Monday, April 27, 2009


It is an honor to interview Author Heidi M. Thomas. Author of: "COWGIRL DREAMS" Genre: Western Historical 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: 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: 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!

10 comments: said...

Enjoyed this interview. COWGIRL DREAMS is a great read. Heidi puts readers in the saddle and the love story is a sweet and special one. If you love stories about the West, and women in the West, you'll love her writing.

Mary E. Trimble said...

What a great interview! I've read Cowgirl Dreams and am a personal fan of Heidi Thomas. Reading this interview is the icing on the cake!

Mary E. Trimble

Craig Lancaster said...

Terrific interview, Heidi. I'm definitely experiencing the loss of writing time you mentioned. If you have any big breakthroughs in that area, please share them.

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Heidi! I loved "Cowgirl Dreams" and am pleased as punch to see it get noticed.

Author Geri Ahearn said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thank you for visiting
us & commenting! I've lived in
AZ now since 95, for me I will find
this quite an Interesting read!

Author Geri Ahearn said...

Thank you very much Mary! Your
Support is greatly Appreciated by
me, and my authors! Heidi's book
will be a different genre for me
as I don't get Many books with this
subject! I'm sure Most women, especially from the West will indeed Enjoy it!

Author Geri Ahearn said...

Hi Craig,
Thank you very much for
visiting & commenting! I think most
of my authors, writing friends,
and myself must agree about the Loss of Time we All regret, then dread
making up for it! A Good Point made, especially a great Topic for a New Blog!

Author Geri Ahearn said...

Hi Christina,
Thank you very much
for visiting & commenting! My authors, and I Appreciate it!

Heidiwriter said...

Thank you, Geri, for this wonderful interview, And thank all of you for visiting and commenting--I really appreciate the nice compliments on my book.

Yes, the time management issue is ever-looming. Something to work on always.

Thanks again, all!

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