Thursday, June 20, 2013

Author Interview - H.B. Heinzer

Today is a special day as I have had the privalege of asking H.B. Heinzer some questions.  I hope you enjoy them and make sure to check out her website;

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I think I have been everything short of an astronaut, a cowboy and a fireman. Okay, so not that bad, but let’s just say my family and friends used to make jokes about how many different jobs I’ve had. I don’t know that I always wanted to be a writer, but I have always wanted to be creative. It wasn’t until I started writing that I felt a sense of peace.

2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It all depends on the story and how life does or doesn’t get in the way. It can take as little as a month or as long as three.

3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Typically, my stories start with a character and maybe a scene. From there, I kind of let them tell the story that’s begging to be told.

4. Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
Yes, as much as possible with two kids at home. It’s not so much what times I sit down to write as how many words I want to get out per day.

5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
When I figure that out, I’ll let you know! Seriously, it’s hard. Some days, it feels impossible. Those are the days when I have to force myself to shut down and walk away.

6. What elements do you think make a great story line? 
Chemistry between characters, whether romantic or otherwise and a good plot. I want there to be conflict, but not so much that I feel like it could be an episode of Jerry Springer.

7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Getting out of my own head. Honestly, the hardest part is staying confident in my writing and not second guessing myself.

8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
So far, I’ve written five and Blessed Fate is the third to be released. My favorite? I’m not sure I have one because there are aspects of all of them that I love to pieces.

9. Do you have a favorite character?
Do you have a favorite child? Seriously, the characters are like a piece of me and picking a favorite is nearly impossible. I will say I love Colton’s persistence and (for the most part) loyalty. I love Rain’s struggle to be authentic. I love Julia’s battle between the life she’s leading and the life she wants.

10. Where do you write?
Wherever my laptop sits. I used to write in an alcove in our house, but that was too secluded. It’s great for being left alone, but that’s not good when there’s a four year old in the house. Now, I’m typically at the dining room table or on the couch so I can work and see the life around me.

11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
I went indie because I see that it’s a great way to get your name out there. There aren’t the restraints that exist with traditional publishing, and that works for me for the time being. Does that mean I wouldn’t love to be offered a traditional deal? Of course not! But for now, this works and I can put new stories in the hands of my readers when they’re ready.

12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
Most of them haven’t read or haven’t mentioned it. I do have some cousins who popped up on my Facebook wall talking about the books or asking about future books and that made me smile. But the best had to be when my 80 year old grandmother told me she had a paperback copy of Bent but I couldn’t sign it because she had loaned it to a friend. I immediately started going through the book in my head to see how mortified I needed to be.

13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love playing in Photoshop. I like to sit and knit while watching TV at night. And I’m on social media far more than I should be.

14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Make time. Plain and simple. The biggest excuse I hear for why someone can’t write a book is they don’t have the time. If you wait until you do have the time, the book will never be written. Sometimes, that means starting out by staying up 30 minutes late or waking up 30 minutes early to get a few hundred words on the screen. From there, you can push yourself to grow. Along with that, don’t expect to write 18,000 words per day when you first start. Yes, I’ve heard of an author who does that, and while it’s a great goal for some day, it’s not possible at this point in my life.

16. What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
Again, favorite child? Seriously, this depends on my mood. I will say that Honey Red by Liz Crowe was a turning point for me in regards to what I enjoy reading. I always thought menage books were something I would never get into, but the way she writes them (both in Honey Red and the Stewart Realty series) shows the pure love between the three people. Now, I find myself looking for those more and more.
There are so many authors who inspire me to write. Honestly, look around the indie community and I could probably name 20 who inspire me at different times. It truly is a community and I’d like to think we all push one another, whether intentional or not.

17. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
Definitely! Getting a book from concept to publication is a team effort. Think of it as a movie. There’s no way that the actors could do it without everyone behind the scenes. I have two beta teams, one who reads as I finish editing chapters and another who read once the book is done. This works for me because the chapter readers catch things, tell me where I’m thin on content or where I’m dumping info, and the book readers get it all in one sitting and catch things that can’t be caught when reading small chunks. Editors are not a good idea, they’re a MUST!! Seriously, if you have to spend money for ONE thing when writing a book, let it be an editor.

18. Are you working on anything now?
Of course! I am working on the next book in the Blessed Tragedy series right now. Once that’s complete, I’m going to be taking my time to write a story that’s very close to my heart. It’s haunting me already and I hope everyone will fall in love with the four main characters as much as I have! Beyond that, there will be more books in the Back to Brooklyn series, two more in the Blessed Tragedy series and possibly a follow-up to the one that I haven’t officially announced just yet!

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