Today I have the wonderful Heather Hildenbrand stopping by!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I hate this part. Feels kinda like a resume, right? I can never figure out what to say without sounding either totally boring or a little ego-centric. But mainly, I’m a wife and mother who loves her family, and a little bit of obsessive writer thrown in. Oh and when i get stuck for a story or plotline, I stop and paint a wall, as I’m slowly decorating the house we bought last May. (I did say slowly, right?)
What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have a day job as well?
Sort of. I’m lucky enough to work from home as I manage some apartment buildings that are family owned. Yes, I have an idea for a story based on that. =)
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing as a teen but then did other things. I got serious about it just over a year ago, when I started Across the Galaxy, Dec 2009. I finished it in June 2010.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’m a YA addict! Yes – I love Twilight. And a hundred others, but Stephanie Meyer’s ‘housewife turned published author’ story really did inspire me.
Where do you get your ideas? Do you ever experience writer’s block? Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I get a lot of my ideas from my kids, actually, which is fun because then they’re excited about what I’m doing. Yes, I get writer’s block but only because I suck at sticking to my outline.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
For starters, see question #4, but originally, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis definitely shaped my love for fantasy.
Well, after I finally admitted to my friends and family that I wrote a book (I didn’t tell anyone until it was finished because I wasn’t sure of the response I’d get) I did query some agents. And by some I mean like 40 – and then I learned that it’s the exception rather than the rule to land an agent from an unsolicited query letter. Added to that the OCD in me, and once I learned how much control I’d have self-publishing, it was a no brainer which way to go!
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Marketing is a funny thing in e-publishing. There’s no real formula for success. It’s mainly luck, next to a good book, good cover, good description (direct quote from my sensei JA Konrath) so I can’t say for sure. But my blog helps, as does visiting other blogs. And Twitter has sent me some new readers via my blog, so… yeah, like I said, I don’t know.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Yes, of course!!! It’s going to totally rock! It’s called Dirty Blood and it’s a YA Paranormal due out in March. Here’s a teaser:
The writing is on the wall, for Tara Godfrey. Her sweetheart turned egomaniac boyfriend is late picking her up, talks incessantly about himself, or forgets their plans altogether. So, in her favorite pool hall, on a cold Tuesday night, she finally breaks it off. Distracted by the breakup, she doesn’t understand why her skin tingles and crawls at the sight of a strange girl in the alley. Even more disturbing, the girl changes into a wolf and rushes Tara, teeth first. Somehow Tara fights it off and the wolf-girl ends up dead, with Tara staring down at the body, trying not to go into shock. Then Wes shows up, a mysteriously handsome Werewolf, insistent on protecting her for a purpose greater than either of them ever imagined.
Now Tara has to struggle to accept the truth about her new world. One, Werewolves exist and two, she was born to kill them.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Lol. I WISH it was based on real life. =)
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The guys (love interests) are always fun to write, because they’re also fun to read, trying to figure them out and what makes them tick – even as the writer it can be intriguing.
How did you come up with the title?
I stole it. Seriously, I went to a writer’s conference last Sept where I did a 5 minute pitch session with a real-live NY literary agent and she gave me some great pointers on my whole pitch and query. She suggested the title. (At the time, the title was ‘Orestes’, named after Alina’s home planet.) And I loved her idea, hence… yeah, I should really write her a thank you note.
What project are you working on now? Will you have a new book coming out soon? Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
That’s alot of questions disguised as one question. Hmm… Like I said, Dirty Blood is due out in March, all about Werewolves. And there will be book 2 for that, eventually. But first, I have this really cool Fairy idea.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Learn everything you can. Check out JA Konrath, get a mentor or writer’s group. (I have the best mentor in the world: Warren Murphy, author of The Forever King and he tells it like it is and I love him for it!) Learn more. Read books. Learn More. Write something every day, even if it’s an email, to keep flexing your muscles.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
You complete me.
Chocolate or Vanilla?
French Vanilla with a Hershey’s bar on the side.
If you were a superhero (or villain!) what would your power be? Would you wear a cape?
There was this show on a couple years ago, called Heroes. (Best show ever!) and Peter’s power was that he could absorb any other superpower, just by touching the person. That’s what I’d want, so I could try them all – assuming there were a bunch of other superheroes running around for me to borrow from.
Do you have a deep dark secret? How about a shallow grey one?
It’s deep and dark. Don’t tell anyone but I’m deathly afraid of slugs. Deathly. I think they move slow because they’re plotting on when they’re going to leap through the air and attack me, like that Alien face-hugger thing.
What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would you order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Caramel Macchiato. And when I become a rich and famous author, I’ll be able to afford them every day.
Is there any food you refuse to eat? Drink of choice?
I’m pretty adventurous with food but some of the weird Korean crap my husband brings home is a no-go. There’s these dried mini-fish looking chips or snacks or whatever and they’re definitely gross. They still have the heads on them! Drinks? I’m kind of addicted to Ginger Ale, ever since being in the hospital after giving birth to my son. That’s the first drink they let me have when I could feel my hands again (C-section) and I guess it had an impact. I drink one almost every day. But if you mean like, alcoholic beverage, I love me a glass of some Duplin wine. That stuff will really sneak up on you.
If you could live off of chocolate would you? What kind?
Peanut M&M’s. And only if I could mix it with popcorn.
What pets have graced your life? Which was your least favorite? What do you think the coolest pet to have would be?
My childhood dog was Sasha, a golden colored mutt. And then Saphire, the Siberian Husky, but she didn’t last long as she liked to hunt my family’s chickens for dinner most nights. We currently have no pets because with two kids, I really don’t want to have to clean up poop from one more living thing. Diapers were enough, thank you.
If you could visit any world ever written about, where would you go?
Cassandra’s Clare’s version of Earth. Angels walk among us, to save us from the demons that like to sneak in from other dimensions? AND there’s vampires? AND there’s werewolves? LOVE IT!
Where to find me, for more info:
Find me on Facebook, and Twitter (@HeatherHildenbr)
Across the Galaxy, Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Across-the-Galaxy-ebook/dp/B004KABBC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1295813508&sr=1-1
DreamKiller (short story) http://www.amazon.com/DreamKiller-ebook/dp/B004IEADW4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295143617&sr=8-1