AUTHOR INTERVIEW – HEIDI NICOLE BIRD (General, Juvenile and YA Fiction)
Please welcome Heidi Nicole Bird.
What a lovely name. Heidi, tell us about yourself, where you’re from/grew up/live now, what you do for fun, if you work at “day job” what do you do that may impact your writing, favorite pet/color/movie/book/actress/actor—you know, all that stuff that makes Heidi interesting!
I grew up and have lived in West Jordan, Utah for practically my entire life. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in April 2012.
The only job I currently have is being a fulltime writer, and honestly, I would love for things to stay that way, except that I don’t really get paid for all these hours, if you know what I mean. Not yet, anyway!
I usually write in my bedroom, either at my desk or in my bed, and most of the time I have my dog, Nonnie, with me. Sometimes my other dogs are with me too.
Adam Young provides my writing music if I listen to anything, but more and more I am finding that I need silence to make sure everything in the book comes together.
My favorite color is purple, and I really, REALLY love Disney movies and Disneyland! I could live in Disneyland and never get tired of it. I love music and researching and if I am not writing I am likely doing something that involves one of those things.
I am a huge promoter of NaNoWriMo, and I am a crazy, dedicated participant every year. Though I was offered a publishing contract, I have opted to self publish my books so I can have more control over distribution and the books themselves.
When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I have always had a deep love for stories and writing. It wasn’t until 2009 that I actually finished a story though, thanks to NaNoWriMo.
What is your genre?
There are a couple genres I stick to: fantasy is my favorite, though I also write general fiction, and I write both juvenile fiction and young adult fiction.
What’s your process? Seat of pants, well-devised outliner?
I don’t usually outline. Usually I start off with an idea that hit me sometime, somewhere, and then I just sort of run with it. Sometimes I have characters planned out, sometimes a bit of the plot, but usually not. I like to let the story tell itself.
That can lead to some big and lovely surprises. What other writer inspires you? Your work?
Lisa Mangum, Chris Baty, and Bruce Coville are my biggest inspirations. I want to write at the caliber that they do, and they just fill be with whatever I need to keep going, whether that is motivation, a great story, or just the knowledge that their first drafts weren’t perfect either!
What is your favorite work by you? And why is it your fav?
So far my favorite work is “Ontario”, a young adult fiction/romance that I will be releasing in either April or May. It is my favorite story that I have ever had come to me, and the main character, Ontario, is in many ways, me.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
Usually I don’t base my characters on anyone that I actually know, but that does happen some times. Most of the time I just have ideas come to me and the character tells me more about themselves as the story unfolds.
I love when writers talk about the voices in their heads. I know I have good company! What’s your best/worst experience as a writer?
The best thing has got to be those little moments when you go back over something you have written and you read something that just makes your heart skip a beat because you can’t believe you wrote something so good!
The worst, for me, is formatting the book for publishing! I’ve got the hang of it now I think, but it is a pain!
What is the best/worst writing advice you ever got?
The best advice: NEVER EDIT WHILE YOU ARE WRITING! Seriously. If I were to edit while I was writing, I would never finish a story.
The worst advice: I honestly can’t think of any bad advice I have received, but I do know that many authors think their first draft is publishable, which is never the case!
I certainly agree on that editing, although if I have a day when something new is eluding me, sometimes I’ll go back to the beginning and run through it rather than waste a “writing day”. Sometimes, that breaks loose a new idea for me.
What is your latest work?
This past Valentine’s Day I released my first book, “Through the Paper Wall”,
which is juvenile fiction fantasy. It can be found on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats, and all other formats can be found on Smashwords.
What do you want your fans to know about you and your work?
I am dedicated to producing stories that are engaging and fun to read, and each of my stories is family friendly. I don’t think a story has to have anything overly romantic, violent, or full of cursing to be good. In fact, I think those things detract from the story. I do my best to represent readers who appreciate good, glean, enjoyable stories.
Tell us something about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
I’m a musician, and for a long time a lot of people thought that would be my career choice. I sing and play the guitar, piano, and violin.
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?