Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Interview with Heather Allen

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Let's celebrate hump day with an interview with a great YA author, Heather Allen.

Welcome to We Do Write, Heather! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am the author of Just Breathe, Barely Breathing, and Forever Breathing. I live in sunny Florida with my husband and three children. I've dedicated my life to education for the past fifteen years with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. I finally realized my dream of becoming an author only recently. I savor every moment on this new journey and continue to touch the lives of children now, not only through teaching but also my books.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing off and on for about a year and half. My first attempt was futile so I took a break. The Just Breathe Trilogy took about a year in total with the first book taking the longest.

Tell us about The Just Breathe series. What’s the story about?

The Just Breathe Trilogy tells the story of brother and sister, James and Ever Harding and their journey into an unknown world where unbelievable things are possible. They learn of a world under the sea where mer-people exist.

Ever Harding has finally found where she belongs, with Jack in the sea. Just when she thought she could start her new life, a new threat forms on the horizon. She must make her biggest choice yet. Is she willing to risk everything to save the love of her life and all she holds dear?
James discovers yet again that his purpose is greater than anything he could ever imagine. He thought he had it all figured out, but sometimes things can be very deceiving. Is he willing to stand up for all he believes is right?
In the final book of the ‘Just Breath’ trilogy, Ever and James find themselves not against each other but fighting together to preserve the freedoms of others. Will they be able to defend the right to choose when the odds are hugely against them?

Sounds fascinating! How did the idea of the story come to you?

I grew up around the water in Florida. My backyard was the inter-coastal waterway essentially. Now I live just ten minutes from the beach. I am out on the water either by boat or at the beach as much as possible. I don’t have any cool story like it came to me in a dream or anything…I just thought about writing something and mermaids were the first thing that popped into my head. Mermaids are just an unknown fantastical part of the ocean. It’s fun to imagine they really exist!

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I have a wonderful group of betas and an incredible editor. I met my betas through the wonderful indie world. My editor though is from my day job. Did I mention how wonderful she is?

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Oh man! Definitely a panster! I don’t plan anything. I’m really bad at not plotting things out. I pretty much type in the moment. Sometimes it works really well. Other times I go back to what I wrote and delete whole paragraphs and wonder what I was thinking!

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Time is the hardest part of writing. There is never a lack of ideas. In fact I have ideas for my next two books already. It’s finding the time to get it all out. Life happens, leaving little of it for me to write. Do I really need sleep that much?

I'm totally with you there. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

I cannot be without music when I write. I plug my ear buds in and turn the volume up very loud. The music not only inspires me but also drowns out the noise of my three children.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

This one I answered on another interview. I am sticking with my original answer, hands down, time travel. I have no patience. Hence my last two books released two days earlier than the set date. It’s a bad one because of the change things dilemma but I’d like to see into the future just a little.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

HMMM! Tough one! I’ve googled mermaids tons of times now but that doesn’t constitute as weird, since my books contain a lot of them. Not sure that this is weird but if I’m watching a movie and a hottie is on the screen that I don’t know, I always google him to find out what else he played in. SHHH! Don’t tell anyone!

My lips are sealed! Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: breath, encouraged, and distance.

He emphatically encouraged her to run the distance while controlling her breathing. – Insert other interesting verbs in sentence for different meaning!

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

Working at my day job – teaching or taxiing kids to numerous sports activities or reading.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I want to thank my family of course for their acceptance of their frustrations at my lack of attention to them often! My online family of authors and readers who are so incredibly supportive! The wonderful blogger support I have. They are such an important part of this community!

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

Just Breathe Buy Link:

Barely Breathing Buy Link:

Forever Breathing Buy Link:
You can find Heather:

Twitter: @kelconcar


Jacqueline Howett said...

Nice interview!

Elizabeth Holloway said...

Cool interview! The series sounds awesome!