Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Heidi Garrett Interview
6/15/2013 2:33:55 PM
Fantasy author Heidi Garrett discusses her new faerie series and the writing life!
LTS: Do you love enchanting tales set in an imaginary world filled with fantastical beings? Well then, youíll enjoy meeting my featured author, Heidi Garrett, the creator of The Queen of the Faerie series. Iíd like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Heidi. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
HG: Spending time with my husband and my cats. I love cooking and reading. I also have several favorite TV shows I enjoying watching. Occasional trips. However, writing and being an indie author fills a lot of time.
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a lifelong dream?
HG: Itís funny, I never even considered that I might become an author until I was in my twenties. I grew up in the shadows of people who I believed were much better writers than I could ever be. However, Iíve always written. Putting words on the page is as necessary to my life as breathing. So whether its been journals, poetry, song lyrics, or stories, Iíve always thrilled at the blank page.
LTS: The Queen of the Faerie series has been receiving some great reviews, Heidi. What was the inspiration behind this fantasy series and can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, the wingless faerie Melia?
HG: My grandmother and my relationship with her was the seed. The storyóin its broadest senseócame to me the moment she passed. I was with her when she took her last breath and it was a deeply spiritual experience. The story came to me in that moment.
As a half-faerie, Melia straddles two very different worlds. My own experience has left me fascinated with the ideas of borders and the interactions between different cultures, especially as they are played out between the individuals who cross the invisible lines.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal whatís in store for the readers when they crack open the first novel in The Queen of the Faerie series?
HG: A journey of self-discovery in a fantastical world. Itís also a book about relationships. Ironically most journeyís about self-discovery are about relationship. Itís also quirky and whimsical, as well as dark. And itís epic, but it all starts with one half-faerie and her best friend, a pixie.
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to take the indie route and self-publish your novels?
HG: Iíd gone through two rounds of submissions and rejections. After the last round of rejections, I worked another year on my project. I intended to query again after the holidays. However, my husband gave me an iPhone for Christmas. I loved it so much, I searched for apps so I could use it more often. Iíd heard of Twitter, so I downloaded the app on a whim. I was shocked to find myself immediately hooked. Thereís a huge writing/publishing community on Twitter. That was December/January 2012. Amanda Hocking had just hit big. When I read her story my insides ignited. I never considered querying another agent.
LTS: What is the best and the worst part of being an indie author? Would you recommend this method of publishing to others?
HG: The best part: Youíll never write a book that wonít get published. Thatís motivating. Sitting down to write a book that you know will be published transforms the entire process. It infuses it with a level of energy that potential rejection deflates. The worst part is the massive amount of work involved. Itís a lot of work. I would definitely recommend self-publishing to others. I personally think itís the most effective way to grow as a writer.
LTS: What is the most important lesson youíve learned on the road to publication?
HG: The value of patience, or maybe endurance. Definitely, the value of time. Give things time. Be patient with yourself. Itís unlikely youíll get things 100% right out of the gate, but as long as youíre willing to learn and grow, over time some amazing things can blossom.
LTS: I admit I am one of those who will judge a book by its cover. Your book covers are beautiful! Do you mind sharing who created these images for you?
HG: Thatís a great question. My husband. I always wanted him to do the covers, but since he studied oils, he wasnít comfortable taking on a digital project. After our original covers didnít pan out, I convinced himóbegged and pleadedóto give it a shot. Iím so glad he did. I love to see what he comes up with. I think theyíre beautiful, too.
LTS: WOW! Tell your husband he did a fabulous job! Now, still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
HG: I plot out my storyline, but not in detail. I know all the main points, arcs I want/need to hit, but I leave room for surprises. I write in layers. The first draft is usually the shortest and lacking in scenes. That gives my subconscious time to work. Each time I go back and revise, interesting connections and details will surface. Thatís one of my favorite parts about the writing process.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers, that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
HG: Feed the cats. Make green tea. Say hello to Twitter. Surf the net a bit. Once Iíve checked into the world around me and know everythingís okay, Iím ready to dive into that deeper place that I prefer to write from.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writerís block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
HG: I have several approaches. 1. I talk through whatever the problem is with my husband. Although heís not a writer, heís an avid fan of fantasy. I call him my secret weapon because he can almost always help me solve my plot problems. 2. I lie on the floor and do deep breathing. Breath connects the body and mind. It activates the subconscious. Sometimes when I do this, amazing things float into consciousness. Things that feel like a gift. 3. My last resort is taking a blank page and writing down what Iím struggling with. Often this can lead to a solution, but itís my least favorite method.
LTS: Who is your favourite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
HG: My favorite contemporary author is Alice Hoffman. Sheís described her books as gritty fairy tales. Her writing style is mystical and full of poetry. Reading her books never fails to move me. However, I also discovered Gabriel Garcia Marquez about a year ago and became fascinated with his style and voice. I canít say if or how much my writing reflects either of their work because they are so far beyond me, however I love reading them. The most direct influence on my series has been the Lord of the Rings. Like LOTR, the QotRoF is an epic fantasy of fellowship.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from fantasy into other genres? When can your fans expect Book Three of The Queen of the Faerie series to be released?
HG: My plans are to complete The Queen of the Realm of Series, which I currently anticipate being between five to seven books. The Dragon Carnivale, Book 3, will be released Tuesday, June 18, along with True Loveís First Kiss, which is a compilation of the first three books in the series. My dream is to one day write a book in the genre of Magical Realism. However, I donít think Iíll every stray from the fantastical. Its inherent acknowledgment of other layers of reality best represents my core of values.
Lorna, Thank you for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share The Queen of the Realm of Faerie with you and your readers.
LTS: Youíre welcome, Heidi! It was my pleasure! Thank you so much for taking the time for doing this interview and sharing in your writing experiences and novels! Catch you on Twitter.
For more information about Heidi and her novels, check out:
Follow Heidi on Twitter: .heidigwrites
Where to buy the book:
Barnes & Noble:
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