Today on the blog, I’m interviewing indie author Heather Blair! I met Heather over social media and started following her writing adventures from there. She’s so sweet and I can’t wait to get my hands on her books!
Without further ado…
When did you first decide you wanted to write? Was it your first career choice or were you planning on doing something else?
H: I started writing for fun in the first grade. Being a writer and/or illustrator was the first career I remember actively wanting. Even when I changed my mind 600 times over the years, I always knew I’d write a book someday.
When did you first publish? Did you enjoy your self-publishing experience?
H: I self-published in August of 2018. I had no idea what I was doing, did very little research, but plowed ahead nonetheless. I have learned an insane amount since then, but I’m still an amateur who continues to pick up tricks every day. My love is writing. Self-marketing is just something I dabble in, and it’s tough. There is such a fine line between promoting yourself and making people feel harassed or annoyed. Walking that line is a true art form!
Is Lucid Dreaming your debut novel? What is it about?
H: It is far from the first novel I’ve written, but it is the first I’ve finished and the first I’ve published. So, yes. It is my debut!
Lucid Dreaming is a love story about the unusual, slowly-developed relationship between Alison, who has lived a truly blessed life, and Quinn, who has survived one of the most challenging childhoods imaginable (and is a little odd because of it). Their understanding of the human race and of each other is uniquely shaped by their past experiences. They both have a lot to learn about life and love and end up being each other’s best teachers. The story is equal parts poignant and funny with character-driven, electrically-charged romantic scenes.
And you just had another novel release, Wide Awake! What is this book about? Does it accompany Lucid Dreaming?
H: Wide Awake is the sequel to Lucid Dreaming and the conclusion to Alison and Quinn’s story. At the end of Lucid Dreaming a corner is turned in the couple’s relationship, but what’s beyond that corner is explored in the second book. There’s a lot more there!
What inspires you to write?
H: Other people’s work! So many things I read and watch give me a visceral response and the best way for me to cope with these fictional hangovers is to write a little fiction of my own.
Who are some authors that inspire you to become a better writer?
H: Lately, Leigh Bardugo (Grishaverse) and Maggie Steifvater (The Raven Cycle). Their writing is so effortlessly beautiful and entertaining. I am forever reading a line and going “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!”
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written thus far?
H: Alison Waverly, Lucid Dreaming‘s protagonist, is the character I most relate to since I was fortunate to have a wonderful upbringing. Quinn is definitely my favorite, though. He has been such a fun character study. I love writing him and I am also madly in love with him.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
H: Sitting down and doing it! I think about writing all the time. In bed, in the shower, at work. But then when I actually have time to do it I stall and stall. Anyone who writes will understand this weird, nonsensical phenomenon. It’s not that I don’t want to write, I just can’t get myself to dive in, sometimes!
How would you describe your writing style?
H: Slice of life? Character-driven? I’m not a plot person. I mean, of course my novels have plots, but they are not fascinatingly complicated. That is a talent I WISH I had, but I just don’t and I’m slowly learning to accept it. My strength is character development, which I think comes from a long history in theater. I can forgive any lackluster plot if I’m in love with the characters, and this is the way I strive to write.
Do you have a favorite snack or drink you enjoy while writing?
H: I might as well have an IV for seltzer water. Wheat Thins usually come out too. Ideally, I’d like to drink tea while writing and reading, but I have found I get too enraptured, forget about it, and let it grow cold.
Just because I’d like to include it for readers’ purposes, what would you say your target audience is for your book? Is there any content I should warn readers about?
H: Good question! I don’t consider my book erotica, as the sex is mostly plot and character driven, but heads up–there are some very racy scenes! As the male protagonist is a sexual abuse survivor, this is also a trigger warning I like to give. His past is discussed minimally and tastefully, but it is worth mentioning.
What is some advice you can give aspiring authors out there that you wish you had known when you began your writing and publishing journey?
H: Let other people read your work and give you feedback. I hate sharing unfinished work and I tend to take criticism personally, even the constructive kind, but I am slowly learning to let go of this fear and so far it has been wonderful. Being able to see how your work is interpreted through other people’s eyes is priceless! You might not always agree with feedback, but it’s valuable to have.
What do you consider your definition of success, as an author? Have you reached it yet or are you still in the process of obtaining it?
H: I think anyone who publishes their work has already succeeded. Even in today’s world, where it’s fairly “easy” to self-publish, it’s a MAJOR accomplishment. There are different levels of success, though. I have reached Level 1, but I’m still working toward higher levels. If I could live off the earnings from my writing, that would be the ultimate goal–and I’m not talking being rich and famous–I’m simply saying, if writing could be my full-time job then I’ll know I’ve made it. It can happen!
Thank you so much, Heather, for letting me interview you! If you guys would like to follow Heather’s journey and/or check out her books, check out the links below!
Heather Blair is a romantic suspense author hailing from Vermont.
She has been writing ever since her first manuscript, The Tale of Chowder the Cat, garnered rave reviews from her parents and first-grade teacher, Mrs. Currier.
Blair holds a degree in Theater Arts from Castleton University and has lived in both New York and Los Angeles.
In her free time she dabbles in freelance voice over, podcasting and other hobbies that allow her to fangirl about the multitude of fandoms she belongs to.
She currently resides in Connecticut with her two cats.