Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a ‘newbie’ in the world of publishing. It’s wonderful to have you here today, Heather.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I spent too many years in the finance industry. Most aspects were enjoyable. I loved working with clients, having a really good chat. I enjoyed helping them, giving advice that helped them. I hated the bureaucracy. Sell, sell, sell, more, more, more so the top execs can put more millions in their greedy stuffed personal pockets. I stepped back from full time 7 years ago and went casual. Great move until the bank did something really stupid. I resigned and decided to concentrate on my writing.
During my spare time if that’s what you call it, I am involved in our curling club, teaching (managing the league for our youth) and playing the sport I love 2 to 3 times a week during the winter months. I’ve become involved with a charity called the Healing Cycle. Hospice Palliative Care.
3 Years ago I lost my best friend to cancer. Breast cancer, liver cancer and a brain tumor. She took advantage of our local hospice and raved about it. Patti would go for a radiation or chemo treatment, but when we talked, she never complained and her face brightened like a light bulb as she talked about Palliative Care.
Patti inspired me and I admire her strength to this day. If I find success with my second career as a writer, the Healing Cycle will benefit, in memory of Patti. Love you and miss you terribly, my friend.
I want this care available to others.
Since you are getting ready to debut your first novel, things must be pretty exciting right about now! When is your big day?
Natasha’s Dream launches on Friday June 21st and I’ll be spending Sunday June 23rd assisting this organization in their biggest fundraiser of the year. Busy weekend!
And it’s only going to get busier. Take my word for it.
Here is an excerpt from Natasha’s Dream:
“After seeing you by the river yesterday, I had hoped for the opportunity to speak with you. So, I made alternate arrangements for my sister, and she remained at home.”
Natasha’s face flushed, realizing she’d been seen.
“I am terribly sorry. I have embarrassed you again.”
Natasha folded her hands and placed them on her lap as she fought to regain her composure.
“You have me intrigued. You must tell me about your experiences at school.”
Stewart smiled and began to speak. To Natasha’s delight, she found herself enthralled by the sound of his voice and captivated as his eyes sparkled. He was witty and blunt. Natasha chuckled as she listened to his stories, a refreshing change from the conversations with her parents and brothers, or even Nanny. Unable to recall a more enjoyable time, she laughed to the point of tears, breathless and almost embarrassed by some of his comments. Not only was Stewart handsome, he was intelligent. As he spoke of yet another event at school, her stomach rumbled. There was no question, it was a loud rumble. Embarrassed, she giggled.
“Dear, oh dear, indeed,” he responded, raising an eyebrow.
“Obviously I’ve lost track of the hour. I must return home this minute.”
“Will I see you tomorrow?” he asked in a serious tone. “We could meet here.”
“I shall try.”
“I shall look forward to it.”
Natasha stood and walked toward her home. Once she was certain Stewart could not see her, she began to jog, frantic Nanny might have missed her.
That night, after Nanny reviewed her assignments, Natasha removed her personal notebook from her wardrobe. After writing the date below the previous entry, she began:
I met a handsome, intelligent man today with remarkable blue eyes…
Book cover – don’t I wish – Not yet, but coming soon!
I feel like an expecting mom, eagerly waiting to see my baby
I love the excerpt, Heather. Tell me, how long have you been writing? Natasha’s Dream is my first attempt at writing. I began it ten years ago, after my husband suggested I put my imagination and dreams on paper.
What made you finally decide to get serious about it? The concept of writing a novel is still surreal. For the first few months I would open the page on my computer, type a few lines or paragraphs and leave it. I would go back a day or two later, read what I wrote, turn my nose up and delete it. In my naive mind, I assumed you wrote a book from start to finish. Nope. Not me anyway. With my husband’s suggestion, I wrote sections that inspired me at the time and went back and edited them fifty million times. Eventually, years later, it came together. For a person that lacks patience, I have a lot of patience with my work, trying to make it right. That’s exactly the way I began. I finally realized there is no set way to write. It’s just whatever works for you.
Describe what you consider your ideal writing conditions. Ideal writing conditions! Jazz playing in the background. Hubby on the next level, doing his thing, or beside me, quietly reading, dog curled up beside me having a nap. I love talk radio, big fan of CBC but I can’t listen and concentrate on my work. I love to listen to music appropriate to the scene I’m trying to write. It seems to inspire me.
Describe your rituals for preparing to write. I can’t say I have rituals. I write when I’m inspired for a scene. I’ll be walking the dog or doing yard work and think, oh, this should happen. Then I think and rethink the scene, think about it and decide, ‘it would be better if… and I’ll rewrite it. Now wonder it took me 10 years to write the series!
How often do you write? Daily – There are very few days I don’t write at all. I’m a bit addicted to the computer. My husband will question the term ‘A Bit’. Is there a group out there for computer addicts? We went on a European tour a couple of years ago. We were incredibly busy, but I still missed my computer. Same here – I try to plan certain days during the week to make myself stay off the computer and give my brain a rest.
I do an outline just to get the idea of the way I want the story to progress and to keep me from getting lost. What about you? Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both? I always thought I was both but…maybe not.
Describe one of your favorite characters and tell us who you patterned them after and why. In Natasha’s Dream, I didn’t pattern characters after anyone in particular. Inspired from one of my dreams, my imagination gave me the outline and my characters had to ‘fit it’. The plot dictated the personality if that makes any sense. In the third book of the series, Natasha’s Hope, I bring in a character I have some fun with. Someone extreme.
Where do you go for inspiration? Life inspires. Conversations inspire. Put that together with something I’ve heard on the radio, a television program I’ve watched and something that happened to me 10 or 20 years ago…who knows.
Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you. That’s tough. I can’t name a single author who I follow, who I can say I’ve read every novel they have written. I enjoy books that make me think or bring a tear or two to my eye. Inspire – that is so personal – what is the author’s ultimate goal? To become rich? To change the way you think about things? Who knows? It’s interesting. Take the author of ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ (I haven’t read it) She had made a mint and is well known, but you don’t hear positive feedback about her book. Not well written. She is successful. I’ve heard her being interviewed on the radio and I enjoy them. If her goal was to become rich and famous, I’m proud of her. She achieved success. If her goal was to become known as a phenomenal writer, not so much. I’m inspired by people who accomplish a goal. If that person is able to make the world a slightly better place and do something good, you have my attention. JK Rowling inspires me. Rags to riches – Good for her. I get a warm sensation in my heart. She got kids reading, eager for the next book in the series. Bonus points. What a role model for her kids.
Tell us a little something about your current WIP. I do have another novel underway but it is still on the write, think, rewrite, edit, ponder, rewrite…stage. Having written a saga, it will be a year before all four novels are published.
Natasha’s Dream launches in a week, June 21
Natasha’s Diary launches in December 2013
Natasha’s Hope launches in March 2014
Natasha’s Legacy – my priority – to get it submitted
I have at least year to play with my next book. No need to rush.
Question for you and your followers:
Do you read one genre or are you interesting in reading almost anything? Right now I seem to be drawn to young adult. Hunger Games, The Scourge, Divergent. I love science fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal, historical, romance, action, but I will read anything, as long as it’s good and holds my attention.
Is there a particular genre you won’t read and why? There’s some I like better than others, but no. I’m not a fan of nonfiction, usually.
If your favourite author stepped outside the box and wrote something you normally avoid, would be willing to pick it up and read it? Sure I would. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I love min discussions within a blog! I do too. This was fun!
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy links -http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php
and all the regular places
Thanks for coming, Heather. I enjoyed having you today. Come again!