Interview with HR Willaston

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Southern and Central California. So far all of my stories (published as books or not yet) all have California in them. The main character(s) have all be from there and I use a lot of the towns and areas that I love as settings (even if I change the name). California is my home and it's so diverse from beaches to mountains to valleys filled with agriculture - there's a lot that can inspire my imagination. Personally, I favor the oceans and beach towns.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote a lot of stories when I was a kid in elementary school, but I started writing daily when I was in high school. I had notebooks of never ending stories and some of my current ideas have roots in those notebooks. Writing was the best tool I had (next to reading) to explore and experience the world. I started writing stories with endings after getting involved with NaNoWriMo a few years ago. My first published book Future Letters was my second NaNoWriMo project.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My favorite part about writing is getting to experience the stories I'm telling. Sometimes there are just some stories that need to be told and I love getting the chance to be the person to tell it.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean a lot to me. Everything I write has a piece of myself in it. Sending it out into the world for anyone to read can be terrifying. But when someone tells me how much my book meant to them or how much they enjoyed it it's just amazing to me. And when someone didn't like it that helps me with my future writing. I really never thought anyone would ever want to read something that I wrote. That fact the people are reading and liking it is like a dream.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to design my book covers so so they have some aspect of the story. Like Future Letters - the cover is notebook paper with doodles, the story starts with three high school girls who write a lot of notes and letters to each other. With Nine Days the cover has two seals circling each other - there are two seals in the story and are a major theme through the book. Nine Days also has a picture of the tattoo the main character gets - which is a reminder of how brave and strong she is - even when she thinks she isn't.
What are you working on next?
I have a few ideas going on, but the next thing I'll be working on is a collaboration with my husband. It's the story of a couple trying to start a family and the struggles (some conventional, some not) that they go through as that travel down that path. It'll be told in the alternating point of view of both the husband and the wife.
Unlike the last two books I wrote where both stories were on the line and teetering between YA and NA, this next book will definitely be NA/Adult Contemporary
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read. A lot. My husband and I have been camping near the coast for years and have always loved it. We've discovered it's even more fun now that we have a dog to take with us. We also both volunteer for animal rescue groups and captain a team for the local breast cancer race. I love spending my free time with my husband - who is my best friend.
I also work at a high school as a special educator tutor and have worked with kids from birth to age 18 for almost 20 years.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A lot of the books I discover are through recommendations from friends or reading new things with a couple of the book clubs I'm part of. Sometimes I'll read a couple books from an author and fall in love some much with it that I want to read as much of their work as I can get.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use a Nook Color. When we were looking at e-readers it was the one that had the lowest glare from the screen. My husband and I were worried about the glare causing my headaches - but I really wanted color. I'm currently trying to convince him why I need just the basic, non-color Kindle since too.
Describe your desk
I write from a laptop so my desk is the couch or the living room chair. There's notes, pens and books on the other side of the couch, side table and the ottoman, plus a glass of water (a must have). And somewhere on the couch is my dog - sitting as close to me as she can get.
Published 2013-09-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Nine Days
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 108,920. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Literary, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
(4.00)
Andy Qwinn is the artistically challenged, ordinary child in a family of extraordinary artists. Instead of art Andy loves water - swimming in it, learning about it, protecting the animals that live in it. Trying to live up to her parents high artistic expectations and dealing with abusive stepparents it's hard for her to be herself. She discovers who she really is on a nine day runaway trip.