I do have a day job along with writing books and screenplays, operating three publishing companies, and collaborating with production companies. It’s exhausting, but it’s so worth it.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is Vocations. It’s a coming-of-age teen drama about love, friendship, and discovering who we are and what we want to be in that moment.
Who is your publisher, or do you self-publish?
I’ve worked with eight small publishing houses over the last ten years. I definitely learned a lot from them and was lucky to be involved with several stages of the book publishing process. From that experience, along with the help of a business advisor, I’ve opened my own publishing companies. Treasure Cove Books produces books for middle graders, Syren Books is my young adult line, and finally, Diamond Dust Books publishes adult fiction. While I’m very grateful for my experiences with other publishing houses, I can’t deny the fact that I’m so much more satisfied with the books I’ve published under my companies. Yes, it is a lot more work, but it’s been worth it. I have full creative control, and sales have reached tens of thousands.
What can we expect from you in the future? More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
My forthcoming release is Supernatural – the fourth book in The Horror Diaries series. I am also working on Frostbitten, a young adult werewolf romance that I outlined years ago. Luckily, now seems like a perfect time for that genre! On the screenwriting side, I have a short filming in early 2013, and I’m also working with a production company on a paranormal TV show.
What genre would you place your books into?
I write a ton of paranormal books; I’ve been doing so since 2004! I also write coming-of-age stories for teens and romances for adults. I love anything that is unusual, unexpected and really pushes the boundaries of genre expectation. Short stories and novellas are my favorite lengths to both write and read.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so, why is it your favourite?
I don’t really have a favorite; that’s like asking which of your children do you prefer. Instead, I love each of my titles for different reasons. For example, The Horror Diaries and Legends Unleashed series were so much fun to write because I’ve truly let my imagination run wild. They’re scary/fun tales featuring interesting characters, fast-paced plots and, in the case of Legends Unleashed, a lot of unlikely romances.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your books, which would you be and why?
To write an interesting story, an author has to take their main character to hell and back. They have to experience great lows and even greater highs – or sometimes vice versa! Since this is the case with my characters, I can confidently conclude that there isn’t a single character I’d like to be. Luckily, my life is interesting enough!
Do you have a certain routine for writing?
I don’t have a routine, but I definitely prefer writing outdoors. I always feel inspired when hiking, sitting on the dock at my cottage, or being near water (whether it be at the beach, in my pool, or at the lake). I’m very much addicted to the outdoors.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Every time I’m about to read a review, I still get nervous. 98% of the reviews I receive are positive and that means so much to me. After all, I want people to enjoy the worlds and characters I create. Literary preferences are very subjective though, so I have received a handful of less than stellar reviews. I can’t deny that it sucks, but as long as I love my works and the positive reviews heavily outweigh the negative, I’m happy!
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive?
No! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that. Additionally, that old cliché is true: there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Just getting your book out there is the most important aspect to book marketing. As long as the reviewer includes my publisher’s description of the book, other readers can decide for themselves if it’ll most likely interest them.
What do you think makes a book really good or a bestseller?
I think a great book features multifaceted and relatable characters. An amazing plot with a ton of twists and an unexpected ending is definitely important. Finally, a great book is insightful and very well-written. As for a bestseller, it must contain all of the above mentioned aspects, but marketing plays a huge roll. It comes down to who has the biggest budget.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. Rather, the opposite is true; I have too many ideas and not enough time to execute them all. However, if I’m really busy and stressed out, it takes me longer to write well. While writing, I prefer to concentrate solely on the work in front of me. I don’t really appreciate distractions.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories, or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I’ve been writing avidly since I was in elementary school. I’ve always loved English, and I wrote the school plays consecutively for two years. I was also encouraged by high school teachers to get my writing published. However, it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I began seriously researching the publishing industry and writing professionally. I was nineteen when my first book was published with a small publishing house. I started studying screenwriting when the books from The Horror Diaries series was optioned for a TV series. Due to my writing commitments, I don’t get to read at all anymore. However, when I was younger, I read a ton of books.
What do you think about book trailers?
I love the concept of book trailers! Unfortunately, I don’t have the skills to produce a good one. I have created a writer’s reel though, and I’d love for you to check it out:
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
No. I am proud of my books and I want my name attached to them. Even though I write everything from scary stories for kids to adult romances, I always use my name.
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Tennessee Williams and Jack London. I can’t think of a third!
Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/326066.Heather_Beck
And any other information you wish to supply?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my interview! I really hope you’ll check out some of my titles.
Best Wishes Always,
(Thank you for taking the time to take part in this Interview for my blog!)