Indie Author Interview #8 Hannah Heath

Behold, Hannah Heath! The rock; the hard place. Like a wind from Gelderland, she sweeps by, blown far from her homeland in search of glory and honor. We walk in the garden of her turbulence! 
(Who can tell me what movie I stole that from?)
Look guys, it’s Hannah Heath! Up and coming author, sarcastic blogger, and all-around good friend! Hannah was one of the first people I met when I ventured into the scary world of indie publishing. I am so honored to have her on my blog today! Get ready to laugh.

Hello, Hannah! To start things off, if you were a combination of three books (or movies), what would they be and why? 
This question has caused me to instantly forget every book and movie I have ever identified with. Or read/seen, for that matter. *stares at bookshelf* Okay. I think I have it. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because I make my way through life largely by being sarcastic and attempting not to panic when, in fact, I have no idea what’s going on. Lilo and Stitch: That movie everyone initially thinks is weird, but eventually ends up liking because of (or maybe in spite of) its creative quirkiness, slight morbidity, and odd thoughtfulness. And last but not least: The Martian by Andy Weir. Because there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a bit of brain power, duct tape, potatoes, and a good sense of humor.

I’ve heard your 3 Year Blogging Anniversary is coming up! What made you start blogging and what do you like most about it? 
Yes. I’m so excited! At first, I started blogging purely to get my name out there and start building a writing platform. Honestly, though, I had no concrete plan (I rarely do), which is what made blogging fun. It’s given me a different type of creative outlet. YA Christian speculative fiction doesn’t always lend itself to quoting Batman or spewing sarcastic remarks about terrible cliches in fiction (believe me, I’ve tried), but blogging absolutely does. I love having the extra place to write out all the ideas I can’t quite cram into my current fictional stories.

If you could only be known for one thing as a writer, what would you want it to be? 
I want to be known for telling the truth. I want to be the writer who neither sugarcoats nor exaggerates, but shows the good and bad of life, the pain and the beauty, and, through doing this, gives my readers the desire and the courage to fight their fears.

Tell us more about Skies of Dripping Gold. What was the journey like?
Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up: I have Lyme disease. I don’t like it and don’t want it. It is physically painful and brings a lot of emotional and spiritual suffering. One of my main struggles is not knowing if (or when) the pain will leave. Before writing the story, I was hurting both physically and spiritually and remember angrily thinking how I wished I could work my way to health rather than having faith in God and his plans. Gabriel’s story of climbing a tower to find healing for his sister just unrolled from there. The idea started from a place of angry desperation, but it ended up helping me into a better mindset.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently re-writing my YA Christian fantasy novel: The Stump of the Terebinth Tree. It follows two desert elf assassins who struggle to eliminate a demonic sorcerer and have faith in something beyond their own swords. Originally, it was a 400-page mess. Now that I’m re-writing it, it’s a 100-page mess with about 200 pages to go.

How have you seen yourself improve as a writer and what do you still need to work on? 
I have finally learned how to spell the word “separate” correctly on the first try. Took a lifetime of struggle. Aside from that, I like to think that my dialogue, which used to be very stiff, has improved. I credit this to watching, studying, and laughing over numerous Carey Grant comedies. As for what I’m working on improving: Not being so afraid of ruining a story that I freeze up and have a difficult time writing anything at all.

What are three tools that you recommend for indie authors?
Get a whiteboard. A huge one. Seriously. They’re amazing. PicMonkey is great when it comes to creating promotional images…or even book covers. Also: Chocolate. Some people would argue that chocolate is not a tool, but those people would be wrong.

What kind of elements/themes/characters would you like to see more of in fiction?
I’d love to see more YA fiction showing the amazing accomplishments teenagers are capable of, rather than focusing on angst and pettiness. And it would make me very happy to see more well-rounded sick/disabled characters in fiction who are fighting to live well despite their challenges.

Would you rather live in Narnia, the Harry Potter world, or Middle Earth? And where specifically would you take up residence? 
Ah, man. Don’t make me choose! As much as I love C.S. Lewis, it comes down to whether I’d want to eat second breakfast in the Shire or play Quidditch at Hogwarts. Riding a broomstick wins out…But just barely. When I’m not living in Hogwarts I’d like to be training dragons in Romania. I’d make friends with Charlie and then maybe Mrs. Weasley would knit me a sweater. I’ve always wanted one of those.

Don’t you love her? Thanks for doing this interview, Hannah! Keep on writing and spreading hope and joy.
If you want to learn more about Hannah, check out her website: 
Follow her on Twitter: @_HannahHeath
Or go buy her short story: Skies of Dripping Gold

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