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.)
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).