Friday, November 05, 2010

New Author Interview: Tamara Hart Heiner

Recently I interviewed debut novelist Tamara Hart Heiner, whose novel, Perilous, will be out with WiDo on November 16.

Good news for e-book readers: the electronic version is already out. (You can buy Perilous on Amazon HERE.)

I haven't read Perilous (although I must say the title rocks), but since I always find talking with new writers fascinating, I thought it would be fun to talk to her about publishing and writing.

Here's our interview.

AL: How long have you been writing and how did you get started? (When did the bug bite you?)

THH: This is a really difficult question for me, so I'll give you the simple answer. I wrote the first draft of Perilous when I was 12. My muse then took 10+ year sabbatical, returning to bug me again in 2007. I've been writing religiously ever since.

AL: Where did the idea for Perilous come from?

THH: I really have no idea. I was bored in study hall and started writing. Why on earth I chose to write about four girls that got kidnapped is totally beyond me.

AL: What research did you have to do for the book?

THH: Mostly I had to research law enforcement, particularly detective work, and also had to research different locations where the book takes place.

AL: What was the most interesting thing you learned?

THH: Everything with law enforcement was fascinating. From how easy it is to tap a phone (now I know why all law enforcement phone numbers are restricted!) to how department budgets work, to sharing responsibilities across state and even international borders.

AL: What is your writing style? Are you an outliner or a by-the-seat-of-your-pantser? Somewhere in between?

I'm a total outliner. I didn't outline with Perilous, and the plot went all over the place before I buckled down and finished it. But my outlines are very simple. Four sentences to describe a chapter. Leaves me a lot of room for creativity.

AL: What is your typical writing schedule like? (I know, I know . . . hahahaha!)

THH: What's a schedule? I wish. I try to write during nap time, giving me about 30 minutes a day. I can't do it when my kids are up. I try at night but really I'm too tired. So . . . yeah. It takes me a lot longer to do something than I want it to.

AL: What is one big thing you've learned through the process of publishing your first novel?

THH: Ask questions. Find out all the opinions and experiences you can. Be very aware.

AL: What's been the biggest surprise about the publishing process?

THH: How much a book changes. Now I read books and wonder what it was like before the publisher got to it.

AL: Which authors are your biggest literary influences in the national market?

Aprilynne Pike, Suzanne Collins, and Kelley Armstrong

AL: In the LDS market?

Aubrey Mace, Lisa Mangum, and David J. West

(AL: Gotta mention to my readers that Aprilynne Pike is LDS, but she publishes nationally.)

AL: Any advice for aspiring authors?

Don't give up, even if it means sacrificing your firstborn child to get there. (I don't mean that literally.)

Me again.

Tamara is doing two giveaways in connection with her release.

First, anyone who comments on a blog tour post is entered to win a copy of her book. That giveaway begins October 15 and ends November 15.

Second, ONE person will also win a KINDLE (you read that right).

The Kindle giveaway is point-based. It begins October 15 and ends December 15.

Whoever gets the most points during those two months wins.

Ways to get points:
1 point: blog comment (can comment on all the blogs, multiple times, on the tour)
1 point: follow her

1 point: retweet
2 points: blog about the blog tour
5 points: purchase the book (For the ebook or paperback, email Tamara the confirmation email as proof. If you actually buy the book in the store, which is not possible until November 16, mail her a copy of the receipt.)

Add up all your points and gather your proofs (links, etc) and email it all to to Tamara at the end of the blog tour (tamara at tamarahartheiner dot com). There's no limit to the number of points you can earn.

Good luck on the giveaway . . . and good luck to Tamara on her new book!


Susan Anderson said...

Interesting. I'll read a sample on my Kindle, though it's not my usual type of subject matter. I sort of stay away from crime stuff because i find it too disturbing (unless it's handled like Agatha Christie, or something along those lines).


Cynthia said...

Very cool! I wish her every success- sounds like a good read.

I squealed (figuratively) yesterday when I was shopping in Costco and there, sandwiched between Giada and the Barefoot Countessa was YOUR book, "Chocolate Never Faileth"! You have SO arrived! And yes. I bought a copy and now I'm trying to find van.

Rachelle Christensen said...

Great interview! It's always fun to hear about how other authors tackle the writing process.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

It is always nice to hear that someone gets published. I liked the interview and information. Good luck on the new novel!!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks so much for this, Annette! I really appreciate you interviewing me!

Jessica G. said...

Her books sounds interesting. Two questions: is it young adult and it is LDS fiction?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

@Jessica: It is YA and it is NOT LDS fiction.

Arlee Bird said...

This was an enlightening interview. I'm doing a stop on the book tour tomorrow and will be linking to this post as well as the other stops on Tamara's tour.
I am also now a follower of your blog.

Tossing It Out

Rachelle Christensen said...

I ordered my copy from Amazon and am looking forward to reading it--c'mon UPS guy, get here!


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