Monday, April 27, 2009
**INTERVIEW with Author HEIDI M. THOMAS**
It is an honor to interview Author Heidi M. Thomas. Author of: "COWGIRL DREAMS" Genre: Western Historical www.myspace.com/heidiauthor http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/ http://www.heidimthomas.com/ Raised on a ranch in isolated eastern Montana, Heidi Thomas has had a penchant for reading and writing since she was a child. Armed with a degree in journalism from the University of Montana, she worked for the Daily Missoulian newspaper, and has had numerous magazine articles published. COWGIRL DREAMS is the first in a series about strong, independent Montana Women. INTERVIEW Geri: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? Heidi: Before I could even read, I made up stories. Then, when I learned my letters, I kept asking my mother how to spell words. Geri: What type of books do you enjoy writing? Heidi: COWGIRL DREAMS, a western historical, is my first published book. I have three more in the series, and they are all novels based loosely on family history in Montana. Geri: Did a special person in your life inspire you to write? Heidi: I'd like to say that I was born with ink in my veins. My parents always encouraged me in my writing pursuits, and my senior High School teacher encouraged me to study journalism in college, which I did. Geri: Have you written any books based on a true life story? Heidi: Yes! COWGIRL DREAMS is based on my grandmother, who rode steers in rodeos during the 1920s. Geri: Who is your favorite author? Heidi: I enjoy another Montana author, Ivan Doig, and I like Jane Kirkpatrick's historical novels. Geri: Are your characters created from people you've known in real life? Heidi: Yes, and also from the imagination! Geri: How many books have you written? Heidi: I have two more manuscripts in various stages, and a fourth book started. This will be a series. Geri: Where can your book be purchased? Heidi: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ http://www.amazon.com/ http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/ http://www.heidimthomas.com/ And Baker & Taylor distributors Geri: Describe how you felt the first time you were published? Heidi: Ecstatic, on cloud ninety-nine! For several weeks, I kept shaking my head to clear the cotton candy rosy glow, I couldn't believe it was really true. I had started writing COWGIRL DREAMS ten years ago! Geri: Do you have any current work in progress? Heidi: My sequel to COWGIRL DREAMS, with a working title of FOLLOW THE DREAM is in the final revision stages, and I will submit it to my publisher soon. Geri: Do you have goals set for the future? Heidi: I want to continue to publish this series, and keep writing. I've become so fascinated with the subject of old-time cowgirls that I've started research for a non-fiction book on the cowgirls of Montana in the 1920s and 1930s era. Geri: Are you exactly where you want to be with your writing? Heidi: Yes, I am! Looking back at this long journey, I would not have been ready five or ten years ago for the intensity of marketing, and public speaking I have to do. I think God knew when I'd be ready to do this! Geri: What can help authors to reach their dream? Heidi: Preseverance is the key! Don't give up, keep learning, improve it, and send it out! Geri: Have you ever experienced writer's block? Heidi: Yes! Geri: What advice can you give to prevent it? Heidi: Give yourself permission to write out of order. I wrote an article about this on my blog at: http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/ overcoming-writers-block/ Geri: As a child, did you have favorite books? Heidi: I loved Nancy drew, and Zane Grey! Geri: As a child, did you enjoy reading? Heidi: I read everything I could get my hands on. I lived in an isolated, rural area served by a monthly bookmobile. I would check out thirty books, so that I wouldn't run out of reading material before they came back. Geri: If you had the opportunity to one day live the life of a famous author, who would it be? Heidi: I have a hard time thinking of myself as famous, and I don't know that I'd like to be a national household name. I think I'd have to waffle a bit, and say I wouldn't mind being one who lived in Hawaii for a day. Maybe I'm just eager for spring to be here. Geri: Many authors feel a sense of self-satisfaction, or a sense of achievement after publishing a book. Can you relate? Heidi: Absolutely! It is a validation of my life's work that someone believed in me to publish a book. I feel proud that I reached this goal. Geri: How do you balance occupation with writing? Heidi: I freelance editing for other authors, and I teach adult community classes in memoir, and beginning fiction writing. It's difficult to find the time to write now, especially with all the marketing I have to do. But, I'm trying to get better at time management. Geri: How did you feel at your first book-signing? Heidi: I was so excited! It was at a local Farmers Co-op during a Saturday Christmas sale, and I kept stopping people saying, "I 've just had my first book published!" Geri: If you won the lottery tomorrow, would anything change? Heidi: Only that I would have more money for promotion, and travel. Geri: As writers, we begin with a manuscript, and end with promotions. What was your most difficult task? Heidi: I think promotion might be even harder than writing the book, especially because some writers like me are somewhat introverted, creative types, and it's difficult to put yourself out there. Geri: Some writer's need to listen to music, or look at the ocean, or flowers while writing. Can you relate? Heidi: Sometimes I listen to music, either classical, or Mozart, and sometimes country to put me in the western mood. Sometimes I have a picture of the area I'm writing about to inspire me. Geri: If you were to publish a book in a different genre, what would it be? Heidi: That's a tough question. I didn't set out to write a western. It was just a story tribute to my grandmother. I suppose I could try writing a romance! Geri: Thank you Heidi for your time with today's interview, it was quite enjoyable! Heidi: You're Welcome!