Welcome! I’m so excited to be interviewing you! First, I would love it if you would start by briefly telling us how your writing journey began.
I had several notebooks full of adventures by the end of elementary school, but I never imagined I would be a true writer. My brother, on the other hand, became a writer and kept encouraging me to “stop talking about writing a book and do it already!” He challenged my dad and I to both write our first novels for National Novel Writing Month in 2007. We did! At the end of that November I had written an entire story from start to finish and it felt so great that six months later I turned around and did it again. I spent a few years learning to edit and rewrite as I shopped them around to literary agents, but then my brother inspired me once again when he self-published his books and made enough money to quit his job and write full-time. So, this year I decided to do the same. I’ve published two books this year and expect to add one more before Christmas. Next year I’ll add three more to the list and after that, there are many more just waiting for my attention.
Please share with us one fact about you that not many people know. And
feel free to have fun with the question!
I’m not exactly “the outdoors type”, so most of my friends would be shocked to discover that I climbed a mountain when I was seventeen. My parents thought it would be a fun way to celebrate my 18th birthday and spend time together as a family just before I went off to college. Personally, I would have preferred a nice shopping trip or a weekend at the beach. A whole group of us went from church, including my boyfriend. By the end of that week I had broken up with my boyfriend and was trying hard to forgive my parents as I counted the days until I left for college. It was, however, an experience I’ll never forget. I get to use some of that remembered discomfort in my next book series when my main character finds herself crossing the mountains alone.
Which fictional literary character most inspired/inspires you?
I find Jane Eyre a fascinating blend of vulnerability and strength. I believe I could read that book every month and not tire of it. I also adore Meg from Madeline L’Engle’s series. She is a fabulous big sister character who really resonates with me. She spends that entire series not only trying to protect her family, but also struggling with issues of faith as she is exposed to elements in the world she didn’t know existed. That is very similar to what all of my main characters are going through in every book I’ve written, so far.
What inspired you to choose the setting for your novel?
A fantasy setting gave me the freedom to write without all of the rules and guidelines of the known world. I love forests and streams, so that seemed to dominate the main part of my story. A forest always seems partly magical to me, like there is something powerful hidden there just beyond our understanding. If I were ever to meet an angel of God, I would expect it to be on a walk through the forest. After that, scripture really inspired me to carry the characters into the mountains or to find the evil in the darkest of places. I was surprised how much scripture generated parts of this story and I hope readers familiar with the word of God will see glimpses of it as they read.
If you could be best friends with any of the characters in your novel,
who would it be? Why?
Aiden, hands down! Aiden is funny and flirtatious, but not afraid to battle a few bad guys for his friends. He makes me laugh and I love his protective nature. He’s even willing to stand up to the prince for his friend, Merrilyn. What a guy!
What inspired this novel?
Like all of my books, I dreamed it. I have these fabulous dreams that I call “movie dreams” because they are so vivid it feels like I’m watching a movie in my sleep. I saw a young girl throw herself in front of something evil to protect her friend, a prince. I woke up wondering why she would do that for him. How did they know each other and how did they get into that situation? I wanted to know not only the beginning that led them to that place, but what happened next. All of the scenery and their emotions were still vivid in my mind, so I started writing and the story just wouldn’t let me go. A few months later I sat down for my first National Novel Writing Month and wrote the entire story.
What are 3 things you like to do to relax?
- Cooking is my favorite way to relax. I love cooking for a crowd.
- Reading a good book in my pajamas.
- Chatting with friends over a hazelnut latte.
What book(s) are you reading, or have read lately?
I have been reading a lot of fantasy in different subgenres as I work on each of my new series. These are all different types of fantasy, but none of them are Christian fiction.
- Grimoire: Lichgates by S.M. Boyce (my editor!)
- Open Door by Christine Locke
- Taming Fire by Aaron Pogue (my brother)
What piece of writing advice have you received that was most helpful to you?
I think the most helpful piece of advice has been to “just keep writing.” There are all kinds of statistics thrown around about what kinds of writers make the most money and who can succeed as an independent, self-published author, but they all agree on one thing: The writers who are successful are the ones who kept writing. You will never be successful if you don’t write and the more books you write, the more you grow and have opportunity to succeed. That is the real key. Just keep writing.
Where can readers connect with you?
You can find me chatting up a storm over at my Facebook page.
And at my website, HeatherSutherlin.com, I share more information about my books, other indie authors I love reading, and activities for young writers. Please stop by and say hello!
You can also find me on Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Thank you so much for giving me the pleasure of an interview with you!
And I wish you the very best with your newest release!
Thanks for having me, Faye! I appreciate this opportunity to share a little more about myself and my books with your readers. Happy reading!
Here's a peek at Ms. Sutherlin's new book: Prince Jarrod and his men have been missing for months and still Merrilyn has no idea where they are hidden. Now the king of Zinder is missing, too, and his children seem to think Merrilyn's the key to finding him. Along with Aiden and Prince Justan, she travels to Zinder looking for clues in the king's journals. When a mysterious man begins whispering in her dreams, tempting her to reconsider all that she believes, she must face both her fears and her desires. Merrilyn may be a light in the darkness, but she'll have to trust Loian to light their path as they travel through foreign lands and face new enemies in their search for the missing men.
Okay, now it's time for the ebook giveaway! Heather has generously offered to give one fortunate reader an ebook copy of her book A Light in the Darkness so pay attention to the rules so that you can make sure to be entered in the giveaway!
And if you don't win you can buy it yourself here for $0.99!: http://www.amazon.com/Light-The-Darkness-Series-ebook/dp/B008TUK53U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351043267&sr=8-2&keywords=heather+sutherlin
Here's the blurb: Merrilyn's life is quiet and predictable. An apprentice to the royal healer, she spends her days helping in the village or up to mischief with her best friend who happens to be the handsome younger son of the king. But when a mysterious archer shows up in the forest and shoots their escort, Merrilyn's life is forever changed. Caught in a battle between two forgotten gods, she must embrace her destiny and fight the very powers of darkness before it's too late.
Now for the contest rules:
1. Leave a comment below mentioning something interesting about the interview or about the book, as well as your email address so that I can contact the winner.
2. For extra entries follow Heather Sutherlin on Twitter and be a follower of this blog.
Giveaway ends November 10th, 2012
Giveaway ends November 10th, 2012
Thanks so much!