Interview with Heather Balog

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about writing, Shuttling my kids to practice, school, etc., Stressing out about all the crap that needs to be done, Thinking about why I'm NOT writing, Running, Come up with a million different plots, Thinking I SHOULD BE WRITING...
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My favorite book of all time is "To Kill a Mockingbird". I remember reading it in 9th grade and absolutely falling in love with Harper Lee's characters. Up until this point, I had loved reading, but never cared so much about the characters. The following year I read "Carrie" and was shaken to my core. I had never imagined suspense/ horror could be so addicting. "Where the Heart Is" is also one of my favorites. I found it very encouraging that it was the author's debut work and ever since then, I've been inspired to pursue my writing career. I also love anything by Agatha Christie, but "And Then There Were None" is my all time favorite. My grandmother lent me her copy when I was very young and I know that was the very moment my love for mysteries was born. And then of course every hopeless romantic's favorite, not "Pride and Prejudice"..."Gone With the Wind". It's got everything. Love, hate, romance, history, war, awesome hoop skirts...what's not to love?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think the most exciting part of writing is having someone tell you, "I loved your book, I couldn't put it down!" There have been so many books in my lifetime that I have felt that way about and it makes me all gooey inside to have some express that about MY book that I've created.
What is your writing process?
Have a brilliant idea at a most inopportune time (driving, in a meeting) Scribble indecipherable note to myself on a post it ASAP. Forget idea. Discover post it two weeks later and think, what the hell was this about? Remember brilliant plot and start writing feverously. Bang out 20,000 words in three days. Hit a brick wall. Put story away for two months. Stumble upon story one day when looking for something else on my flash stick. Remember how brilliant the story was. Remain completely focused and driven on story until it is complete. Obsess about story night and day during editing process. Finally...publish. And continue to obsess.
Who are your favorite authors?
Agatha Christie, Sophie Hannah, Sophie Kinsella, Stephen King, Lisa Gardner, Douglass Kennedy...always looking for new authors of comedy, mystery, literary fiction, suspense...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My dog standing on my chest. He's 100 lbs and I like to breathe.
When did you first start writing?
I remember sitting at my grandmother's typewriter when I was six years old, writing crazy little stories. They probably made absolutely no sense but I loved doing it anyway. I got my own typewriter for Christmas when I was eight years old and I would spend weekends and days off from school, writing at my desk while other kids played outside. I was a little bit of a nerd in that way. But it was amazing to me that I could create any reality that I wanted to. No matter what was going on in my own life, I could always escape in an alternate reality and that has always been the driving force behind my writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fan of my work are my greatest inspiration. I write, not only to make myself happy, but I want to spark something within those who read my books. I want readers to be able to connect to my characters and care about them the way I do. And I want them to come back for more. I appreciate all my readers and are forever indebted to their loyalty.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on two very different novels right now. The first is about a very motley crew of teens in the late 80's. They are sharing a secret that affects their adult lives so deeply that they can't move on until it comes out. It was very difficult to write some of these scenes that deal with abuse and trauma, but cathartic at the same time. The other novel is about a pair of best friends who go on a "divorce cruise". It was a ton of fun to write this novel. I love to switch to comedy after writing something heavier and dark.
Published 2017-07-13.
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