Friday, March 9, 2012

Q&A with author Heather Wardell

Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go, nearly all in e-book form on my Kindle.

I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science.

This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month.

I succeeded, and the first draft of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven't looked back since!

In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet (I am on Ravelry and would be happy to add you as a friend!), take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Trinity, and play drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.
This picture shows me wearing a sweater I crocheted and holding the finishers' medal I received at my second half marathon, May 13/08.




Q.  What inspires your writing?


A.  Anything and everything. What I see around me, little bits of things I hear, questions I want answered (my "Go Small or Go Home" is about whether art should be a hobby or a career, written at a time when I was trying to decide the same thing about my writing)… I take everything in and it all somehow combines into a book.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  Readers! I love getting emails from them, hearing which books they like most, and just knowing they're out there.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  The days when I'm tired and not feeling particularly creative but still want to keep working. I've found that if I sit down and write, I often get good stuff anyhow, but some days it's just so hard to do!

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. I was a software developer for a Canadian bank and then an elementary school computer teacher. If I couldn't be an author any more, I think I'd go back to one of those, but I don't see that happening any time soon!

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  "How to Turn 'I Like to Talk to Myself' into a Career"

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  Maeve Binchy's "Tara Road"
Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  I think I've got a fair bit of Hermione Granger in me - a know-it-all at times, but well-intentioned. :)

Q.  What character from all of your book(s) are you most like?

A. Rhiannon of "Planning to Live" - we're both goal-obsessed and number-focused. I am working hard on being less that way though, and I'm getting there!

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A Fall. The leaves are so gorgeous, and it's a nice comfortable temperature!

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  Always. Since I work on two books at once, I give them codenames. I'm currently writing Hippo in first draft, in which a woman boards what is to be her wedding cruise only to discover she dated both of her brothers-in-law-to-be and still has feelings for both of them. Flying Squirrel, nearly done in second draft, is about how a compulsive helper learns to be a marathon runner (with the help of Andrew from my book "Planning to Live) while also learning to set her own boundaries and run her race and her life at her own happy pace.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Email your favorite authors! The super-famous ones probably don't have time to write back but I'm sure they still appreciate it, and I had no idea before I began writing how lovely it is to get a note from a reader who enjoyed your work.
My book "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo"  is always a free, and if you pick it up I'd love it if you dropped me an email through the web site to let me know what you think!

And of course, thank you so much to Emily for this opportunity! :)



BOOKS:

Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo
When Candice's in-laws died in a car accident eight months ago, she lost her husband Ian too. After only two years of marriage their guilt and pain have left them living together but apart. During Ian's month-long trip overseas, Candice plans to decide if her marriage can be saved, but when the first man she ever loved is the new client at work, she wonders what she truly wants from life and love.


Go Small or Go Home
When massage therapist and aspiring artist Tess begins treating stressed but attractive hockey star Forrest, her art career soars due to his gallery-owning mother, but her creativity plummets under the weight of rules and deadlines. Soon, she's lost the freedom and joy she'd always found in art. Is having her dream career worth losing doing her art her way, or can she somehow have both at once?


Planning to Live
Determined to lose weight for her best friend's wedding, goal-obsessed Rhiannon flees her parents' Christmas Day feast to avoid overeating but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree. Trapped and bleeding, with her cell phone out of reach, she struggles to escape, and to accept that she's spent her whole life planning but hasn't ever really lived. Will she get the chance to change that?


Stir Until Thoroughly Confused
Mary's given up everything, including an unsatisfying marriage, to become a chef. But the career comes with a side dish: Kegan, her sexy but controlling new boss. They're soon in a relationship, and in all-too-frequent arguments, and when it becomes clear they can't work together and be together Mary faces a dilemma: keep her dream job or her dream man?


A Life That Fits
Twenty-eight-year-old Andrea is devastated when her boyfriend of fourteen years leaves her for a woman he calls Andrea's opposite. Determined to get him back, Andrea changes everything in her life. New clothes, new activities, new friends... she'll be her opposite in no time. But will she change enough to get Alex back? And if she does, will he fit into her new life?


Toronto Collection Volume One
This four-pack contains "Go Small or Go Home", "Planning to Live", "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused", and "A Life That Fits", all for only $2.99! If you're planning to get all of these books, this is your best deal.


Live Out Loud
Songwriter Amy wants to honor her late best friend by starting the support center for teenage girls they'd planned when they were just girls themselves. When her song becomes an internet sensation she sees how to get the money she needs, but soon realizes she adores her new pop star career. She must choose: create the center she needed herself as a teen or truly become Misty Will, pop princess.


Blank Slate Kate
Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That's terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life?



Her "stand-alone" work



Madeleine-Cora Spencer is the last person who should be on reality TV, but when she's shunned by a friend's new wife because "you can't trust desperate single women", her pain and humiliation drive her straight to the "Find Your Prince" dating show. But when she arrives to meet her potential loves, she gets dumped... on a remote island with seven ex-boyfriends. Seven exes! Could this be any worse?

See more on Heather HERE
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...