Today I have author Heather Fraser Brainerd on my blog talking about writing and her young adult paranormal romance/mystery novel Dream Shade.
Here's a blurb to whet your appetite: As if high school wasn't tough enough, sophomore Sarah Pasmore has one extra little problem: ghosts have started appearing to Sarah and they seem to want something from her. With help from her brainy best friend, as well as a few new friends (including the hottest guy in school), Sarah must solve the mystery of what the spirits want in order to put them back to rest. To complicate matters further, a more evil spirit will go to great lengths to make sure this doesn’t happen. As they investigate the past to unravel this supernatural mystery, the teens learn a lesson in the powers of friendship and love.
Me: What inspired you to write Dream Shade?
Heather: I grew up in a haunted house. It wasn’t scary, but the experience inspired the plight of my teenaged heroine, Sarah. Decades later, while reading Twilight, I had an “I could do this!” moment. So I did.
Me: What does your writing process look like?
Heather: I’m a total pantser, which is weird since I’m overly-organized in every other aspect of my life. I write on my laptop in various locations (so convenient!) and draft, draft, draft until it feels right. My brother, who co-authors our José Picada, PI series, is the beta reader on my solo projects. He’s awesome.
Me: If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Heather: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I love mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes is the ultimate detective.
Me: Couldn't agree more! Love me some Sherlock. Are you working on another book right now?
Heather: My brother Dave and I are working on both the third and fourth José Picada books. That series is paranormal mystery for grown-ups. We’re also going through the editing process on our upcoming Middle Grade debut, Shadows of New York. This is a fun paranormal mystery that puts a new spin on the whole werewolf-and-vampire subgenre. In addition, I have three solo projects that I’ve sent to Dave for his input. I’m trying to be patient and not nag him too much for his response!
Me: Wow, working with your brother. That's pretty cool, having two writers in a family. Any advice for kids/teens wanting to write and get published?
Heather: It sounds cliché, but write what you know. It’s the little touches of reality that make a character come alive. Also, write what you love. If you love something, but don’t know a whole lot about it, research the heck out of it. You’ll have fun, learn a lot, and find inspiration for your writing. And I know this is said a lot, but don’t let rejections get you down. You might have to submit a book to a LOT of places before it finds the right home.
Thanks so much to Heather for being such a great sport! Here's some more about her:
Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn’t quite as bad as she remembered. Unfortunately, it was. Fortunately, a few years later, she met the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.