Interview with Heather Doak Nishimura

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Many times I will still go to a bookstore and just browse, hoping for something to catch my eye. I'll flip through it to get a feel for it and, if it seems intriguing, I'll go home and buy the ebook version of it. Otherwise, I just look for my favorite authors, get suggsetions from friends and family, and review the recommendations from my ereading device.
What is your writing process?
Inspiration for my creative writing can come from anywhere. Many of the ideas for my poetry came from spending time in nature, usually at my most treasured family camping spot when I was young, Lake Davis, California. Sometimes, when I'm just sitting at my computer trying to come up with ideas, I will put on some instrumental soft jazz, close my eyes, and just see what comes to me. But ideas can come to me from any source at any time - while taking a walk, driving around, or just listening to music and, specifically, listening to the lyrics. Once I have the idea, it's just a matter of writing down all the thoughts that come to me about it, trying to find the right imagery to convey exactly what I'm trying to say, and then just filtering out whatever doesn't work.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first stories I remember are Dr. Seuss. I loved them all. I remember my mom reading them to me, and I remember when I was able to read them on my own. Those books did such a great job of creating an imaginary world that I could picture so easily. Even now, I enjoy reading the Dr. Seuss stories because they are timeless, I love the rhythmic flow of each line, and I appreciate the creativity of them on a different level than I ever did as a kid.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northern California, just outside of Sacramento. Most people from Sacramento say the best part about it is that it's close to other things. I do love my home town, but also appreciate how close it is to a wide variety of different environments. Just a few hours in any direction and you are at the ocean with some of the most beautiful coastal views I've ever seen, the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges with numerous lakes surrounded by pine trees, wine country, endless acres of agricultural lands in the valley, and just a slightly longer drive and you are in the desert. Growing up here encouraged me to appreciate nature in all forms and the different kinds of beauty it could offer. Nature has been the biggest source of inspiration for my poetry and serves as my meditation point when I sit down to write.
When did you first start writing?
I actually did enjoy writing term papers in high school and college, mostly because I felt it was something I was good at. This is a skill I put to use after my graduation from college as I wrote about my experiences with gymnastics. This is when I truly learned how therapeutic writing could be for me. This spurred me to take some creative writing classes at the local community college "just for fun." Although I was introduced to some of the benefits and joys of creative writing from my favorite high school English teacher, it wasn't until I took the classes that I began to love creative writing, poetry, and tapping into another side of me that I hadn't known was there before.
How do you approach cover design?
As I'm writing and putting together my books, I already have a mental image of what the cover will look like. I don't consciously create a cover as I go, it just seems to be sitting in the back of my mind and, when it comes time to put the cover together, I tap into what I've been picturing all along. Luckily, through Smashwords, I found an absolutely fantastic cover designer that has been able to interpret my vision to create exactly what I was picturing in my mind. Thanks Cal Sharp!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Nook, which I love! I don't have anything negative to say about any of the other devices out there, since I've never used them, but I've had a great experience with my Nook.
Describe your desk
This is tricky. My desk itself is cluttered with paperwork, video games, CD's, and random handwritten notes. But I only do a portion of my writing here, and when I do, it is usually with some background music on, low lighting, and my eyes are closed. The rest of the time I write by hand in a journal, which can happen anywhere - on the lakeshore, in a hotel room, or anywhere else, depending on when the mood strikes.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
One of the greatest joys is being able to express something in writing that perfectly captures what I was seeing, feeling, or experiencing. There's a sense of accomplishment when I'm able to put into words something that seemed indescribable or abstract and it turned out exactly how I wanted it to be. The other great joy is when something that I've written resonates with someone else. When another person reads one of my poems or anything else and they have some emotional reaction to it or can relate in some way, that is success to me.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My husband. I am grateful every day to have him in my life. One of the things I love the most about him is his sense of humor. I can count on him to make me laugh hysterically every single day. Each morning I look forward to whatever good times and smiles he will bring into my world that day. He is my joy and the reason I get out of bed in the morning.
Published 2014-02-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Reaching For The Clouds - Poetic Reflections
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 8,000. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
This collection of poetry chronicles the author's journey from young adulthood to present, and demonstrates her struggles and dreams during this journey. These poems document her appreciation for the beauty she sees in nature, and serve as a true reflection of who she is and how she chooses to view the world. In this collection, you will see snapshots of nature, hope, fear, love, and loss.
Finding The Perfect Balance
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 116,410. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Gymnastics
After a seventeen-year career in gymnastics, this is the personal reflections of an average gymnast's experiences and tells the story of how gymnastics shaped this little girl and teenager into the woman she has become today.