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February 14, 2010 / theoldsilly

YA Lit Author Heather Paye

Today is feature a fellow author from the VBT – Authors on the Move Yahoo group I belong to. I’t my pleasure to introduce you all to Heather Paye. She’s written and published this marvelous YA book, titled A Gift From above.

Here’s a short synopsis-

Celia Meyers gets everything that she wants, but when she requests a sibling and gets it, it’s not all that she expected at all. Her parents ignore her, threaten to send her to a “summer camp” and the worst possible things happen to her all of the time. Finally she can’t take it anymore, so she confides in her best friend Tommy Hanson, about searching for her long lost nanny Milicent Potter. But when she finds Millie, she learns some disturbing facts that she’s not quite sure what to do with. 

Celia visits with Tommy and discovers his true feelings towards her. At the ending Celia becomes somewhat of a hero as she saves a young boy in a car accident. The book starts out when she is 8 and progresses through her life until she is 16.

And now, let’s get to know Heather a little bit with this short interview:

Marvin: How long have you been writing?

HeatherAnswer: I’ve been writing for around eight years.

Marvin: What started you writing for publication?

Heather: After I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (yes, I read the second one before I read the first one) I was simply touched by the story and become absolutely obsessed with it. You can bet I went out and bought every book out there that had anything at all to do with it. Which was when I bought “Muggles and Magic” which had a short interview in it with J.K.Rowling. One thing she said was “Anyone can write a book” that was the sentence that changed my life.

Before then, I swear, I didn’t know just anyone could write a book, I thought you had to be someone special. That was when I started out writing my first short story. I only managed to write three short stories before I decided that I wanted to write something bigger, something better – a novel. It took me four years, but I managed to write my first full length novel. During those years, I had been studying publishing, how to do it, where to go, what you need. It paid off, I’m signing a contract for my series of nine and I still have yet to get a rejection letter.

Marvin: Do you have a schedule or set regimen for writing, or do you just write when inspired?

Heather: I try to write as much as I can. Whenever I’m not busy I spend my spare time writing, my schedule is too busy to really set a time.

Marvin: Have you ever had writer’s block, and if so how do you get rid of it?

Heather: I don’t really think there is such a thing as writer’s block. I have had a few bouts of mental laziness though.

Marvin: What do you recommend to other aspiring, young authors?

Heather: Don’t rush writing (Rome wasn’t built in a day), study, take notes, pay extra attention to your English class, and don’t underestimate the power of revision/editing. I used to think I didn’t need editing, I just thank goodness I got that out of my mind before it was time for me to edit my first novel.

Marvin: How do you create your characters?

Heather: This is a tough question, when I need to create a character I just make him/her up as I go along. I gather up a few ideas – visual appearance, overall attitude – and I go from there. Most of my characters completely fictional and thought up. A couple of times I have tried to model my characters out of people whom I know in real life… but they always seem to take on a style all their own.

Marvin: I know authors, myself among them, who keep records (almost like police records) of height, weight, background, etc. of their characters. As an editor I even recommend this to other authors. Do you keep tabs on your characters, and if so, what do you usually make note of?

Heather: If I’m writing a series it can be quite helpful to keep character records, and depending on the length and complexity of the stand-alone novel I might keep records of the characters. Most of the time, I do keep the records. I usually make note of occupation, height, hair color, eye color, age, name, rank, serial number, LOL! Everything I can think up for the characters, and then some.

Marvin: Some authors say that they feel as though his or her characters are real. Do you feel this way, and what do you think about this?

Heather: I think if you don’t feel your characters are real, you’re doing something wrong. You know you’ve done a good think if you can daydream about your characters.

Marvin: Do you have works in progress?

Heather: Certainly! Would I be an author if I didn’t? I have a werewolf novel about half-way finished, it’s the most adult thing I’ve written to date (it’s still in the young adult catagory though). I’m still working on that series of nine “The Artifact Series”. I’m also working on a poetry anthology for Mother’s Day.

Marvin: What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned about life and writing?

Heather: That no matter how old you are, you never stop learning, and you have something to learn from everyone.

~~~~~

Thanks, Heather, for being here and sharing with us today. Everybody, to get a copy of A Gift From Above, click on the title (Create Space vendor) or the book cover above (Amazon paperback), or for a Kindle version click here. And Heather’s blog is at http://heatherpaye.blogspot.com.

Let’s show Heather some love in the comments, peeps, and ask any questions you’d like – she’ll be stopping in to interract with y’all today. 

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23 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Thelma Banks / Feb 14 2010 8:44 am

    Enjoyed the interview. Best of luck with your writing career, young lady – good to see young people growing up to become authors!

  2. Nancy Famolari / Feb 14 2010 8:46 am

    Enjoyed the interview. Looking forward to hearing more about the series.

  3. Cactus Annie / Feb 14 2010 8:53 am

    Way to go, Heather – published author already and still so young! I love your attitude in the last answer you gave in the interview!

  4. tashabud / Feb 14 2010 9:04 am

    An inspiring interview, Marvin, especially to old folks like me. Congratulations to Heather. So young and already published. So awesome.

    Tasha

  5. Martha Swirzinski / Feb 14 2010 9:37 am

    Heather it was wonderful to learn about you and how you got started.

  6. Dana Donovan / Feb 14 2010 10:01 am

    I’m impressed, and a bit jealous, having an office wallpapered in rejection letters. Way to go, Heather. I wish you continued success!

  7. tdryden1 / Feb 14 2010 11:10 am

    Great interview. Hopefully that will be me someday!!! Great job Heather and you too Marvin!

  8. Darcía Helle / Feb 14 2010 12:05 pm

    Heather, you’re an inspiration to young people everywhere. I wish I’d been more committed in my youth!

  9. Stephen Tremp / Feb 14 2010 12:39 pm

    Developing characters as you go along is good advice. They can be a hodge podge of people you know and making stuff up along the way as you write the story. I’ve asked a couple people to use their names for characters loosely based on their persona. These are people I know well and are honored to b mentioned in a book.

    I like the premis of your story. There’s conflict at home, then looking for greener pastures she’s finds what she set out to leave behind: more conflict. So true to real life.

    Stephen Tremp

  10. L. Diane Wolfe / Feb 14 2010 12:57 pm

    I like your answer about writing – my schedule is too busy to set a writing schedule as well. And I dno’t believe in writer’s block either.

  11. Stanley Berber / Feb 14 2010 12:58 pm

    Go Heather! Published author at your age is quite an accomplishment – loved the whole interview, nice job Marvin and Heather!

  12. yvonne lewis / Feb 14 2010 1:08 pm

    Enjoyed the interview, and I wish Heather all the best of luck.

    Yvonne.

  13. Karen Cioffi / Feb 14 2010 1:13 pm

    Wow, great interview.

    It always amazes what inspires or changes a person’s life. Reading J.K. Rowling’s quote that “anyone can write a book,” is such an inspiring thing to write. It offers hope and encouragement to all those who ‘want to’ but don’t have the confidence.

    I also just can’t set a writing schedule or weekly writing/marketing plan. Life always gets in the way and then I feel unaccomplished. I take the day as it unfolds and obviously prioritize.

    You’re an inspiring young lady, Heather. I hope young folk are watching with a mindful eye!

    Thanks, Marvin,

    Karen

  14. kathy stemke / Feb 14 2010 1:32 pm

    Another great interview by you Old Silly.

    Heather your advice to young writers hit me between the eyes. Being patient is one of my biggest challanges in the literary world. I’m learning slowly. Congrats on all you’ve done. I know you will accomplish so much more.

  15. Vivian Zabel / Feb 14 2010 1:44 pm

    Thank you, Marvin, for helping us learn more about Heather. She is a many layered young woman.

    Heather, you are so correct when you say to keep learning, that no matter how old we are to keep learning.

    Vivian

  16. Alex J. Cavanaugh / Feb 14 2010 1:56 pm

    Good interview!

  17. Katie Hines / Feb 14 2010 2:57 pm

    This was a great interview. It’s nice to know Heather better. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who keeps close track of her characters!

  18. Janet Ann Collins / Feb 14 2010 4:24 pm

    Heather sounds like an author with a promising future.

  19. Debra Eckerling / Feb 14 2010 5:35 pm

    Great interview! Thanks, Marvin & Heather!

    How inspiring and talented you are, Heather. Keep up the good work!

  20. Heather Paye / Feb 14 2010 7:25 pm

    Thank you all so much for commenting! All of your comments put a large smile on my face today.

    – Tdryden1 – It’s amazing what can be done if you take large and well prepared leaps, keep at it and I’m sure you’ll get where you want to be.

    – L. Diane Wolfe & Karen Cioffi – Author’s are overworked and mostly underpaid, most of us people don’t mind though. ~_^ But the schedules are hectic and crazy, one of the only ways I’ve found to get everything done is – like you said, Karen, prioritize!

    – Kathy Stemke – It took me a couple of novels to realize that writing cannot be rushed in the slightest bit. It takes a little while, but with practice comes paitence.

    Thank you all again for commenting! I love reading the comments! 😉 And thank you Marvin for hosting me, I absolutely love how everything turned out!

    ~ Heather Paye

  21. Dallas Woodburn / Feb 15 2010 2:16 pm

    Wonderful interview! I loved the tips about keeping “character records.” I wish you all the best, Heather!

    Dallas
    http://dallaswoodburn.blogspot.com/

  22. Heidi M. Thomas / Feb 15 2010 3:41 pm

    Impressive that you’ve never received a rejection and have a contract for your series!! Way to go, girl!
    Heidi

  23. Brigitte Thompson / Feb 15 2010 7:54 pm

    Great interview with a very interesting writer. Thank you for sharing.

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