Interview with Heidy Hardaker

Published 2019-03-13.
When did you first start writing?
I can’t remember I time I haven’t written or a time I haven’t been criticised for it. My first real book was in 2014 I wrote Erase Me but after my friend criticised my work; I threw it away. In 2015 I published Seven Grudges but after similar problems I unpublished it and changed the story into Past Fear which I turned into a 7 part series which includes elements from Erase Me (the bits I could remember). Never throw your work away; even negative criticism can be turned into constructive feedback. The foundations may look underwhelming but that is what you build on. Don’t give up.
What's the story behind your latest book?
First one: Advice on self-publishing. When I first started I had no one, I made a lot of mistakes. I want to help and support people who are struggling to find the motivation to continue or who don’t know where to start.

Second one: I said ‘Don’t Ask Your Enemy’ was the last book I would write but I keep being inspired (quick someone distract me). My brother told me to watch a magician secrets revealed channel on YouTube. After a boring car journey I thought of ‘7 Kills 1 Deadly Kiss’ a chicklit murder mystery.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Five years ago I was disappointed and lost without a purpose. I was stuck in my fears and failures. One day I woke up to an excruciating pain I had never felt before; within hours I was in hospital but I didn’t care. I had done nothing, I had nothing; I felt like my worth was the same. I realised my fear had robbed me of my life. When I woke up after surgery, everything made sense: I love writing. There was no support system so I did what I do best: researched, worked hard and read until I found I way to publish.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the challenge. My mind does not like to be idle, I’m always thinking about how people think, react and are shaped by their experiences. I like seeing the world from someone else’s perspective. My degree is in psychology because I find the mind fascinating; I love how adaptable, caring and creative people can be. I’m always looking for the next story. I love how authors can make you feel emotions you’ve never felt before, change your perspective on things and their ability to transport you into different worlds and situations.
What do your fans mean to you?
A book’s value is determined by the readers and it should never betray them. When you write, you are asking a lot from your reader: their time, effort, and dedication to your characters. Your fans are your life without them you have no one to share your world with. The only people that understand, value and nurture your creativity; the only reason you can continue. Your fans are more valuable than gold.
What are you working on next?
‘One Mistake Away From (perfection) Frustration’ a video series about self-publishing: tips, advice and helpful links. ‘7 Kills 1 Deadly Kiss’ a chicklit murder mystery with one anxious magician and one emotionally stunted private eye.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I’m not a morning person but if I have a big to-do list; I wake up early. Most of the time I can’t sleep because ideas are buzzing around my head. The main motivation is coffee then to complete what’s on my mind before it drives me crazy.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Sleeping. But seriously, I love watching movies, tv shows, MotoGp; reading books; listening to music; swimming; trying & learning new things; four wheel driving; spending time with family at the beach or river; walking my brother’s dogs; DIY especially the destruction part of any project; baking probably more the eating part; making things: videos, trailers, audiobooks, book covers; photography; drawing.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I like looking for books that are not recommended, not on the popular list. Undiscovered gems. But I don’t read other people’s work when I write, it’s distracting.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was about a big car and a little car. And the big car wasn’t appreciating the little car. I think I was five years old when I wrote it and it may not have been written entirely in English; some elaborate form of gibberish was used. I think I also entered a competition when I was ten and it was about different animals that were friends and their adventure. It got weird really fast and was like 5,000 words with drawings. I never heard back from them about my masterpiece teehee. I remember I drew a very good horse and frog and they never gave it back.
What is your writing process?
When I have an idea: I’ll research it, think about it, write down an overview of what I want to happen and the character’s involved. I think about ways to make the character’s unique with different qualities and stories but overlapping experiences. I write it throughout the process and keep refining it as I go. I search for common names and add them as I go. The villain is not written evil, all characters have their arcs and then the one that will not change or starts to naturally become more wicked ends up being the antagonist. Every story is approached differently. I see it more like a puzzle. I leave gaps for parts that I feel I haven’t fully thought through or don’t have the experience for. The emotions are real but I adapt them for the different characters. Some scenes I have experienced eg: emergency room scene in Past Fear; one day I got stuck in mud up to my chest so I describe the sensation for one of my characters. But the experiences are always adapted to fit the story and character. If a scene does not propel the story forward and/or show a character’s growth or degradation then I delete it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Animorphs. It was the first book and book series I ever read by myself. I would always try to read above my level and if I didn’t understand I would write the word down then get my dictionary and look it up. Also I would read each part out loud and pretend I was different characters. I was addicted to them; I would read it at nighttime and the early hours of the morning when I should have been asleep. And at school when I should have been doing school work. I loved everything about it, read every single book. But the last book broke my heart, I hated the ending. To this day I still try to fix it in my mind. My favourite character made a mistake that ruined everyone’s life and he couldn’t undo it. I was so horrified, I never read it again. But that’s when I started to think of all the ways I could make a tv show, movie or book better. Until eventually I wrote my own.
How do you approach cover design?
I think about the essence of my story then look at the resources I have available to me and see if it is possible to create what I want too. Most of the time it isn’t so I use a mixture of GIMP effects, photos of scenery and of myself, and try to adapt them to fit the image needed for my story.
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Latest books by This Author

Hypnotic Passionfruit
You set the price! Words: 4,910. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Clean & wholesome, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Libby has felt lost and unloved her whole life. Struggling to find purpose and belonging, she has given up on the world. Hemmed in by her own fortress of green. Her architectural designs are dismissed. Unable to support herself or function in everyday life, she has retreated into her own world. Frightened by people, she makes sure they stay away. Will someone break through the walls she has built
Replace
Series: Erase. You set the price! Words: 63,280. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Horror » Crime
Detective Enfield’s past was a lie. For years he has been pushed into a painful existence. The very essence of who he was, gone forever. His partner was already replaced by something sinister. Chaos has pushed them into an even more restrictive maze. Instead of catching dangerous criminals their colleagues are the ones committing the crimes. Stuck in a predatory town, now they are the victims of..
I'd Kill For A Kiss
You set the price! Words: 8,950. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Jake Resnick is an artistic loner who is banished, by a family that does not understand him, to a foreign country. The university is controlled by Tank and Princess, but Jake is already caught in a spider’s web of manipulation and deceit. His only option is to fall at the mercy of Tank’s friend, Vee, a bad girl with dark intentions.
Meerkat, Where Are You?
Series: Heidy's Storhymies. You set the price! Language: English. Published: May 17, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Death & Dying, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings
(5.00 from 1 review)
Ally felt mad. She missed her dad. But she hides her fears. Her pillow catches her tears. Meerkat, I am heartbroken. Ally thought. These words must never be spoken.  My mum is already so sad.  I do not want to make her feel bad.
Take
Series: Erase. You set the price! Words: 59,940. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Horror » Crime
Two crime scenes. Same victim. Detectives Alexander and Zero are stuck in a crumbling illusion. They are dismissed as a failed experiment and a mistake. Existing in the shadow of sorrow, intriguing distractions are used to hide something more sinister. Every crime scene was a staged decoy. When the decoy and the real victim are found hours apart, their world starts to unravel.
Eight Dread
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free until March 13!) Words: 13,420. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Rebel’s self-destructive nature is mystery even to herself. After a brutal fight with Kat, Rebel’s memories have disappeared. The only thing Rebel remembers, from her old life, is chasing dangerous criminals and giving them to their victims. But now she is the target of Kat’s relentless rage. Dylan is forced into a difficult situation find Rebel or suffer at the hands of his tormentor, Kat.
C
Series: Heidy's Storhymies, Book 10. You set the price! Words: 30. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Death & Dying, Fiction » Children’s books » Health & Daily Living / Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
Lily asked a question and got the answer. It was cancer. Lily did not want to observe a situation that Lavender did not deserve. Lily felt so weak. Was the future really that bleak?
Only Lonely Moany Mona
Series: Heidy's Storhymies, Book 8. Price: $2.99 $1.49 USD. (50% off until March 13!) Words: 30. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Friendship, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings
Mona would moan all day long, but she wondered what she was doing wrong. People would flee from the misery Mona spat out. That is why no one was ever about. Any time she came around everyone had already left town. From north to south. When will she learn to control her mouth?
Laughable Lavender Leaner
Series: Heidy's Storhymies, Book 7. Price: $2.99 $1.49 USD. (50% off until March 13!) Words: 30. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Bullying, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Physical & Emotional Abuse
Lavender loved her job but she was attacked by a mob. They made fun of her until the day turned into a blur. They needed her but they did not treat her right. Can she win this fight? Lavender an amazing cleaner. But every day people would make fun of her and treat her like she was less than them. Someone needed to do the job. They found no value in her.
Morning Hater
Series: Heidy's Storhymies, Book 6. Price: $2.99 $1.49 USD. (50% off until March 13!) Words: 30. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Depression & Mental Illness, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings
Andy Mater hated the morning. It felt like a warning. At night, he wanted to play, but in the morning, it all went astray. He was a night owl. Will he ever get rid of his morning scowl? Poor Andy, he always felt bad. A fog would follow him around and make him feel down. At night, he did not want to go to bed, but in the morning, he would not get out of bed.
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