Heather and I met on Author Nation blogsite, and we sort of meandered away and I followed Heather here to blogspot, to Heather's Odessy. I was one of her first followers, and she was my very first--and probably the only one for a very long time until I got the hang of things here. So, you could say that Heather and I have been blog buddies for a number of years.
So, let's start out finding out a little more about Heather, for those of you who do not know her, and about her book, The Secrets of Spruce Knoll.
I am an author of young adult fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Helping other writers and supporting fabulous authors is my passion. When I'm not writing or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slpes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me here, on my blog four days a week, and Monday nights on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat with my good friend TS Tate.
|The Secrets of Spruce Knoll|
Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live wit her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with "channelers"--a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.
Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they--and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad.
Did you start out wanting to write YA fantasy? Or did you have another genre you liked to write in?
I didn't actually. I started out writing adult fantasy and switched over when I met a few friends who wrote YA. They showed me how much innovative and edgy it could be and I knew it was for me.
What author(s) have inspired you the most, in that you said “Oh, I need to write something like this!”
There are so many! The top of my list for YA is Saundra Mitchell (The Vespertine was lyrical and AMAZING) and Leah Cypess. There are many more though!
I think my favorite post—and the most creative—on your blog, by far is your Creatures Friday. How did you come up with this, and do you think you'll ever run out of creatures?
That post started because I wanted to give people a taste of my writing and provide something of interest for my blog readers who weren't writers. Also, I wanted to use it as a way to develop my writing skills for 1st person which I haven't done much of. I hope I never run out of creatures but it could happen!
Because I've followed you for some time, and I know that at one time you had an agent, and you parted ways, looking at how far you've come with your book, at this point in time, was this the best thing that happened for you? Why/Why not?
Though my agent was wonderful it really was the best thing for me. He didn't have the time to look at a new novel and I knew I had to move forward because I was told by so many in the industry that the novel had great potential.
There's plenty of controversy over self-publishing, and angst in authors who decide to self publish. How difficult was it for you to go with self-publishing?
It was the hardest decision of my life because to do so is to give up the dream of being traditionally published. But you know what? I'm SO glad I did. The freedom and control in self-publishing is worth all the risk. And if authors hire a good, professional editor and a cover designer, and are willing to pour themselves into promoting it, then they can be very successful. Just a side note, now days even the big houses will expect you to do a lot of your own promoting anyways.
Was this the first novel you've written, or more like a second, or third in which you were working to find an agent with? Will you knock on some agent's doors again with this next offer?
Not by a long shot. This is my fourth novel that I have completed and edited thoroughly. Really, it was just with this one that I got the process down. Though it's the fourth I've written, it's the second I've had with an agent.
As a first time author, seeing your book in physical form, holding it in your hands, all the events surrounding your novel's break-out—is the gratification all you hoped it would be?
That and so much more. I cried~in a good way~when I first saw the cover and I cried when I held the book in my hands. Now, seeing the first reviews go up, and seeing that they're positive, I'm crying again. :)
Oh yeah, there are things I would have done differently but overall I'm very happy with the process and I learned a lot, which I'll apply to the next book! I'm always happy to share details with anyone who is considering going this route. All they have to do is leave me a comment with their email address on my blog and I'll email them!
What is Heather's next journey in writing? What are you working on now that you'd like to get into a published form?
I'm working on the next novel in the Channeler series and it's scheduled to release in spring of 2012. There is much more on the horizon too!
That is exciting! Will you be knocking on any agent's doors any time soon?
At this time I'm done knocking on their doors. If they come knocking then we'll see. I will always respect an agent's role in the publishing industry though.
Okay, fun question: If you were to meet and have lunch with someone famous, living or dead, who would it be?
Bruce Lee! He has always been my idol and I would love to chat about martial arts with him. Not what you were expecting huh?! I've got a few surprises left up my sleeves. ;)
Wow, Heather, you knocked me over with that last answer! Heather's novel, The Secrets of Spruce Knoll can be found at Amazon. And when you get a chance, check out her awesome blog. She's really creative, helpful and a wonderful person and I sure did enjoy having her here at Lorelei's Muse.