Interview with Heidi Joy ThrethewayHeidi, you have four published books. How long have you been writing, and how did you start?
There has never been a time since adolescence when I didn’t write literally thousands of words each week. I started with journals, letters and poetry, and then made it a career with news articles, food columns, business features and marketing copy. Writing a novel is its own special brand of insanity, though. It’s like running a marathon: it takes forever and there are precious few people to cheer you on through 26.2 miles, never mind all the training runs. I’ve been writing novels for eight years now but began publishing last year. In addition to Won’t Last Long, I published the new adult contemporary romance novel Tattoo Thief in October of this year and I published a children’s fairy tale adventure called A Handful of Gold last year.
How did you design your cover art?
I love being an independent author because I have so much control over every aspect of my book, including the cover. I worked with a graphic designer to develop the concept, and while we went through several options including illustration and typical chick lit images (how many headless bodies or legs have you seen on covers?), we selected one strong image of a woman’s face leaning out of a car on a road trip because it captures the hopefulness and journey of Won’t Last Long. The designer worked a miracle with recoloring the photo, and I selected the classic font Futura for the title.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
I added several scenes to Won’t Last Long after the manuscript was complete on the advice of my developmental editor. I especially love how the scenes with Joshua and Melina’s exes turn out. When confronted with Joshua’s pushy ex, Melina handles herself in a surprising way, rather than dissolving into tears, finger-pointing or jealousy. It’s a pivotal scene that forces Joshua to “man up” and take greater control of his life.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
I know not everyone will like every book or character. I appreciate the feedback I get from readers tremendously and try to learn from it. For example, many reviewers’ comments for my series Tattoo Thief have influenced my writing of the next book in the series. As a reader, I think the only real sin a writer can commit is to publish a poorly edited book. It drives me nuts to see a book I paid for strewn with typos and poor grammar, and so I work with two professional editors and a handful of proofreaders to give readers the best possible quality in whatever story I write.
Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?
Yes, I think everyone gets creative blocks. My approach is to shift my focus to something else that’s still creative, such as working with graphics and photos or cooking. Occasionally I get a massage right before a writing session and focus on my story during that hour on the massage table. I can get more writing done in the two hours following a massage than if I’d sat down with my computer for three hours total.
What three books have you read recently and would recommend?
The last three books I read were all outstanding, and I’m proud to recommend them: Left Drowning by Jessica Park is an emotional, erotic story that had me reading through tears. The Long Game by J.L. Fynn is a fantastically original picture of nomadic con artists with great chemistry between the characters. The Rose Gardner mystery series by Denise Grover Swank is fresh and funny and keeps me up until the wee hours (I finished the third in that series, Thirty and a Half Excuses, tonight).
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to cook and kayak, and one thing I do that you’ve probably never tried is razor clamming. My husband proposed after our first razor clamming trip. (Something most people don’t know is that I met my husband because of a book: I was intrigued by Bringing Down the House, a nonfiction story of a blackjack card-counting team, and he played on a team connected to the book. Even though I’d gone on nine bad dates and swore to my girlfriends I was done dating, I had to hear his story.) Click here to see about razor clamming.
What are you working on now?
I just took another research trip to New York City for my rock star romance series, Tattoo Thief. I anticipate finishing book two, titled Tyler and Stella this month, and I’ll release it early next year. You’ll find out what’s behind Stella’s dating motto, “A bad boy can’t break your heart.” Tyler and Stella is love story with heaps of sexual tension, but at its core, it’s about forgiveness—-how much can love forgive? I think the answer will surprise you.
Other books by Heidi:
Excerpt from Won't Last LongSetup: Melina has a lot of rules about dating. Always pick the location. Always arrive early. And before you agree to the date, ask what kind of car a guy drives. It’s not only an opportunity to size him up—it’s a chance to watch him size up himself. In this chapter, we see Joshua’s perspective and realize the mistake Melina’s made long before she does.
“Hello, Melina? This is Joshua—we met at Eric’s party? I got your number from him? How’s it going?”
“Do you only ask questions?” she fired back.
Joshua plunged his hand into damp, unruly hair. Get a grip, man. You’re rusty, but you’re not dead yet. “No. Sorry. I just wasn’t sure if you remembered meeting me a few weeks ago.”
“Joshua. Joshua, Joshua, Joshua. Nope. No match. I haven’t met any Joshuas recently,” Melina countered, but he thought he heard a smile in her voice. “You said we met?”
“Yes, at Eric and Juan’s party—”
Melina cut him off. “No, we didn’t meet. You never told me your name or asked me mine. But I saw you there.” She paused. “We talked for a moment.”
“You called me dastardly,” Joshua feigned injury. “I remember that. I wondered who used that word anymore, unless they were describing a villain from the nineteen twenties.”
“So how did you get my number?”
“I had Juan and Eric over for dinner, and Eric gave it to me. I wanted to talk to you more, without a video game grabbing your attention.” Joshua’s tone took on a sudden intensity as his confidence returned. “So hello, my name is Joshua, and I would like to take you out on a date.”
“I see. Exactly what do you propose?”
“Dinner, drinks, conversation. Isn’t that what people normally do on a first date?”
“I don’t. I don’t do dinner. But I’ll meet you for a drink. Do you know the restaurant Next in Belltown?”
“What do you mean, you don’t do dinner?” True surprise registered in Joshua’s voice. “You mean you only eat breakfast and lunch?”
“I don’t do dinner on a first date,” Melina said simply. “So, Next? Have you been there?”
“No, but I’m sure I can find it. How about Thursday at six?”
“Six-thirty would be better,” Melina countered.
“Can I pick you up? I’m not sure where you live,” Joshua offered, curious. He knew nothing about Melina beyond what Eric told him, and he hadn’t Googled her—it felt a bit too stalker-ish before a first date. He liked the idea of seeing where she lived to get a sense of who she was.
“What kind of car do you drive?” Melina asked suddenly, catching Joshua off-guard.
“Short answer or long answer?”
“I’ll meet you there. See you Thursday.”
Joshua heard the dial tone. What just happened? Did I give her the right answer, or the wrong one?
Whether Melina turned out to be worthy of romancing or they never got past the first date, Joshua knew: She is sure to keep me on my toes.
About the author:
Heidi’s obsessed with storytelling. Her career includes marketing, journalism, and a delicious few years as a food columnist. Media passes took her backstage with several rock bands, where she learned that sometimes a wardrobe malfunction is exactly what the rock star intends.
You’ll most often find Heidi Joy with her husband and two small kids cooking, fishing, exploring the Northwest, and building epic forts in their living room.
She loves to hear from readers via messages at Facebook.
Connect with Heidi:
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