrible process all over.
Luckily, it’s a lot like giving birth: it’s fun making the book, it’s painful and horrible trying to get it publish, and then once you actually get it published, you forget how painful the process was and start your next book.
- How do you market your books?
Poorly. Haha, but seriously. I blog at The Rambling Jour, I use Twitter and my Facebook pages, and I have a very crappy newsletter that no one reads. It’s a work in progress.
- Who are the top three actors you’d cast in the movie version of your books? Actresses?
Tom Hiddleston is my pick for James in Since April, Matthew Lewis as Mike in With Me Now, and Evan Peters as John Dorsey in Anything You Ask of Me. As for actresses, Jessica Chastain as Ava in Since April, Anna Kendrick as Madison in With Me Now, and Lady Gaga as Elizabeth in Anything You Ask of Me. Yeah. I went there. But she’s fantastic.
- Do you have any books you’ve written and love, but haven’t been able to publish yet?
Since April was the hardest book I’ve ever written. I couldn’t write for several months after I finished it because it left me in this dark, unhappy place. I love that book so, so much though! It’s with my agent now, working the rounds, so crossing my fingers for good news in the long run.
- What is the toughest criticism you have received as an author?
I had an agent (not my agent, but one I’d submitted to) tell me that the main character in Since April wasn’t trustworthy enough to be the narrator of the story. The worst, however, was when a critique partner said no one could ever love the wounded, shell shocked, WWII male character because he was “a monster” and no one could ever be attracted to a man who’d lost his legs in battle.
- What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never stop. Never stop writing, never stop believing in your work, and never stop believing in what you can do.
- Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans/readers?
Keep reading! There’s so much more to come!
- What writing projects are you working on?
Right now, my main two projects are the sequel to With Me Now and the co-writing project I have with Rebecca Hamilton. There’s also about three others on deck after those are finished. And countless others ready to be in the mix…
Ahhh, yeah. That was a good time. I’m pretty stoked I showed up.
And now: wine.