Interview with Heather Hayden

When did you first start writing?
When I was little, probably eight or nine, I dabbled in writing a bit. Very horrible writing, in retrospect, and most of it is probably (and thankfully) lost now, or degrading on floppy disks somewhere in a dusty box. But I enjoyed doing it. My dabbling continued off and on as I got older, nothing huge, just short stories and the occasional longer one.

Then in 2007 our golden retriever suddenly passed away. Writing became the outlet for my grief. Mom found out about a challenge called National Novel Writing Month and I gave it a shot, completing my first novel at around 60,000 words in length. Although that novel may never see the light of day, it spawned my love of writing novels and since then I've written over a dozen, several of which will be available in the future.

Although I've been writing since I was young, I feel that moment when I started writing that very first novel is when I really started writing, when I realized that writing was what I wanted to do.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There is this moment when I'm writing, when the words flow out and my fingers fly across the keyboard to keep up as the story almost writes itself...

Then there is the moment when I'm reading over something I wrote and pieces click into place and I realize there are connections I hadn't seen before that are perfect...

And then there is the moment when I reach the end of the first draft, and type "The End"...

I can't pick one favorite thing about writing, because for me it's writing as a whole that's so wonderful.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The very first story? I'm not sure that I do... But the first book I can remember reading was The Unicorn and the Lake, by Marianna Mayer. My elementary school library had that book and I must have taken it out dozens of times during my kindergarten year. I loved that book, and I believe it's what introduced me to the fantasy genre. Years later, I still remember the story and I recently obtained a copy of it. It still holds the magic it did when I read it all those years ago.
Published 2015-03-23.
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