Author Interview – Heidi Garrett
How do you work through self-doubts and fear? I talk to my husband. He gets me to laugh. I feel better.
What scares you the most? The real apocalypse.
What’s your greatest character strength? Probably something along the lines of my ability to persist. When I deeply care about things, I seem to be able to hang in there.
What’s your weakest character trait? Not trusting myself. Every time I haven’t trusted myself, I’ve regretted it.
Why do you write? It’s like my breath, and it’s like my heartbeat. It soothes me, revives me, fulfills me, excites me, fascinates me, and intrigues me.
Have you always enjoyed writing? Yes, the blank page, a new notebook, has always thrilled me and filled me with hope. In addition to novels, I’ve written poetry, journals, songs, letters to the editor.
What motivates you to write? In daily conversation I often keep to the surface, and seek pleasant encounters. But I’m a deep thinker, and I question almost everything. Like many, my strongest beliefs don’t fall into simple delineations. There are always other points and personal experience to consider. For me, writing is the best place to work through new awareness. It feels natural to want to sort these things out, to seek the truth as best as we can understand it in our lives.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? My marriage. I grew up in a world of broken relationships. Now, I imagine growing old with my husband, that is something of miracle.
What book genre of books do you adore? Fantasy and Magical Realism. They give the best expression to the other layers of reality I believe exist.
How did you develop your writing? When I first considered writing a novel, I plunged onto the page. However, back then, I didn’t have the discipline to persevere or the ability to take critique and use it to help me grow in the craft of writing. So that book never got finished and I went off to songwriting, which I really enjoyed. I suspect the years that I spent studying music balanced the right and left sides of my brain, so when I came back to the novel, I was more comfortable with drawing from my imagination and focusing on my technique.
How much sleep do you need to be your best? I love sleep. I probably need at least 8 hours a day to be at my best, unfortunately, I rarely get that. Someday…some night…I’ll get enough sleep.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? It would have been impossible to publish and continue writing without the intense support of my husband. He’s been with me every step of the way.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? Creating stories, worlds, and characters that readers love. If you’ve done that, you’re a successful writer. If you’ve done that, it’s enough.
Tell us about your new book? The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy. Melia, the main character, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal. What’s it about? The story is about Melia’s journey to find the place where she belongs as she untangles her family legacy and takes on her own life challenges. True Love’s First Kiss is a compilation of the first three books in the series. Why did you write it? When my maternal grandmother passed away, I had a strong need to pass on what she’d given me. In The Queen of the Realm of Faerie, the spring faerie, Flora, is the character inspired by Grandma. Flora isn’t Grandma, but she is the essence of her, and the relationship she has with Melia transforms the half-faerie like my relationship with Grandma transformed me.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going? I have nowhere else to go. If I stopped writing, there’s nothing that could fill that writing-shaped hole.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you? When I got on Twitter in January 2012, I became immersed in a writing community. That community has helped me, and still helps me immensely. I love it. I love them. Writers on Twitter are awesome.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? Sometimes its easy to see what’s wrong with this world and the people in it, but seeing what’s right with the world and the people in it can be a very powerful perspective. By focusing on the beauty, the things that thrive, the real-world enchantment, even if its just for a few minutes, you’ll create a ripple effect. It might even feel like magic.
What movie do you love to watch? The Lord of the Rings. We watch the entire extended version every year during the last week of the year.
What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet? Those are questions whose answers I’ve pursued for many years. In the end, I think I’m here to love the people that I love. I think that’s why I came to the planet, to love them, to be with them, to know them, to learn from them, to experience them, to give to them. The loss of my mother was a gash in my young life. Her death altered my awareness of the transiency of life, and how powerful and how heartbreaking that transience can be.
How do you feel about self-publishing? Self-publishing is a great idea whose time has come.
Do you find the time to read? Yes, I read as much as I can.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it. Right now I’m reading The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve just started it, but I’m already enjoying the elements of drawing defensive circles with chalk, creating chalklings that make offensive and defensive maneuvers, and fighting chalk duels. It’s a lot of fun.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My sense of humor. I love things that are funny and clever. I love dry humor and dark humor. I love seeing the funny side of the things, I hope I never lose that quality. It gives me many excuses to laugh and smile, both within myself, at myself, and out loud. As I remember my mother, she was quite irreverent; she made me laugh and giggle. To be able to step outside of what’s expected by social norms, traditions, conventions and laugh (maybe even snicker a bit) is freeing and fun.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I miss things. Obvious things. I can be so focused and obsessed with what’s in front of me that sometimes I just miss the damnedest things. And then I’ll be like, How could I have missed that?
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “When you go back, the reason you left will still be there.” That is something my husband said during one of early conversations. Until then, I had a serious problem with going back to situations I’d left for good reason. When he said that, a light went off inside me. Whenever I think about going back, I think about those words. I rarely, maybe never, go back anymore. I’m much happier for it.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? Although there was much conflict in my family, they are all readers and many of them are writers. There is no doubt that growing up in an environment where the written word and verbal expression were highly valued affected my own verbal abilities and drive to express myself through words.
Who designed the cover? My husband designs the covers. It’s a wonderful, collaborative process, but he does the heavy lifting. He has a natural eye for color and composition.
What are your current writing projects now? My priority is to complete The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series.
Do you have any advice for writers? Finish the book. Then keep writing. More than anything, finishing books has allowed me, and forced me, to grow as a writer.
What do you do to unwind and relax? I spend time with my husband, we laugh, talk, and just enjoy hanging out together. I also love to play with my cats, get lazy in the backyard, and read.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Pay attention to the people you deeply love. Spend time with them, get to know them better, enjoy them. None of us will be here forever.
When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? I’d like to feel proud of my body of work. I’d like to think that I brought something to the world conversation; that I made people smile, laugh, shed a tear, nod their head, and perhaps feel more free to love. For whatever reason, I grew up with an idea that love wasn’t real, that it couldn’t last, it was almost something to be laughed at, but it’s not. In the end it’s the only thing that’s real or lasting. True love is always worthy of celebration, it’s the most dynamic and powerful energy on the planet.
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Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG
- Coming of Age
- Contemporary Fiction
- Contemporary Romance
- Courtroom Drama
- Dark Fantasy
- Literary Fiction
- Literary Romance
- New Adult
- New Adult
- Romantic Comedy
- Short Story
- Speculative Fiction
- Suspense Thriller
- Time Travel
- Women's Fiction
- Writing Skills
- Young Adult
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