Bright Lights #2 - Carey Heywood - A Bridge of Her Own


The second patient on my operating table...ready for dissection...hmmm, this intro is a little on the serial killer side. Let me try again.


My second unsuspecting victim...ugh...just roll with it...

...is the delightful Carey Heywood. Many of you may know her from Twitter, or the surrounding internetosphere, and she has graciously accepted my invite to swing by my wee blog and answer a few of my questions.

I bumped into Carey on twitter and despite the fact she's happily married and a proud mama with younglings, she made me her twitter husband. The relationship was rocky from the outset due to my lack of "Swedish Fish" knowledge. I think we weathered that storm and have survived about 100 tweets since then. I still haven't tasted a Swedish Fish but fortunately Christmas approaches, her new book is available to buy on the Kindle site and she's in a forgiving mood! 

So without further ado...and while she's still talking to me...



Carey Heywood



Q - Hi Carey, your brand new book A Bridge of her Own is out NOW. Tell me about the story and your main character...

A Bridge of Her Own tells the story of Jane Martin, a recent college graduate. She is plotting a new path for herself after her original life plan does not go as expected.


Spartagus says: Awesome cover!


Q - What came to you first: character or story?

Story, I wanted to write something that I, as a reader would like to read. I wanted a story that focused on the initial stages of being attracted to someone.
Q - How do you pick an idea to turn it into a story? Does it jump up at you or do you have to work through something until it "hits"?

I tend to have ideas jump out at me.

Q - A common mantra for writers is: write what you know. Do you base anything in your books on "what you know"?

Yes, I absolutely am inspired by personal experiences. I try and put into words how I felt in certain situations in my life, then mold the feelings to match the story. I have fallen in love, I have traveled, for example I've set this book and another in places I've lived. 


Q - Tell me about the genre you write in: do you write the stuff you'd like to read or did you just find something you were good at and stick with it?

I write Mature YA, or New Adult. I read a lot of YA and paranormal/ fantasy.



Q - During our wee chats in email and Twitter, you've managed to convey your story ideas really well condensing the important parts into a catchy hook. In writing parlance that's known as a pitch. Is that something you're naturally good at or is it something you've had to practice? 

In my day job it is necessary that I give my opinions in a succinct fashion. I do tend to ramble incoherently for ages verbally. Not joking, I also believe the character limit on Twitter is useful to curb my blathering tendencies.


Q - How was your experience working with an editor and a cover designer? Was it difficult to relinquish some creative control when you involved other people?

I love both my editor, Yesenia Vargas and my cover designer Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. I tend to be wildly impatient and honestly I originally rushed the initial publication of my novel. I am working on inner peace and not rushing the process this time. Sarah tends to work in the wee hours of the night so I loved waking up to emails from her. I completely trust both of them and had no issue relinquishing control.



Check out the brilliant work of Sarah Hansen here: okaycreations
And editor Yesenia Vargas here: http://yeseniavargas.com/

Q - Could you give me some insight into how long the process from pitch to publishing took you?

I began writing A Bridge of Her Own in Nov, 2011. Lost at least a month in thinking it would be brilliant to hand write my novel. Typing everything I had written was horrid, I now only jot random notes on paper, or hands, etc. I finished my rough draft in April, worked on editing till the original release in Sept, 2011. Realized I am not an editor or book cover designer not long after and unpublished it so I could partner with some pros.


Q - Do you have a particular writing spot or a time of day you like to write?

I write in bed, that should not sound suggestive. I sit with a pillow in my lap and my laptop on top of that. I normally write in the evening before I go to bed so it is just a matter of convenience.



Q - Do you write every day?

Try to!



Q - You've talked with me before about Beta Readers, so I assume you find them an invaluable part of your process. What are you looking for when you put your story out to Beta Readers?

I am less worried about things an editor would catch, I'm more concerned about any parts are confusing or annoying. Sometimes annoying is good though, I loved feedback that everyone hated this one character because that was what I was going for.


Q - Were you nervous about letting people read your work for the first time?

Yes, I was fully prepared to curl up in the fetal position and cry. I'm still terrified someone out there, once it is re-released may hate it. I want people to like what I write, I just have to deal with the fact that you can not please anyone.


Q - What has been the general reaction from close friends and relatives?

Love and support! My mom was my very first editor. 


Q - What are your thoughts on the uses of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter etc) for writers. Has it helped in your development as a writer?

I have a Twitter account and a Facebook author page. I love Twitter, I have made many contacts (you included) that I now consider friends in addition to being amazing resources. I'm somewhat lazy about my Facebook page, I just smacked my hand. I will be better at it, I promise :/



Q - Do you have any current favorite authors/books?

Yes!

Melodie Ramone - After Forever Ends

Helen Boswell - Mythology 
Rachel Higginson - every book she wrote

Q - Do you ever suffer from writer's block?

Not so much, I more often suffer from distracted writing. When I get sucked into a TV show or being chatty on Twitter instead of writing.


Q - Is it important for a writer to also be a reader?

I believe so.



Q - Library or Bookstore?

Both.



Q - Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?

Not often, but when I do it is my Pandora Lenka station.



Q - How do you choose your next story?

Stray idea.



Q - What are you writing now?

Working title Stages of Grace. Using the five stages of grief to follow the journey of Grace who is mourning a relationship she is still in.



Q - What excites you most about writing?

Telling a story.



Q - One piece of advice for new writers?

Ask for help, if the first person you ask is a tool keep asking people. I was introduced to a writer through a mutual friend and she totally blew me off, it made me nervous to reach out again. That was stupid, don't do that.



Q - What's your favorite animal...just because...I want to know! lol

Elephant



And finally - You're going to be stranded on a desert island (for a wee while) but I'm going to allow you to take 1 book, 1 piece of music, 1 movie, a bowl of your favorite dessert and 1 person you'd like to share the island with for a while (alive, dead, fictional or real...it matters not) What are your choices...and if you want to elaborate...tell me WHY?

Book - After Forever Ends. I love this book.

Music - John Denver, Today. It reminds me of my dad.
Movie - My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I love this movie.
Dessert - Swedish Fish (you totally already knew that). 
Person - I'd love to see Cameron again, a friend who died that I never got to say goodbye to.
A Swedish fish...you can tell because it says Swedish on it.
Thank you Carey for coming to play on my blog! I appreciate your time and wish you every success in the future.

Please check out Carey's new book here: A Bridge of Her Own

And don't forget to "LIKE" and give a review!

Carey can also be found on Twitter: @Careylolo go say hello and let her know what you thought about her book and this wee interview! :0)





Comments

  1. Great interview! A Bridge of Her Own sounds like a fantastic read, Carey! Congrats on your release! So...about these Swedish fish...do they taste like gummy bears? I've never had one. lol :)

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  2. A wonderful interview and the book sounds very engaging. Congratulations on the book release (fantastic cover; I'd pick it up).

    The fish candies, my mom's very favorite when I was growing up. Also really cool carefully placed in a (clean) fish bowl of blue jello if you have kids and don't mind additives, dyes and high sugar content.

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