Author Q&A

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AUTHOR Q&A:

Q: WHY DO YOU WRITE? 

I'm an avid daydreamer. I spend a lot of time drifting off into some other world after asking “What if…” and because I love stories, I must find out how these daydreams end. So I write.


Q: WHAT IS YOUR WRITING ROUTINE?

Writing isn’t quite routine yet because I have five wild children. I wrote WINGBOUND while we were homeschooling. During that time, I could only write for 15 minutes intervals, interrupted by “Mom, he hit me!” “She took my ball!” etc. I’m so grateful for my husband. I finally set a writing time in the evening, he would directly traffic, and I would get a whole HOUR! 

So anyone who says they can’t find the time to write, I say it is a choice. You must negotiate for your time and always, always, always ask for help. You’d be surprised the kind of support you’ll get. If I can write a novel while homeschooling, you can too—whatever your circumstance!

In 2017, we moved to a new town and our children started public school. Now, I set aside two hours each morning (after they’ve gotten on the bus) to research, plot, sketch characters, proofread, or WRITE. It’s almost too easy now. But I feel like I fought for this life and the joy that comes with it and having my children well taken care of while I do something I love.


Q: WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS? 

I love notebooks. (Hence the bullet journaling.) A little daydream hits me and I have to write it down in my idea notebook. Sometimes it’s a story line, sometimes it’s just a question. “What if there was a floating island that circles the world? And what if the people who live on that island have wings?” When things in life get stressful (or boring), I dig up those ideas and see if I can go somewhere with them. Many stay tucked away, and others are in different levels of process. 

Then in a new notebook I start asking all sorts of “What if” Questions with the help of several book-plotting books: 

Outlining your Novel by K.M. Weiland

Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson & Peter Economy

 

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Heather's Favorite Fiction Books 
Heather's Favorite Non-Fiction Books 
Books by Heather's Author-Friends 

 

Q&A About WINGBOUND

What inspired you to finally sit down and write WINGBOUND?

I snapped a selfie after I finished
writing WINGBOUND
sitting in Starbucks.
In 2013 I wrote the first 2 chapters of WINGBOUND on a whim. It sat for two years in the dungeon of my computer before I started seriously writing the rest of the story. Every so often, the story would come back to me. I needed to know if he found her and how.

In November of 2015, I was homeschooling 5 kids and frenzied to get a moment alone because the story was coming to the surface. I had to write it. So each week night, after a full day of homeschooling, dinner making, and cleaning up after a full house, I would sit at my desk in my bedroom and just write. I was only left alone for 15 minutes at a time before the next kid had to ask a question, or needed help, or wanted me for whatever crazy reason. My darling husband then took it upon himself to field the endless pestering so that I could write. And write I did. Thanks to him.

I finished the last sentence of WINGBOUND on a trip (from Georgia) to San Francisco, sitting in a Starbucks in April 2016. I may have cheered among the preoccupied, caffeinated strangers.


Where did you come up with the world of Balfour and Ellery?

I am a daydreamer and cloud gazer. Sunsets rock my world. When the clouds and the sun were placed just right, I could see an island in the sky, floating on the breeze. Could people live on that island? Well, they would need to have wings. What if they attacked us on the ground and we had to pay tribute? We paid. And when they returned the next year the same thing happened, until one year, a winged girl flew down, so she could meet one of us on the ground. It happened to be a boy named Ledger. What would that dangerous meeting between two pre-teens look like? It would be darn cute and adventurous!


Are your characters patterned after someone you know?

I love the study of personality and use the Color Code in my personal and ministry life. I love to understand patterns of behavior, so this is where I started with choosing my characters, but as they grew and developed, I realized that I was using different behaviors and ways of speaking from certain people I know.

Angus is a lot like my husband. He’s a brute, a tank, and sometimes says weird things. “Holy straw mattress!” ~ Angus

Hollis is a combination of the wildest sisters in the world. Erin and Amber. Hollis is a wildcat and does all sorts of crazy things. They dragged me into all their crazy scheme and I often responded to them as Ledger does in the story.

The straight arrow, Tolliver, is a lot like my brother. Doing things for people’s own good, rule follower, strong leader, etc.

Lastly, the physical description of Roi du Ciel came from a random stranger sitting in Starbucks when I reached the chapter where he is first seen. I took out my phone, snapped a picture, and kept writing. I would share it here, but I don’t want to seem like a stalker. But he had GREAT eyebrows!


If you had to choose a character that’s most like you, who would it be?

Ledger is a cross between me and my son, Gabriel. (We are similar in personality, so it works.) I am the one that’s afraid of animals, and afraid of the dark. And is a total wimp. I refer to myself as a “fainting goat” because when I’m startled, I freeze and can’t think. Sorry Ledger.