Thursday, December 19, 2013

Part II of our Double Feature: Author Heather Crews

 Heather Crews penned her first book not too far back. We love our indies :) Even better when there's a POC hottie as a main character/love interest. Our review site is obviously a good choice for such a pair :)

1. For those of us just meeting you, what can you tell us about yourself as the "person" and the "author"?

I'm a pretty friendly but introverted person. Although I'm generally rather lighthearted, I might become irritable when writing. I feel emotions, good and "bad", are really important. I try to transcribe whatever strong feelings I may have experienced at some point in life to help make the characters more authentic.

2. What genres would you say you are drawn to most when it comes to writing?

I usually like to include some element of the paranormal in my writing, though some of my ideas don't involve the paranormal at all. Either way, I always put in some romance and try not to make it too sappy.

3. As an author, have you felt as though you've written stories you want to see written, or stories you'd think would collect audiences?

Although a large and adoring audience would be nice, I definitely write the stories I want to see. Sometimes it's difficult to translate them faithfully from my head onto the computer even though I know what I want to do. Lately, however, I do find myself tending toward happy endings rather than the sad or shocking ones I used to favor, and I feel like most readers probably prefer happy endings. So in that regard maybe I am catering toward the audience.

4. What inspired the details of your first novel "Unchanged?"

This is a story I've worked on for so long I can't even remember how I got the idea. It's possible it came from a dream, as many of my stories do. The characters' names, their personalities, and the plot have changed as I wrote and rewrote it numerous times, although the setting has always remained the same. It's based on a real place in Oregon that I visited as a teenager.

5. Do you feel as though you've gained different habits as a writer becoming a published author?

I don't try to write a story straight from start to finish. I allow myself to skip around if a particular scene is troubling me. Since I self-publish, I also don't try to hold myself too strictly to deadlines. That helps relieve any pressure I might feel to finish a novel.

6. Your book "Unchanged" deals with reincarnation. Was there any particular religion or culture you researched to help you through your story?

I sort of mashed together bits from Pacific Northwest Indian mythology, Orphism, and other random information I'd collected in my notes. I feel it can be too limiting to adhere strictly to one religion, so I try to grow my own ideas from real rules and concepts.

7. We at Twinja Book Reviews talk about diversity in every conversation we have. In your book "Unchanged" your main protagonist's love interest is a person of color. What inspired his character?

He's actually based on a random guy I saw at a mall in Texas when I was visiting my grandma one year. He was sitting a couple tables away from us in the food court and I kept staring at him because his looks were so striking. As soon as we got back to the house, I grabbed my sketchbook and drew a quick picture of him before I could forget his features. Then I worked on describing him with words because I knew I wanted to use him as a character. It didn't take long to figure out which story he'd fit into.

8. Do you feel as though diversity is important in fiction? If so why? If not, why not?

Yes. The world is diverse, and fiction is just a reflection of the world. Personally, I like my fiction to be as realistic as possible, even when there are supernatural elements. I like reading about a wide range of characters and cultures. There's always something to learn.

9. What can we expect from you in the future?

My next project is a YA dystopia-ish novel. I'm finding the world building unexpectedly challenging, though, and I hope I can stick with it.

10. Where can readers go to learn more about your books, or everything "Heather Crews?"

 Win Heather Crews' book "Unchanged!"
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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