I love to hear from my fellow authors, writers, bloggers and poets. I get the wonderful opportunity to interview some of my fellow writers and authors from different genres. Then I get to share a bit more about them and their books with you.
Author Interview with Kathleen Heady, author of The Gate House
Please share a bit of your background (where you were born, where you grew up, siblings, career, etc)
I grew on a farm in southern Illinois, the oldest of four. I could not wait to leave the farm and go away to college. I taught English and Social Studies at the high school level, and eventually spent seven years in Costa Rica teaching at international schools.
How did you begin your writing journey?
I have always loved writing, and I loved imagining stories. But I didn’t take myself seriously as a write until about ten years ago. I wrote some articles that were accepted by magazines and newspapers, and wrote two manuscripts for novels that I consider “practice,” although one has some possibilities. After visiting England in 2004, I was once again inspired by the places we visited, and wrote my first published novel, The Gate House.
What inspired you to write your latest book?
My latest book, Lydia’s Story, which is due out later this year, is a sequel/prequel to The Gate House. I am fascinated by the World War II era, and especially by the lives of people on the home front. And I have spent some time in Wales during the last few years. I brought all this together as a sequel to my first novel. The protagonist, Nara Blake, finds her great-grandmother’s diaries from the 1940s, and the story takes place in both the past and the present.
Please share the message of your latest book, The Gate House.
The message of my latest book is that none of us know what we are capable of until we are in a situation where we must take a risk for the greater good, whether it is the good of our family and friends, or even strangers, as happens in my new book, Lydia’s Story.
Most writers are readers. What are a few of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your “to read” list?
There are so many! On my nightstand is a biography of Ka’iulani, a Hawaiian princess born in the nineteenth century. I love reading about unusual women. I am looking forward to reading Jacqueline Winspear’s latest Maisie Dobbs novel, Elegy for Eddie. That series is an all-time favorite. I have also heard great things about The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango, so that is on my list.
What is your biggest surprise in writing?
The biggest surprise is that I have made so many wonderful new friends (both in person and through the Internet). It is a great feeling to be able to support each other in our writing efforts.
What do you find the most challenging part of writing?
Keeping myself at the computer putting down the words! It’s easy to imagine a story, but there is always such a temptation to jump up and water the plants or some other silly task.
What is the best writing advice you have received?
Like anything else in life — believe in yourself. When I finished my first novel, it took me six months to actually send it out. I just didn’t have the confidence.
Where can others find out more about you and your book(s)?
There is my web site — www.kathleenheady.com
My blog — headywriting.wordpress.com
My Facebook page — www.facebook.com/headynovels
Here is a question just for fun sake. What was your favorite childhood toy and why?
It would have to be my bicycle. There was a lane between our house on the farm and my grandparents’ place, and I rode up and down that lane living in my world of imagination. Often the bicycle became a horse named Lightning, or I might be riding in a circus act. My bicycle took me to new worlds.
Author Kathleen Heady lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats. The Gate House is her first novel, and was a finalist for an EPIC award in 2011. The sequel to The Gate House, tentatively titled Lydia’s Story, will be published in late 2012.