Tag Archives: Author

The Talking Shoes…

The first story I ever wrote was called, “The Talking Shoes.”

I can’t tell you what it said, because I don’t remember. I was in the 4th grade. It was entered into a contest, and I won. I had to go to a convention of some sort and read the blasted thing, too. I did it. I remember, even today, standing in front of all those people and being terrified out of my mind. I read my story though, like a champ. Met some local authors and illustrators. Even got a free book that was signed and everything.

I had zero idea way back then that I’d someday write professionally. But honestly, if I could spin a fantastic tale out of a pair of talking shoes that won an award and was worthy of being read in front of a crowd, it couldn’t have been complete rubbish, right? I mean, it had to be somewhat rubbish, after all, I only had a 4th grade education. 😘 But there’s got to be some talent deep down in my bones somewhere. I like to think I honed it over the years and I’m an exceptional writer now. (Don’t burst my bubble, y’all. )

As someone who was never good with speaking words, I could certainly weave them together on paper decently enough. That should have been one of my first signs. The fact that I used to spend my days as a young child playing basketball out front, with a little radio and headphones in, crafting all sorts of stories in my head, should have been another one of those signs. And then when I got older, and despite trying not to win, I’d still, every year, manage to win these essay contests we were required to submit for extra credit in high school. Even when I gave it the least amount of effort I could, because I hated winning and having my picture taken and put in the newspaper, I’d still win. Every year. It should have been a clue. All the nights I used to spend out back in the my parent’s swing, headphones in, night sky above me, weaving even more stories together, usually inspired by the many different songs that blasted through the speakers…. it should have been a clue. Pair all that with my obsession for reading, and clearly, the writing had been on the wall all along.

It started with the talking shoes, but it didn’t end there.

What’s more? Many of the core characters of my first few novels, came from those late nights out in my parent’s backyard in my late teens and early twenties. Characters that popped into my head, with stories galore. I had no idea I’d put them to paper someday. But here I am. Still crafting and weaving, reading and writing, the same as I’ve done for years.

Sometimes people are just meant for things. Life has been nudging me in this direction my entire life; I just didn’t always know it.

I know it now though.

I don’t write about talking shoes anymore. Although, clearly, I’ve always been a creative genius… 😘) No, I spin tales of love and romance. Handsome men with piercing gazes and searing kisses… (Don’t let Dad read this Mom!😂) And lovely women with kind hearts, fierce character, and eyes for those handsome men. I write about loss and heartache, but then journeys that even despite pain, lead to happy endings and hopeful futures.

I guess that should come as no surprise given my kindle and bookshelves are slap full of romance novels.

No, there are no more talking shoes, but they certainly served their purpose way back when. They were the beginning. ❤️

Quick Pop In!

It’s Sunday night, and I’m busy writing. Some days it’s like pulling teeth, others it’s a breeze. Today, it’s been great. ❤️

As of this moment, I’ve written 1,584 words. About 4 hours worth of writing. That’s roughly about 6 or 7 pages, in case pages is a better breakdown for you than words.

It’s flowing though, and I don’t want to mess that up, so I’m going to bounce back over to the manuscript. As I ended one chapter and began another I realized I hadn’t written a blog post today. I committed to one a day, & usually write them a day ahead, so this is your one!

Yes, it’s a little skimpy, but don’t worry, you’ll read enough from me this year that I’ll more than make up for it. 😘

Have a great Monday, and I’ll check in with you tomorrow!

I Made This Bed, Now I Must Lie In It…

Good Afternoon, Ladies & Gents. (Don’t ask. I don’t know. I’m weird.)

I committed to writing a blog post a day in 2020, and I’m suddenly realizing I have no idea what I’m going to talk about day in and day out. That’s 365 days worth of me chattering on about something or other. Brilliant idea, Heather. Brilliant idea.

Ya know, when I finally committed to writing books, giving it a real go, I had no idea what actually lay ahead of me. Once upon a time, long, long ago, I thought writing would be the hard part. (Can you hear me laughing from over here?) Little did I know, until I’d finished writing the first one, that the writing was the easy part.

What came next was the daunting realization that I’d only just scratched the surface. I had an 85,000 word, roughly 320 page novel, that I had to do something with. And not just do something, but a lot of somethings. Editing. (Which, really is never ending.) Formatting. Networking. Marketing. Book covers. Learning how to use a multitude of new computer programs. Managing a website and social media accounts across various platforms. Self-publishing. Copyright. More writing in between all this. Newsletters and mailing lists. Finding beta readers for feedback. The horror that is waiting on that feedback. Blogging. Maintaining the connections I’ve already made, as well as making new ones. And even with everything I just mentioned, guarantee you I forgot some stuff. There’s more, I’m sure. Not to mention, I’m still unpublished at the moment, which will open up a whole new world of things once I’ve reached that step.

I tell my husband sometimes, usually when I come up against something I don’t want to deal with, I’m like, can I just quit already? — He always says no. You’ll get it. You can do it. — Personally, I think he’s a perpetual optimist when it’s other people, and the next time his boss asks him to make a public speech at a company party, I’m going to say, Oh baby, you’ve got this. You can do it. (I mean I say that anyway, but I’m going to relish it a little more now. 😉 )

But since I can’t quit, and really I don’t want to, I’m going to keep on keeping on.

Which just means you’re going to continue to get a blog a day. And a bunch of books, too.

Much Love,
Heather.

Incompetent Construction Workers? We Can’t Have That!

I’m hard at work over here, watching Youtube videos of bathroom remodels.

Research never ends. Never, never, never, never, ever ends.

I know a little bit more than one might think, mostly because I regularly watch a few Youtube channels that are currently remodeling houses or building small ones. And so I have some very, very limited knowledge, right? Like I can picture it all in my head… but the terminology, when it comes to being precise, that eludes me.

However, I’m about to dive into a scene where a couple construction workers are remodeling a bathroom, and it needs correct terminology and all that hooplah. So I am doing my due diligence. It will be a good scene that makes perfect sense….. eventually. (Hopefully!) I’ll watch some videos and nail it as best I can, then when I edit later down the road, I’ll work at it even harder.

For anyone who thinks writing books means you just sit down at a computer and write, and that’s it…. No, no. Definitely not.

I called my Dad last year and said hey, “When a car battery is dead, and you hook that little thigamigy to the battery, what’s it going to read to indicate the battery is dead? And what does that reading mean?” He explained all about batteries. Good ones and dead ones. Then I googled what the thigamigy was called, and in the end my character knew what he was doing when he tested a battery. He doesn’t look like a big ole’ dummy now.

I called my Mom last week and said hey, “How much of a sentence can toddlers, going on about 3 years old, actually string together?” — Cause see, I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t know what that’s like. — So we talked about it a little, then I read the dialogue I had for the character and Mom said, yeah. Sounds about right. — I’m taking everything I’ve ever seen or heard from kids I’ve been around, and what I see on tv, things like that, and utilizing everything I can. Including, calling my Mom, who raised both me and my brother, so she ought to know.

Research, looking it up, asking questions, phoning it in, even the smallest of smallest things, it may only take up two sentences in an entire book, but if you don’t know, you got to find out. Because somewhere out there is a reader who is going to know, and they’re going to know if you knew, too.

Which is why research never, ever ends.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to watching remodel videos, that way I don’t end up with the most incompetent construction workers ya ever saw!

Talk Later,
Heather.

Keep Reading…

My Thursday went like this….

I woke up. I took the dog out. I put out some bird seed. I started re-reading a historical romance novel. I stopped to eat lunch. I resumed reading. And then I read, and I read, and I read. Never even changed out of my pajamas.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Heather, you should have been working. But hear me out. I was!

I am only a writer today because I have been a reader for years. I would never have been able to write two entire full length novels if I hadn’t spent so much time reading over the years. I only know how to craft romance novels because I’ve been reading them religiously since I was fourteen. I know the pieces of the puzzles I need to put them together like the back of my hand. Don’t ask me to write a thriller or a mystery or a dystopian novel though. While I enjoy reading them from time to time, I’d be lost in the sauce trying to write them.

And I know when I’m reading I’m not getting any writing, editing, marketing, or networking done, but I am continuing to hone a craft, and that is just as important. Now when I read, I see the words through the lens of a writer. And an editor. I learn as I go. Even more so now, than I did before I began writing.

Always make time for reading as a writer. It’s truly important!

Much Love,
Heather.

I Have A Plan….

I did a horrible, awful, absolutely ridiculous thing…

I committed to a blog post a day in 2020. (Yes, I know… I know. You don’t have to say it.)

And then, to make matters worse, I announced it here on my blog like a lunatic. That’s right. I told everyone I’d do it. Now I’m obligated, you see? 

Never fear, I have a plan though! (I thought it over while I was trying on jeans at Tjmaxx earlier. I’m nothing if not a multitasker…)

So here goes…

Some days, I will have all the time in the world, and I’ll write one up and post it on those days. 

Other days, I’ll have less time, or I’ll be busy, so I’ll have some pre-written things waiting in the wings and they’ll be posted then. 

At this time, I have no pre-written things, except novels… which I’m not posting those here in their entirety, obviously, so I’ll have to get a few posts written. But that should be fun. I’ll do it when I’m in a writing mood, and they’ll be waiting on me when I need them. 

Problem solved! You’ll get a post a day, only they won’t always be written on that day. You just won’t know it. Which honestly, is a genius idea and makes this goal a lot more achievable. People probably do this all the time. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before now. 

And I’m realizing, at this moment, as I’m writing this post…. That I wrote and published the post where I announced this whole scheme, this morning, around 1 am. So now, while I’m writing this at four in the afternoon on December 31st, I’m going to have to wait and post it tomorrow, on January 1st… seeing as I already have a post for the 31st, and I don’t want to waste this one on the same day.

Figures. But that’s okay. I’ll finally get to use that nifty publish later option I’ve never bothered with before. 

Anyway, this is my plan. I’m going to do my best to stick to it. Let’s hope I come out on top. We’ll see. Fingers crossed. 

Heather. 

Area 51, Measles, & Board Games…

I’m supposed to be working right now. I’d rather talk to y’all though! 😀

What ya want to talk about? Area 51? How I got bit by like a hundred mosquitoes earlier & my husband said I look like I have the measles now? Maybe that I have not exercised yet, & I still need to? Music? Work? My obvious procrastination? Or maybe my less obvious obsession with board games? (Okay, that’s not exactly less obvious. Well, here it is. My husband would beg to differ!)

We’ll go in order!

  1. Area 51: Aliens? Maybe. I mean, I’ve seen Independence day… that was a documentary, yeah? Seems reasonable.
  2. Mosquitoes: Are those little buggers not the devils own spawn? I’d say so! I’ve got like 30 mosquito bites on just ONE leg! ONE! — Just outside, trying to talk to my Mama on the phone, and it was like attack of the swarming mosquitoes. Is that a horror film, yet? It should be. It’s a brilliant, and scarily accurate, depiction of reality.
  3. Exercise: I have not done so, yet. But I will. I’m going to work it in, just as soon as I finish up this blog post. In a moment of seriousness here, working out regularly & staying committed to it for the last year & half is one the best decisions I’ve ever made. — Hands down. No question.
  4. Music: Currently listening to I’m Coming Over, by Chris Young. — Two thumbs up for some good ol’ country.
  5. Work: Got some work done today! — Added a new scene to novel 1, Forgiving Anna. Still have one more to add, as well as more edits. — Pray for me? Yeah. — This is not fun stuff!
  6. Procrastination: Does this really need explaining? I don’t think it does. Y’all know.
  7. Board Games: Oooo! This one is fun! I am 28 years old, but I don’t care how old you are, board games never go out of style. They are good, wholesome, family fun. And I, for one, can say with pride that my obsession means I have a closet full of board game fun waiting on my future children. — For now, my husband, as well as extended family & friends, will be the only ones subjected to the board game madness that is family fun night. Don’t like board games & you’re at my house? Pretend. — Don’t want to pretend? Get out. — Just kiddin, just kiddin! — You can stay. But you will miss out on fun & memories, and you’ll only have yourself to blame for it. 😉

I believe that’s the end of our list. Check in with y’all later.
Love To All,
Heather. 😀

Work, Run, Parakeet?!

I behaved myself like a responsible adult today, and worked. Also, like a responsible adult, 30 minute run, made dinner instead of asking my husband to grab take-out.

I mean y’all… I’m a fully functioning adult! 😀 Procrastinate? What’s that word mean? *shrugs* I don’t know. (Just kiddin…. I know it well.)

I’ve been editing all day. Which I despise. DESPISE!! HATE IT! ABSOLUTELY DON’T LIKE TO DO IT! (I put that in all-caps, not to yell at you, but so that you understood the severity of my dislike for editing.)

I like to tell y’all about my day, what’s going on and stuff, but that’s literally it. Edit. Run. Eat. Oh!! YouTube. I take these little teeny, tiny breaks every hour or so, so I don’t lose my mind, and I watch snippets of YouTube videos sometimes, which I also did.

That is it. I apologize for being boring. I have no thrills for you guys today. Of course, some of you are probably thinking….. Uhhh, girl is always boring. — That’s fair. *nods* I understand.

I’m exciting though. I have stories. I was bitten by a parakeet when I was a kid. Mean little bird. He was this little bright green and yellow feathered bird, and I was feeding him for my grandma, because she had several birds, and that little nugget bit me! Drew blood and everything! I had to get a bandage. And unlike Spider-Man, I did not receive any fancy super powers. I do not have feathers, and I cannot fly.

So there’s an entertaining story time for you. My life is thrilling, and this is riveting content. (It’s not, I apologize. *shakes head*)

Love To All,
Heather! 😀

In Case You’re Interested In An Update…

Hey Everyone! 😀

It’s Saturday night, well, technically it’s early Sunday morning… but, that’s really neither here nor there.

Exercised a few hours ago, fresh out of the shower, and now I am sprawled on my couch watching Elementary on Hulu. — I am living the life, let me tell ya! 😉

Quick update! — Also. I haven’t blogged in a while & as my fingers are flying across this keyboard I can’t tell y’all how much I’ve missed it. Of course, I spend a great deal of time typing, but still, this is different. It feels different. Novel writing & blogging are two different beasts.

Let me tell y’all where I’m at!

Book 1: Forgiving Annaleigh! — Completed. Although I am currently reading back through it & looking for any errors that may have escaped mine or any of my lovely beta reader’s notice. — It happens, y’all. It happens. — The book cover. Much closer to being completed. Hang tight, I’ll start marketing for Forgiving Annaleigh very soon. Every day is a day closer to publication, although I don’t have an exact date for that yet… there are a lot of ducks to get in a row… I’m wrangling them, bear with me. 🙂

Book 2: Chasing Charley! — Is roughly 55,000 words along! Whoo-hoo! 😀 We are over half way there, just 30,000 words or so to go… which won’t take as long as you may think. I’m steadily working on this book week in and week out, amidst all the other things I’m doing. — Side note about this one. — It’s special. Near & dear to my heart, as Charley’s story is the closest thing to my very own story that will ever be put to paper. She’s not me & her story isn’t exactly the same as mine, but she’s a lot like me, and it’s very, very similar. — As soon as it’s complete… I’ll jump into editing & that book cover comes next. — Hopefully, it won’t be long after book 1 comes out, that you’ll be seeing book 2!

Book 3: Loving Lynsey! — Stay tuned! I have several scenes mapped out & I’m super excited to get started with this one! I won’t start it until book 2 is complete though, but it is in the early planning stages. I’ll dive in much deeper once I’ve finished writing Chasing Charley.

As for this Sweetgum Valley Series, there are a lot of books to come! This is just the beginning. I have big plans for this small little world that I’ve created and all these characters that I’ve grown to love.

I cannot wait to share them with you! Hang tight, they’re coming. 😀

Now that you’ve been sufficiently updated, I’m going to focus on Sherlock over here solving crimes on my tv. 😀

Much love,
Heather! 🙂