5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Monday, November 12, 2012

Indie Author Interview: Debbie A. Heaton

Interview with Debbie A. Heaton - Author of the Gothic Romance Novel The Haunting of Wolfe Haven.

Debbie A. Heaton is a New Mexico native, wrote her first novella in high school. A voracious reader, she likes books that pair tantalizing mystery, compelling romance, and a touch of the paranormal. She learned to love reading early because the public library was close and free of charge. Her mother has repeatedly stated through the years that she never had to look far for Debbie because she could always be found somewhere in the library stacks. Debbie's love for books is so great that she applied to her local Library Advisory Board and now happily serve in that capacity doing everything she can to preserve this great American institution while promoting early childhood literacy.

Debbie A. Heaton is a member of the International Women's Writing Guild and the Paranormal Romance Guild.

Interview with Author Debbie A. Heaton

Interview w/ Author Debbie A. Heaton
Author Debbie A. Heaton
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Debbie A. Heaton: I studied writing in high school and when I went to college I intended to become both a teacher and a writer. One year into my studies I realized I needed to be involved in social services and changed my major. For some time I wrote short stories until an editor suggested I write a novel. Then my family came along and the writing still happened but more in the background for a while. As a professional, I have always contributed to the local paper as a columnist and currently write a bi-monthly parenting column. The Haunting of Wolfe Haven was published in 2010 and was an Editor’s Choice.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who and what are your writing influences?
My favorite writers include Allison Kingsley, Lorraine Bartlett, Kat Martin, J.A Jance, Juliet Blackwell and many more! I really enjoy the A Raven’s Nest Bookstore Mystery series, A Victoria Square Mystery series, and anything by Lori Handeland. My favorite all-time writer is hands down, Emily Bronte and she has been my greatest influence. At a time when women were not expected to accomplish anything outside of home and family, she not only became a writer but she left us with Wuthering Heights, an absolute masterpiece.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I always kept a diary. And then in high school, my English teacher encouraged me to write and I wrote a novella for my class. I was hooked from then on.

"I begin developing my characters."

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

Once I have a story idea, I begin developing my characters. From there I like to use a storyboard to develop the story line. This allows me to alter, change and create as I go along. I write every day for at least two hours regardless of what else is going on.

What do you find easiest about writing? What’s the hardest?
I think the easiest thing is writing the story. Once it starts it just keeps going until the end. The hardest thing about writing is 1) finding sufficient time; and 2) the marketing that’s required once you’re done!

Debbie, please tell us about your debut novel, The Haunting of Wolfe Haven.
Set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the story brings together an estranged family who will be forced to navigate a minefield of murder, betrayal, an encounter with the supernatural, as well as facing the choices they’ve made in their lives that have affected not just them but also those around them.

The Haunting of Wolfe Haven (Debbie A. Heaton)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
I enjoy reading stories about everyday people just like me that must face an obstacle and see it to the end. I’ve always wanted to create just such a story myself. The Haunting of Wolfe Haven contains people that could be your neighbors; making choices that you might make yourself only to one day realize they weren’t the best choices out there.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
The target audience includes anyone over 25 who enjoy reading paranormal, romance and murder mysteries.
The book can be purchased at iUniverse, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, SustanceBooks.com and can be ordered through any bookstore.

"The book has won numerous recognitions [...]"

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
The book has won numerous recognitions that include:
Winner in Romance at the 2012 Paris Festival of Books; a Bronze Medal in Romance in the 2010 Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Award; finalist in the 2011 and 2012 International Book Award in romance, mystery/suspense and general fiction; finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in Commercial Fiction; Winner in Romance at the “USA Best Books 2011 Award” sponsored by USA Books; Honorable Mentions at the 2011 Halloween and San Francisco Book Festivals; and it received a 4 star review at the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards.
Sales have not been as good as I had hoped but they have increased over the past several months.

How long did it take you to write the book?
It took me just over two years. During the midst of its creation my sister became ill and I spent many long hours in ICU rooms with her. She is doing much better now but she was the inspiration for some of the characteristics found in the main character, Riley, as well as the topiary wolf garden pivotal to the story.

Please, tell us when you self-published. How smooth was the self-publish process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing?
I self-published with iUniverse in 2010. I was very impressed with their approach and their knowledge of the whole process. They provided me with an entire team to work with throughout the long process. I would recommend for anyone wanting to self-publish that they seek out an agency with knowledge of the process as well as someone who leaves no rock unturned.

Did you hire an Editor and/or a Cover Designer for your book?
No, actually I got that and so much more with iUniverse. They provided me with an excellent Editor who was prompt and knew exactly how things should be and a creative team that went in and pulled out the description of Wolfe Haven from the book and did a good job of recreating it for the cover.

"The process is long and tedious so be prepared for months of hard work."

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
The process is long and tedious so be prepared for months of hard work. Something like this does not happen overnight so patience is a must for any determined writer.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am writing another book tentatively entitled, The Haunting of Summerwind. This book will link to The Haunting of Wolfe Haven through the main female characters that grew up together and subsequently encounter the supernatural.

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to having one of your next books to be traditionally published?
At this time I’m looking to continue as an Indie Author however, I would not frown at an opportunity to be traditionally published.

"[...] most likely we will be a world of eBooks only."

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will bookstores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I’m saddened to admit that most likely we will be a world of eBooks only. I love nothing better than spending hours and hours in libraries and bookstores scanning the shelves to discover new adventures, but I think that will come to a close before too long.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I have a day job. I’m a master’s level therapist currently working with families and children in Arizona.

How do readers connect with you?
My website, Twitter, and Facebook.[See Links below]

Thank you very much for the Interview, Debbie.

About the Book The Haunting of Wolfe Haven

The Haunting of Wolfe Haven - Debbie A. Heaton
Click to Read an Excerpt
Riley Russell fled life with her husband Tristan three years ago. Now, she returns to Wolfe Haven, and to the mysteries and manipulation that continue to haunt the sinister ancestral home.

After an unusual letter from Abby, her husband's cousin, Riley returns to her husband's home, the place she fled after being put in a compromising situation by her husband's scheming brother, Colin. She has been brought there to try and win back her husband Tristan's affections so he does not marry the suspicious fiancé Glenda.

Though Riley feels more independent, stronger after three years, when she is back at Wolfe Haven, she is immediately drawn into the web of intrigue.

But this time there are players that she cannot trust and new mysteries that Riley must unravel for her own safety and sanity.

The Haunting of Wolfe Haven has earned the following recognitions: A Bronze Medal in Romance in Foreword Review's Book of the Year Award 2010; an honorable mention at the 2011 San Francisco Book Festival in the wild card category; an honorable mention at the 2011 Halloween Book Festival in the wild card category; and it was a three time finalist in the 2011 International Book Award in Mystery/Suspense, Romance, and General Fiction. Award winner in the Romance category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

- "Heaton's descriptions and plot twists sets a pace which heightens the intrigue and mystery, as she reveals tidbits and changes characters' circumstances and leaves the reader guessing who has done what in the family that has secrets to hide and enemies to watch. The tension, sexual and otherwise between Riley and her estranged husband, Tristan is also beautifully conveyed [...]" - Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader

Links to the Author and the Book

Link to the Author's Website

Connect with the Author via Twitter: @authordebbie

Connect with the Author via Facebook: da.heaton

Link to the Paperback The Haunting of Wolfe Haven on Amazon with Excerpt

Link to the eBook The Haunting of Wolfe Haven on Amazon with Excerpt

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