Interview with Heather MacKenzie-Carey

What is your writing process?
I try to spend 20 minutes a day sitting down in a quiet space putting sometime to paper. I often turn away from the computer and use pen and paper for this. If I have a "great idea" that 20 minutes could turn into hours. If I'm working on a book I give myself deadlines and am more focused to get a chunk of the book done each day.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first story that was every read to me. It was "Wee Gillis" by Munro Leaf. In reality, it probably wasn't the "first" book read to me, but perhaps it was read to me the most often, and certainly it was the first book I learned to read. I can remember sitting on my Grandmothers knee feeling the warmth of the wood stove in her big farmhouse kitchen while I waited for the cookies to bake. My Grandmother patiently helped me read through all the long names Wee Gillis had in the beginning of the book. To this day, the smell of ginger cookies takes me back to that place and fills me with a sense of love and security.
How do you approach cover design?
I have learned something about this by trial and error. A cover can make or break a book and I've had a book traditionally published that didn't see the sales it might have because the cover doesn't give the browser any idea what the book is about. It's a wonderful picture. I still love the picture, but you don't understand the cover picture until you've already read the book! Now I really try to think about what the book is about and try to capture that on the cover. I worked with Miss Mae for "The Healing Touch" and her professional experience made a world of difference. I'll be using that same process next time!
What do you read for pleasure?
It depends on the mood I'm in. Books can take me to a "whole other place" so I'm careful about the place I choose! I used to think I had to finish any book I started. Now, if I don't like a book in the beginning I don't keep reading it.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I was given a Kindle by a friend of mine who is an avid reader so that's my device of choice. Thanks Paem!!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
If my "bookmobile lady" suggests a book, I read it. If my friend suggests a book, I buy it. It's mostly been word of mouth that attracts me to a book.
Describe your desk
It's a small pine, "some assembly required" model. It faces the wall, the window is behind me. On the wall it faces I have a couple of hand written notes. One is a quote by Christopher Morley, "When you sell a man a book, you don't sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue- you sell him a whole new life." Another note is written on purple constuction paper cut out like a cloud and says "If I'm not having fun it's not right!". That's my own quote and I try to live by that. I also have a container full of pens and pencils. I love pens and am always searching for the "perfect one". There are a couple of crystals on my desk including a big amethyst one and a couple of bottles of essential oils. A large bottle of Rescue Remedy has a prominent spot- just in case.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. My stories are always focused on that type of landscape, weather, and nature. I spent a lot of time in my tree house in the woods and I often "go there" when I'm looking for true writing from the heart.
When did you first start writing?
When I was about 12 years old I was writing. It felt like something I "had to do". It was a release for me and a way for me to sort myself out.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have always been "horse crazy". My daughter and I were quite immersed in the English show jumping world when she was quite little. When we moved back home to Nova Scotia we acquired a couple of rescued horses. They are a huge part of our lives. They live a natural life in our back yard and woods. We treat them with homeopathics, Bach Flowers, and natural remedies. I wanted to try and merge those two worlds of show jumping/riding stables with natural horse care: hence Tory's world.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have had a number of traditional publishing experiences that weren't as much fun as I imagined, and didn't bring the results I had hoped for. I worked in a traditional publishing house for a short period of time and the informaiton I gained there motiviated me to embrace the easier world of independent publishing. I think authors need to be close to their work in both the production and marketing phases as well as the writing. "If I'm not having fun it's not right!"
Published 2014-02-17.
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Books by This Author

The Healing Touch
Price: Free! Words: 22,320. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
This chapter book for young adults provides horse loving girls of today with a story that fosters independence and empowerment within the world of horse riders. When Tory’s mother dies in a car accident, Tory can’t get the visions out of her head. In an unexpected move to her Grandmother's horse ranch, Tory uncovers some mysteries from her past and realizes her own gift of healing.