Heather Wardell is an independent author of seven novels, including her most recent releases A Life That Fits and Live Out Loud. She started out by participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge and successfully wrote a novel in a month, realizing her love of writing. We're delighted that she's joining us today to tell us about her novels and what the writing process is like for her.
Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
It seems to come from everywhere. I read a lot and watch people a lot, and I think all of that stashes little pieces of information and detail in my mind that then come out when I'm working. More broadly, I am inspired by real women and the issues they face in their daily lives.
How do you choose which perspective to write your novels from?
Each of my books to date has been from the perspective of one woman. She's what the book is really about and so everything is filtered through her background and experience. When I'm plotting a book, I am thinking about her: who she is and what kind of issues would arise in her life and how she would handle them. I write in first person because, for me, it's the best way to get into that woman's head and make her story as real as I can for the readers.
Do you identify with any of your characters? If so, which ones and why?
Each of my main characters has a little part of me in them, but I think I identify most with Rhiannon in Planning to Live. She is so focused on her goals that she doesn't take the time to enjoy her life, and I've had that same issue myself throughout my life. I'm much better at not getting overly upset about little details, and it was writing Planning to Live that got me to that stage, so I connect with it and with its main character Rhiannon.
Are there messages or lessons that you hope readers will take away from your novels?
Definitely. All of my books are about women taking control of their lives in some way or another. It's not always easy, but I think we're so much better off when we don't hand the responsibility for our lives over to other people. I hope that my books encourage women to stand up for themselves and to take care of their own needs.
What are you working on now?
In December, I'll be releasing a book about a woman who wakes up naked in a strange man's bed to find she's lost fifteen years of her life. I'm also in the first draft of another book, which is still in the early stages, and have another waiting for its second draft. I will release three or four more books next year, and I can't wait!
To learn more about Heather and her novels, please visit www.heatherwardell.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, check out Nancy's review of Heather's novel A Life That Fits.