Hello friends! Today I am happy be interviewing Author Heidi Nicole Bird, author of THROUGH THE PAPER WALL and soon to be released ONTARIO. I just read THROUGH THE PAPER WALL and loved it! See my review here.
Welcome Heidi Nicole! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 23 years old and I live in West Jordan, Utah. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and I am a NaNoWriMo addict! Besides writing I love to read, sing, play guitar, piano, and violin, and have a good time. I really like to dance, though I pretty much look really bad while doing it. I am very religious and I always write family friendly content, no matter the age group I am writing for.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Honestly, surf the web. I have a problem with YouTube. We spend way too much time together. I also hang out with friends fairly often.
LOL! YouTube can be very addicting! Do you have a day job as well?
Nope, right now the only thing I do is write, though I am trying to get a job at one of my local libraries.
Good luck with that! When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
The first story I remember actually writing down was called “Jenny’s Horse” and I was probably ten years old or younger. I finished my first book the beginning of 2010, thanks to NaNoWriMo 2009.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I am most comfortable writing fantasy, probably because that is my favorite thing to read. I also write general fiction, which has been fun as well, but fantasy allows for more imagination, and I love that.
Where do you get your ideas?
They usually just come to me out of nowhere, quite often in the middle of the night when I want to sleep instead.
Haha! Those story ideas can be pests sometimes! Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Sure do, though not a ton. I usually have some sort of idea where the story is going to go next, but I like to let the characters tell the story, not me.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Just write. I’ve never made an outline before. Well, that’s not true. I made one, but it was really just a timeline so I could make sure things worked together, and I made that after I had finished 90% of the story.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I was very influenced by the writings of Bruce Coville while growing up. He is, to this day, one of my very favorite writers, and I respect him so much! I strive for his type of excellence.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
It was definitely interesting. For a while I tried sending one book or another to publishers, and I was even offered a contract for one of them, but I finally realized that what I wanted to do was indie publish. I wanted the control. That sounds lame, but honestly I had a very definite set of goals for my books and I could only meet them by doing it all myself. It was challenging to get things going, but overall I think it went well. I designed my own cover, and the hardest part was getting permission for the image I wanted. Editing was a pain too, and formatting! Those two are definitely not my favorite things to do, but I’m glad I did it in the end. Marketing has been interesting as well, but I have a great group of authors that I work with daily and we all help each other get the word out.
It’s so nice that you have support of fellow authors. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I would definitely like to have another set of eyes do a final proofread. Though I had three people besides myself edit and proofread, a few typos still made their way into the final book, so it would have been nice to maybe have someone professional do the final read through.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I start off with a blog tour and launch party. Then I utilize my blog, facebook, and twitter to get the word out. Networking with other authors has been very important as well.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Oh yes. I have a trilogy, the first three books I ever wrote, and I adore them. I was naïve enough to try and get the first one published, but now that I am a much more seasoned writer I realize how far gone the book is. Once I am done publishing my current project I plan on doing a major overhaul of my trilogy, then work on publishing them again.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My second book, Ontario, will be released April 29th. It is a young adult romance, telling the story of a girl in her senior year who has been abandoned by her mother and left with her older brother as her guardian. Throughout the story Ontario, the main character, has to learn how to love and trust again, and she does that through her new friends and co-workers at the local 50s diner.
That sounds amazing! It’s definitely going on my to-read list! Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Events-wise, no, nothing is based on real events, but the character Ontario is actually me in many ways. Some of that was intentional, some not.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Probably the prom scene, because I never got to go to a school dance with a boy, so I got to create my perfect prom through that scene.
How did you come up with the title?
It literally just popped into my head. I think I was lying on my bed thinking about Canada for some reason, haha!
That’s how some of the best ideas happen. What project are you working on now?
I am mostly working on publishing Ontario, but I am also finishing up another YA fantasy entitled Lorn, which I am particularly fond of. That is the next story I hope to have published.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yep, Ontario will be released April 29th!
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I have long since missed my characters and world that make up my trilogy. I’ve always thought it would be fun to publish some novellas based off the three books, after the originals are published.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I’ve been lucky enough to not have received anything that bad, but I definitely hate hearing there are loose plot threads. So, when I hear that I am even more motivated. I always try to tie up every loose end.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
The best thing I can tell you is to start writing, or to keep writing if you have already started. It really is as simple as that. It took me four years to get to this point. It’s not something that happens overnight, and I still have a long way to go. Never give up on yourself! You can do it, just keep telling yourself that, because it is true.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
As always, I am so grateful for my readers and fans. None of what I do would be possible without them. Thank you all so much for supporting me! For those who aren’t fans yet, I hope you will check out my books!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today Heidi!
Check out more from Heidi below! She will also be holding a contest through April 17th for her book launch party of Ontario! Go here for more info on how to win!
Heidi Nicole Bird’s twitter handle is @HeidiNicoleBird
and you can follow her on Facebook here http://www.facebook.com/HeidiNicoleBird?fref=ts
and check out Heidi Nicole’s blog here! http://heidinicolebird.blogspot.com