Monday, August 15, 2011

Heather Wardell is sharing her six-pack with us!

By Melissa Patafio

**Giveaway is now closed**

Today we welcome Heather Wardell to Chick Lit Central! Heather is the author of the recent release "A Life That Fits" and is also a speed reader. I'm not kidding, she read a Harry Potter book in under three hours! Heather always wanted to become a high school music teacher, but became interested in Psychology in college and then went on to computer science before becoming a writer. We are so thrilled that Heather has stopped by to chat with us.

Heather is offering a set of all SIX of her e-books to one lucky reader anywhere (and in any format)! (They're 99 cents each, so even if you don't win this giveaway, you still do...)

She loves talking to readers, so visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I've been to New York twice, but only for a few days each time, and I would love to go there and spend a month on my own. There's an energy to that city I've never felt anywhere else, plus I'd love to sit and write in the big library!

I read on your website that you wanted to be a high school music teacher, what instruments do you play?

I have played clarinet for nearly thirty years (ouch, that hurts :)) and last summer began playing the drums. They're very different instruments but I enjoy them both and am intrigued by how much more there is to being a drummer than I ever realized.

You received a degree in psychology, how did you get into writing?

I'd heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and when my husband went on an extended business trip I did my own version in May 2005, making up a story as I went along which eventually became my free novel "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo". I absolutely loved writing the book and just kept going from there!

What is your usual writing routine?

Ideally, I write new material for two hours in the morning then spend another two hours in the afternoon editing a different book (I keep two on the go because it makes it easier to release three or four books a year as I want to do). Once those hours are finished, I make book covers and email lovely blogs like Chick Lit Central and do anything else that needs to be done.

You are a "speed-reader", what is the shortest amount of time you have read a book?

That's a good question! I read the fifth Harry Potter book in just under three hours (but my eyes were TIRED!). An average novel is probably closer to two hours. I love being a speed-reader (which happened naturally) - I get so immersed in books that I lose track of everything around me.

Which female authors have inspired you the most?

Marian Keyes, first and foremost. I love how she tackles serious subjects (drugs, alcohol, domestic violence) while still providing an enjoyable read with lots of humor. I try to emulate her in my work. I also admire J.K. Rowling for the depth and breadth of the world she created for the Harry Potter books.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing "A Life That Fits"?

I didn't want Andrea to be a whiner. She's stunned at the beginning to be dumped so unceremoniously by her boyfriend of fourteen years, but I wanted her to find her spirit and energy quickly and decide how she wanted to live her life. At the same time, I wanted to show the pain and frustration she felt, and I struggled with how much to show of both sides. In the end, I'm pleased with how it came out.

How do you deal with bouts of "Writers Block"?

I only get blocked when I don't know where the book is going next. When I find myself rearranging the cutlery drawer instead of writing, that's a sign I need to sit down at my desk and type through whatever is wrong or unclear. I do all my thinking in Word - for each book I have a file of at least seventy pages which is just me talking to myself about where the book will go and what I need to have happen. Eventually I find what the book needs. I know I've found it because I can feel in my gut that it's right, and then I can keep writing. I adore and try to live by this quote by W. Somerset Maugham: "I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp." Once I get to the desk, everything always works out. Even if my cutlery drawer is a bit of a mess. :)

What is your favorite thing about summer?

I love how it's still light late at night since it makes me much more cheerful. Sadly, I am not good with the heat (and it's been painfully hot this summer) so I actually prefer fall or even winter. It's ironic - I love crocheting shawls and fingerless mitts but I'm usually too hot to wear them!

Do you ever base your main characters on yourself or people you know
I find I can't write a main character unless I understand her on a personal level, so they probably do all have at least something in common with me. I don't deliberately use people I know as characters, although I do sometimes find myself thinking a character is like someone in my life.

Thanks to Heather for answering all my questions and sharing her books with a lucky reader!

How to win Heather Wardell's e-book collection:
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What did you want to be when you "grew up?"
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Giveaway ends August 21st at midnight EST.

More by Heather Wardell:

26 comments:

Heather Wardell said...

Thank you so much for this great opportunity. You ladies have been wonderful! :)

Kat said...

There is something about Heather that feels like we'd have a lot in common.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

1) When I was 10, I wanted to be a writer and for the next several years I dreamed about being a "world famous author." :)

2) I follow the blog through GFC.

3) I am a member of CLC.

4) Posted on fb.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Amy said...

Gosh, I wanted to be several things, you know how kids change their mind all the time. I wanted to be a marine biologist, a professional dancer, and an actress on broadway. Of course not all at the same time.

I follow the blog through GFC and email. I am member of GLC on facebook.

I posted this contest on my FB wall and on twitter.

Here is my tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/103138829174710272

amyrbromberg@gmail.com

Margaret said...

I wanted to be a famous singer and well now that I grew up.... I can still sing. I'm a follower and thank you for such an amazing giveaway! All her books look really good!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Linda Kish said...

I am so jealous of the speed-reading. I could get though all of the books I have and so many more.

I wanted to be a nurse. I have been an RN since 1974.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel...loved your posting, heather...

i wanted to be a school teacher...
i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

DarleneLF said...

Heather's book sound like great reads!
I wanted to be a teacher or librarian. Guess it was my love of books.
I'm following this blog and a member of the Facebook group.
darlenelfmail(at)gmail(dot)com

Dawn said...

I wanted to be a police officer! Sometimes I still think that would be a great career.

Thank you for offering this prize!

gleamofdawn3 at yahoo dot ca

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I read Stir Until Thoroughly Confused and I absolutely loved it! I am looking forward to reading Ms. Wardell's other books!

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I wanted to be a teacher when I was little.

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via GFC

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

What a nice interview. When I grew up, I wanted to travel the world and take pictures.
I am a GFC follower!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Kim W. said...

1) When I "grew up" I wanted to be teacher. A kindergarten teacher. I became a project manager for direct mail campaigns instead, and have been a stay-at-home mom the last 6 years.

2) I follow this blog already

3) I posted this contest on Facebook

4) I'm a member of CLC on Facebook already

kewalker1972@gmail.com

meandmom said...

Sounds great. I'd love to win.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

I wanted to be an actress when I grew up.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Kelsey said...

I feel like I speed read Heather Wardell's free novel, "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" because I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the rest :)

I am a member of the Facebook group.

kelseyc_12(at)hotmail(dot)com

Alison said...

Thanks for a chance to win. I can't wait to read this :)

alison.fees(at)gmail(dot)com

Alison said...

I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up. A physical therapist, actress, teacher, you name it LOL

I follow through GFC

I'm part of the group on FB

alison.fees(at)gmail(dot)com

JennB said...

Love Heather!!!
When I was younger, I wanted to be a first grade teacher....but then unexpected things happen.
I follow the blog through GFC and email.

pita428@msn.com

PoCoKat said...

Great contest!!

1. An Archaeologist

2. GFC follower

3. Member of CLC on FB

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Susan said...

Awesome giveaway! I would be great to win all of these e-books. Thanks!!

Bonus entries
1. I wanted to be a nurse when I was younger. Now the sight of any kind of injury makes me ill and I can't even watch anyone get a shot. Some nurse I would be, huh?
2. I am a GFC follower!
3. I already joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.too.)

suzebomb(at)gmail.com

Georgina said...

I wanted to be a wedding planner when I was younger, and guess what thats what I do now.
I follow on GFC and Facebook
georginascott1989(at)hotmail(dot)com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What did you want to be when you "grew up?"

My father's secretary - I would even dress up and pretend I was!

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

I already follow this blog.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am a member

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com