Friday, August 26, 2011

Author Insides - Jaime Heidel

6JaimeAHeidel's photoJaime A. Heidel is a Connecticut native who just recently relocated to North Carolina. She’s been writing since childhood and her recent publishing credits include her short story “Phobia” in a print anthology called Night Falls on Everyone and a short story, “The House Sitter,” published online by Spine Tingler’s.

Her short story, "Astray," appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of The Battered Suitcase.
 
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first short story when I was 7 years old but I think I knew I wanted to do it as a career around 12 years of age. I tried to teach myself to type on an old typewriter but I couldn’t figure it out so I took typing classes in high school and was so glad when I no longer had to write my stories out by hand.

Why do you write?
I write because it’s in my blood. Writing is like an old friend and an exciting new lover all rolled into one. Even though I’m the composer, it sometimes feels as though the characters are speaking through me. It’s a new adventure every time.

Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?
In most ways, yes. I’m also a non-fiction writer and that took some getting used to but I was pleasantly surprised to find I like writing non-fiction as well. I wasn’t expecting that.

What do you think makes a good story?
A good story has characters you can really invest in. Somebody or something you can understand, empathize with, even despise. A good story gets the reader involved. For me, a good marriage of emotion and suspense is everything.

What's your favorite genre to read?
Horror and thriller fiction is my favorite. It combines the above-mentioned elements perfectly.

Who is your favorite author or poet?
Dean Koontz. I love his writing style. The way he draws you into the characters and the plot and weaves twists and turns you can get lost in but still find your way around.

What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?
I’d have to say stories by Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Stephen King inspire me the most. However, classics like Dracula and Frankenstein are incredibly visual in a way modern fiction no longer seems to be. Since the invention of the television, I think that kind of living, breathing story is hard to come by these days. Don’t get me wrong, modern writers are great but something seems to have been lost along the way.

What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?
This is where I get away from my favorite genre and talk about books like, “The Celestine Prophecy” series, “Conversations with God” and “The Secret”. Those are the type of spiritual books that nourish my soul.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?
Inspiration seems to find me. Often when I’m in the shower or driving when I can’t possibly write anything down. Lol! Isn’t that always the way?

What does your family think of your writing?
I was always a very imaginative child so they’re not surprised. They’re very proud.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When it comes to non-fiction, I get up and get at it until it’s done. I like to be ahead of deadlines. When it comes to fiction, I wait for the muse to strike, get on the computer and write like a woman possessed.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?
Writing is probably the only place where I don’t have quirks or rituals. Lol! I do, however, like to listen to New Age radio on Pandora while I write. It’s calming and there’s no lyrics so I don’t get distracted.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing can be a pain in the butt or when I know exactly how a story is going to end but have no beginning or middle. Then, it just sort of stalls and I move on to the next thing until those parts come to me.

What are your current projects?
I currently own and operate a natural health website: www.itoldyouiwassick.com, I’m a ghostwriter for another major natural health website and I’m writing fiction on the side when the muse strikes.

What are you planning for future projects?
I have a story kicking around in my head right now about somebody who plays a trick on somebody they NEVER should have messed with. I haven’t had time to sit and write it yet but it’s germinating. *smiles*
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write and keep writing. Pick up and read a copy of Stephen King’s book, “On Writing”, it will save you a lot of grief and keep submitting. Don’t take rejections personally and learn from your mistakes. Also, join a writers critique group such as www.fanstory.com. I’ve learned so much from the suggestions other writers make on this website and it has improved my writing ten-fold. Also, read. Take the time to read and absorb new information and return to old favorites. You’ll be amazed at how it can spark inspiration.

Where else can we find your work?
Anthology: Night Falls on Everyone, Online at http://www.jaimeaheidel.com/