Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heather Hummel writes from her heart and has a book to give away

By Amy Bromberg

**Giveaway is now closed**

When she’s not immersing herself in photography, Heather Hummel is a celebrity ghostwriter and an award-winning, best-selling author. Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as Publishers Weekly, USA Today and The Washington Post; and in magazines that include Health, Body & Soul, First and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Metaphysical Sciences. Her most recent novels are from the Journals from the Heart Series: "Whispers from the Heart" (reviewed here) and "Write from the Heart."
Visit Heather at her website, as well as her Facebook and Twitter pages. And for all you "Glee" fans, sorry to inform you but she is not related to Kurt (although she wishes she was)!

Heather is giving away one autographed copy of "Whispers from the Heart" to a lucky reader in the US or Canada. She also has a $10 Amazon gift card for a lucky reader in the US or Canada (the value is in US dollars though)!

What inspired you to write the Journals from the Heart series, "Whispers from the Heart" being the first?
I’ve been an avid journal writer since middle school. It’s a natural form of expression for me, and over the years I’ve greatly come to appreciate the power of the pen. Many of the wishes and dreams I journal wrote came to fruition down the road. Rather than a particular character, it was the powerful theme of journal writing that I wanted to be the thread between my novels. In WHISPERS FROM THE HEART, Madison uses journal writing with her high school students to help them cope with the suicide of a fellow classmate. In WRITE FROM THE HEART, Samantha uses journal writing as a method for turning her dismal life into one of fulfilled hopes and dreams. In the third and forthcoming, WISDOM FROM THE HEART, Jamie turns to her journal to deal with the emotional bomb of finding out she’s adopted. Journal writing can be used in so many healing ways, and that’s the ultimate message of the Journals from the Heart series.

Both WHISPERS FROM THE HEART and WRITE FROM THE HEART had former titles and covers (previously Through Hazel Eyes and The Universe Is My Sugar Daddy). I collaborated with a fabulous publisher who consulted me on putting the two in a series with journal writing as the common thread…a theme WISDOM FROM THE HEART has as well. The novels are the same interior stories; all that’s changed are the covers and titles. This has made a world of difference. When WHISPERS FROM THE HEART was THROUGH HAZEL EYES, it won Honorable Mention at the 2009 New York Book Festival, which was very exciting, but now that it has a new look and is in a series, it has taken off to a new level, reaching several thousands of new readers. So, sometimes it’s worth doing a book make-over, because people do judge a book by its cover!

What has been the most challenging aspect in your writing career?
My novels in the Journals from the Heart series are Chick-Lit, so they are relatively easy to brand and market. But because I write in many genres, including nonfiction ghostwriting for clients, there isn’t one specific niche or genre in which I can label all of my books. This results in branding issues, but only to an extent.

On the other hand, writing in multiple genres opens a variety of marketing avenues. For example, I have been able to successfully use my nonfiction book, GO BIKE & OTHER SIGNS FROM THE UNIVERSE, and my novel, WRITE FROM THE HEART, in cross promotions with authors at Hay House because they both have positive, feel-good messages that Hay House is known for.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
When it comes to music, I love certain songs, but not necessarily all songs by that artist. The same applies with authors and their books. For example, I love John Steinbeck’s TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY for emotional reasons, but that doesn’t put him at the tip-top of my list of favorite authors. Authors whose books I love include Joan Didion (THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING), David Baldacci (one of the few that I do love all of his books), Harper Lee (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, naturally), and everyone’s favorites Nicholas Sparks and Jennifer Weiner for genre reading. There are writers’ books that I love too, such as Stephen King’s ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT and Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD. Both are compelling memoirs with writing advice woven in - fabulous reads.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ghirardelli hot chocolate made with Voss sparkling water. I came up with that invention, Tweeted that it was my fav indulgence, and Voss water ReTweeted all my Tweets. They loved the idea, but I don’t think I’m on their marketing payroll yet.

If "Whispers from the Heart” were optioned for film, who would play Madison, Michael, Phil and Olivia?
We had this discussion on my Facebook page last summer…it was a popular post and Ryan Gosling was hands-down everyone’s fav for Phil. Not to reinvent THE NOTEBOOK, but I do think Rachel McAdams would be a great Madison. Who doesn’t love their energy on screen? Kirsten Dunst would be adorable as Olivia; and perhaps someone like Ben Affleck for Michael, who is a bit more rugged and mysterious than Phil.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Of my own books, I’d want to be Samantha in WRITE FROM THE HEART. In another book, it would have to be about a writer or a photographer…and include dogs, so if anyone knows of such a book, let me know and I’ll jump in!

What are some of your hobbies, one of them definitely being photography?
I’m an avid cyclist by nature. As my muse, I’ve written many chapters in my head while pedaling down the road. Lately, however, I have been back to doing a lot of nature photography, and that has become my muse de jour (my poor bike sits in the laundry room making me feel guilty whenever I pass it by). A photo shoot usually involves some hiking, so I still get plenty of exercise at least.

My photography is inspired by both human nature and Mother Nature; I am in a place of complete bliss when I’m out there capturing images, and from those images, story ideas develop. With the feedback I get from people on Facebook and Twitter about both my books and my photography, I’m formulating ways to combine the two passions.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
No. I don’t believe in them because they create too much anxiety and not enough satisfaction. It’s like Valentine’s Day, which only creates a lot of pressure to show love on one day when really we should be showing it all year anyway.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m currently writing the third in the Journals from the Heart series, WISDOM FROM THE HEART, and a literary novel titled $1 AND $100.

Readers who have read WHISPERS FROM THE HEART will be happy to know that Phil is returning in WISDOM FROM THE HEART. He was a fan favorite; the perfect guy, so I’ve been told by readers and reviewers. So, I’m excited that he decided to show up in book three, and he’s as dashing and handsome as ever. (FYI, I don’t plan my books; the characters show up and tell me how it’s going to be!)

I’m really excited about my literary novel, $1 AND $100, too. The protagonists are a $1 bill and a $100 bill. The novel is about their journey through many people’s hands, different eras, and variety of places. It opens in the mid-1970s in a diner with a young, widowed waitress who receives a $100 bill for a tip and her son, who receives a brand new $1 bill as change for candy he buys. From there, the bills go out into the world and begin their journey. The purpose is to explore how each character relates to the money when they have it in hand. I’m really enjoying writing this novel and my plan is to film a documentary on the same topic. The documentary will include interviews with people of all walks of life, delving into their emotional relationship with money. I already have a list of people waiting to be interviewed.

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your amazing blog!

Cheers to the New Year!

Special thanks to Heather for visiting with us and sharing her book with a lucky reader!

How to win "Whispers from the Heart":
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: If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
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.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends January 9th at midnight EST.


Marthalynn said...

I would love to live in the world of Pippi Longstockings! Or, at least I did when I was a kid. I would imagine myself in her world for hours at a time.

I'm a follower on GFC.

marthalynn16 (dot) gmail (dot)

Stephanie said...

I would love to live in the world of Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

I'm a gfc follower.


Nina said...

Cool that she was able to associate with Hay House!! That being said, if I could jump into a book it would HAVE to be Louise Hay's "You Can Create an Exceptional Life!" Wouldn't it be great to be as positive as she? ;)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

If I could jump into a book and live in a world it would probably be a toss up between Harry Potter (hello, Hogwarts!) or American Wife. I would love to find out what it's like to be the First Lady.

I'm a GFC follower!

I'm a member on Facebook!

amber_johnson2004 at yahoo dot com

Elissa said...

I would jump into Night Circus or Garden Spells. Both books are magical :)

I follow this blog.

I'm a FB fan.


Jeryl M. said...

I would like to live in the world of Mary Poppins because she makes everything magical and fun.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook follower.


sustahl said...

If I could jump into any book and live in their world, it would probably be "The Bridge of Peace" by Cindy Woodsmall. I love the characters in the book and would love the mainly calm life in an Amish setting
luvsherfam @ gmail dot com

Lilian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilian said...

1. Please tell us: If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Hogwarts, of course it would only be fun if I wasn't a muggle. Yes, I am aware that I am awfully childish.
2. Already follow~
3. https://twitter.com/circustoybox/status/154354982815154176
4. Joined Chick Lit Central on FB.

lilianxcheng AT gmail DOT com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I think it would be Shopaholic because then I could buy more books! lol

I follow via gfc, twitter and facebook

Anonymous said...

I would live in the world of Harry Potter!

I'm a follower.


Anonymous said...

I would really like to read your book.
antiquejunkie at suddenlink dot net

Peace, Love & Scrapbooking said...

Hmmm what a great question. I would love to jump into one of those books where I would be thin, have everything I could wish for, money was no object, life was perfect....now what book was that? I honestly don't know if I can answer this one. ohhhh, I know I would be Rebecca Bloomwood in Shopaholic. She is too funny.

I am a follower on email and gfc

I am a fan of ChickLit Central on Facebook

Cassandra @ Book & Movie Dimension a Blog said...

Thanks for the giveaway.
E-mail Address: bookandmoviedimensionblogger (at) yahoo (dot) com

mrsdreajulian said...

I would like to be in a Dr.Seuss book.
I follow your blog GFC.

lacycameywrites.com said...

Heather you are just the coolest! You're getting your Ph.D. in Metaphysical Sciences?? That's so awesome! I am loving write from the heart and I also love your encouraging, hard working nature! I am so happy to have met you via twitter :).

Wishing you the BEST year you've ever had!

BlackLabRVAdventures said...

Wow! You all have great answers! It's a fun question that I don't hear asked too often, so thank you to Chick Lit Central for being so creative.

Nina - Yes, I do a lot of cross promoting with the Hay House authors whenever they have new releases, I often give away a free copy of my book GO BIKE, but have also given away WRITE FROM THE HEART. They are a great bunch of authors, and I love collaborating with them.

Lacy - Yes, working on my PhD in Metaphysical Sciences in my "spare time"! Thank you for your words of inspiration and for enjoying my books as much as I enjoyed yours.

Thanks to EVERYONE for stopping by and sharing!

Isabella Louise Anderson said...

I would love to live in the world Miss Sadie from the Mitford Series by Jan Karon

I'm a follower via Facebook and Twitter

Email: ila@chicklitgoddess.com

Margie said...

Thanks for the giveaway.
-a GFC follower
-like Chick Lit on Facebook
-I'd jump into Gone With the Wind
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Kay said...

I'd have to say in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I'd like to be an Aiel wise one. They are strong and tough and have magic.

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I would love to jump into Gone With The Wind. It is such a great story.

I am a GFC follower.

I am a Facebook follower too.


Anonymous said...

I'd be in 'Nice' Darcy's world at the end of Something Blue (Emily Giffin)

GFC & FB follower:)

ljreese3 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I'd have to jump into the shopaholic series!
Ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Erica said...

I think I'd jump into the Winnie the Pooh books. So fun even if they're not grown up.

I'm a follower!


Anonymous said...

Once again sliding in under the wire!
1.I'm a huge Kerouac fan. Put me in the car with him and Dean roaring across the country and I'm in heaven.
2. I follow this blog.
3. Posted on Twitter. https://twitter.com/#!/carlrscott/status/156421721958789121
4. I'm a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook.
Thanks again...Carl

♡♥♬ Raven In A Blue Room ♬♥♡ said...

eI subscribed to newsletter

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com


Nancye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

What book would I like to live in? I haven't ever really though about that........There are so many amazing books that I have read, it is hard to pinpoint one. Maybe one of Danielle Steel's books that is set in lavish surroundings. That's about all I can think of!

GFC Follower

I Tweeted

FB Post

I like/follow you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net