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Author Interview – KRISTEN HEITZMANN

weekend with the writers banner

 

On January 29 & 30, the second annual Weekend with the Writers Mini-Conference

ill take place here in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina which is my stomping grounds.

So, this month I’m featuring the guest speakers from the conference

in an Interview Blitz. Each week I will introduce you to

one of the speakers at the conference. (three of whom I met at last year’s conference)

ope you enjoy getting to know each of the fanTAStic authors!

 

 

 

WEEKEND WITH THE WRITERS CONFERENCE

INTERVIEW BLITZ

 

“People often ask why I started writing and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they’d like to write a book, but I say if you’re not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself.”

Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels, including Christy Award finalists Indivisible and The Tender Vine and Christy Award winner Secrets. (this interviewer is reading and enjoying now!) In 2013, her novel The Breath of Dawn won both a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Award and was a finalist for a people’s choice award in the Netherlands. She is a fiction track and workshop teacher at American Christian Fiction Writers Conference and keynote speaker for women’s and writers’ conferences.

An artist and mountain hiker, Kristen lives in Colorado with her husband, pets, wildlife, and extended family.

 

“The writer’s mind is never still. Everything becomes a story, everyone a character. Read everything you can, learn and develop your craft. Good writing can be taught, but writers are born and commissioned.”

 

Please give a big welcome to KRISTEN HEITZMANN. Kristen was also at last year’s conference and I was privileged to spend some time with her. I had read Freefall several years ago and she immediately was one of my favorite authors. Seems we have much in common besides our writing!

 

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rem: Thank you, Kristen, for being on my blog this week. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

Kristen: I was born in Indiana but have lived nearly all my life in Colorado. My home is in the Rocky Mountain foothills, and I hit the trails alone every chance I get. In all seasons, the high altitude air, the smell of pine and shafting sunlight through the trees, and especially the stony creeks make me a happy hiker.

rem: Rocky Mountain High! I miss it! Tell us three things about yourself.

Kristen: Art is another passion, drawing, sculpting, and various crafts, as well as photography. I used to play musical instruments when I had time to be good at them. Was a concert violinist, and played guitar and tambourine in music ministry.

rem: This does not surprise me, we are kindred spirits. If you could have any super power what would it be?

Kristen: Healing. Hands down if I could do anything it would be healing the wounded.

rem: I think your words are healing. What is your most treasured possession?

Kristen: My imagination. Never a dull moment. LOL

rem: My imagination wonders what people’s minds do without imagination…What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: Being irrelevant

rem: Yeah, ouch. What is your greatest regret?

Kristen: Not having more time with my mom. I miss her.

rem: {{{{{HUGZ}}}}} What do you most value in a friend?

Kristen: Trust and confidentiality.

rem: Not much of a friendship without that, eh? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

Kristen: Wisdom and humor

rem: Humor is always good—with a dose of wisdom to know when not to be humorous. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

Kristen: Depth of characters. I know there are shallow people in the world, but I don’t want to spend time with them. I want fictional characters to fascinate, amuse, and tug at my heart.

rem: Read a great story last year, but couldn’t keep up with secondary characters for that very reason, the author didn’t give much more than the name. Your fiction pet peeve?

Kristen: Lousy dialogue.

rem: Well, who wants to talk to anyone who doesn’t dialogue back with you? Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Kristen: Father Emilio Sandoz, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

rem: Added to my reading list… Who are your favorite authors to read?

Kristen: So many! Craig Johnson, Louise Penny, Karen White, Suzanna Kearsley, John Lescroart, Dean Koontz, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mary Stewart, and Elizabeth Goudge to name only a few.

rem: That’s a great list! What is your favorite genre to read?

Kristen: Actually all kinds of fiction, though I’m not that into horror, only selective Koontz or sometimes Stephen King

rem: Same here. What is your Writing Routine?

Kristen: My routine is very freeform. If I’m breathing, I’m probably working in one form or another, reading, observing, or creating. I spend a lot of hours writing, sometimes into the night, sometimes all night. I’ve described my writing life like a river that continuously flows. People jump in and people jump out. Sometimes I climb out for a bit, but it never really stops.

rem: I like that, a river that flows, nice, and very apt. Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

Kristen: I write all over my house, inside and out. In my office, I have a treadmill desk since I really don’t like sitting much. My most fun writing is done on my phone while I hike the mountain trails by my house—multitasking at its best.

rem: Love that about writing while hiking! And just a little bit jealous! What makes you struggle as an author?

Kristen: All the other stuff I have to do that involves marketing etc. How do you handle it? I do what feels right and don’t force the rest.

rem: I know right!! Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing?

Kristen: Creating and editing are intermingled from start to finish for me. Writing a scene is like painting, broad strokes to start, then a more detailed brush to layer, then a touch here and a touch there. As the story moves forward, I regularly reach back, adding highlights and shadows, texture and tone. If I had to pick one, I’d say editing because it feels so good to pare down every nonessential element until the purest story remains.

rem: What a wonderful description of the process. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Kristen: What I learn about myself, God, and others in the process.

rem: And it is a continual learning process. What was the hardest thing about publishing?

Kristen: Not having the final say in the covers. The easiest? Having a sales team.

rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer?

Kristen: Read, Write, Repeat.

rem: What 3 things would you recommend not doing?

Kristen: Don’t try to get an agent, don’t try to get a publisher, don’t even think about getting published until you’ve poured everything you have and are into writing the very best you can write and then learn how to write it even better. Trust me, you will look back and thank yourself.

rem: Sound advice, good wisdom in those words. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Kristen: I don’t know. They just spring out of my head. It’s a jungle in there.

rem: I hear that! LOL Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written?

Kristen: Probably The Breath of Dawn, though it’s best read in the whole series after A Rush of Wings and The Still of Night.

rem: If so, why?

Kristen: Morgan Spencer. His character arc spans all three books and he’s, well, sigh-worthy. But not for the usual reasons. Morgan is very ornery, very deep, and, okay, some of the usual reasons too.

rem: Ornery characters make for interesting reading. Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

Kristen: Quinn Reilly. She took Morgan on and met him toe to toe in a very cute and loving way. I guess that’s my style too.

rem: Tell us a little about your latest book?

Kristen: Told You So is my first novel written outside the strictest Christian market parameters. While I believe it is one of the most redemptive novels I have done, my hope in writing it as realistically as I did was to reach readers in need of these truths in a palatable form. It is a literary romantic comedy set in New York City that actually goes quite deep in the characters’ creative processes and backstories with themes of forgiveness, trust, beauty and art wrapped up in witty banter.

rem: What is your current project?

Kristen: I’m writing the second in the series, Told You Twice, that has taken characters form the first novel, along with new, into another rollicking adventure with undertones of New York street kids, loss and grief, and more forgiveness and trust. J

rem: Can’t wait to get my hands on these! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

Kristen: People are fallible and fragile. God is neither.

rem: Amen, Kristen, so true! Thanks for joining us today, it’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

“I merely scribe their thoughts, actions, and repartee.”

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www.kristenheitzmann.com

www.facebook.com/kristen.f.heitzmann

www.facebook.com/KristenHeitzmann?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/KFHeitzmann

 

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#kristenheitzmann, #weekendwiththewriters, #authorinterview, #toldyouso, #freefall, #rockymountainhigh

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