Saturday, January 11, 2014

Author Interview: Heather Manning

Tell us a little about yourself first.
I am a young lady who loves to read -- and write. I have won multiple competitions for my writing with "Nextgen Writers" and placed first in some writing contests with the "Go Teen Writers" blog and am a proud member of ACFW. I live in Missouri where I attend high school, act in community theatre, eat donuts, and read every Inspirational Historical Romance I can get my hands on.

I am proud to say that my first novel was professionally published while I was only sixteen years old.

What do you do when you're not writing?
When I’m not writing, you can usually catch me reading, cross stitching, or working on memorizing the lines for the next play I’m in.



What is your writing process? Do you write regularly at certain times or just when inspiration hits?
I really, really try to write at regular times, like at least thirty minutes a day, but sometimes that doesn’t work and I go for a few days where I only write when the inspiration hits. I usually take part in an event that a writer’s group I’m a member of runs called “100 for 100” where the participants write one hundred words a day for one hundred days. It really helps me bump my word count up and keep an even speed.

What inspired your book?  How did it all start?
Well, I got an idea in the middle of eighth grade to write a story about three best friends, and to base a trilogy on them. I loved the setting of a pirate ship, and everything kind of fell into place around that idea.

What was your favorite book or author as a teen? What's your favorite now?
Since I am still a teen, I will just tell you some of my favorite authors. I absolutely love Mary Connealy, Deeanne Gist, and MayLu Tyndall. I could re-read their books over and over and over again.

If you could only share one piece of advice with aspiring authors, what would it be?
I would advise aspiring authors to read in their genre, write daily (even if it’s only a sentence), and attend writer’s conferences. The connections made and amount of information there are priceless.

Is there anything that you learned during the process of writing and publishing?
I learned that when I write I tend to add a large amount of needless words called “weasel words” like “that”. I have a whole list of these words, and getting rid of them tightens up writing.

Emmy Rossum as Eden in Swept to Sea
Can you tell us about the publishing process? Was there anything in particular that surprised you or that was easier (or harder) than you expected?
I absolutely loved the publishing process, and I hope I get to go through it again soon. I was surprised by how painless the editing process was. I expected to receive thousands of edits that would take months to complete, but it was nothing like that. I enjoyed it.

Are you planning any other books?
Why, yes, I am! First, I am hoping to complete the trilogy that started with Swept to Sea. Then, I plan to continue on with my writing career. I already have a lot of new book ideas up my sleeves.

What genres have you written?
Henry Cavill as Caspian
I mainly write inspirational historical fiction. However, I have gotten some ideas for a contemporary stories and I’ve even dabbled at some scarier plots. I also write nonfiction for my school’s yearbook.

What’s your outlook on fan fiction?
If it’s something a writer enjoys, then they should go ahead and do it. I personally don’t read it—it’s a waste of time for me personally, since I don’t think it helps further many writing careers. However, if that is what
someone enjoys doing as a hobby, I’m not going to stop them from writing it.

And finally, some extras: where can I find you online?
You can find me on my website: http://heathermauthor.blogspot.com/
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Manning-Author/140994172751360
Twitter: @HeatherM_Author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2807352.Heather_Manning

Thank you so much for being my guest today!

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