AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: HEATHER LIN
Author Heather Lin is the latest victim (oops I meant to say lucky lady) to be interviewed by this bunny…
Hi Heather what is your most current work ?
Westridge from Silver Publishing
Tell us a little about Westridge…
I was inspired by homesickness and Taylor Swift. I come from a small town, and I missed it so much when I was away at college. Going away to college, for me, was just to cut the apron strings and force myself to live independently for a little while. I always knew I wanted to return home. I was listening to Taylor Swift’s “Mary’s Song,” and the whole story just sort of formed in my head: childhood sweethearts from a small town who are torn apart by circumstance. I based the setting and supporting characters on my community from home. It helped me cope while I was away and turned into what is probably my favorite piece of writing so far.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I generally let the characters dictate what will happen. I always have an idea of how the plot line will go, certain events/scenes that need to happen, but as far as how I get from point A to point B…I kind of figure it out as I go.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I kind of morphed. I was more into writing sci-fi/fantasy as I was growing up (big Tolkien and Rowling fan here!), but I’ve always been a romantic and I began writing boy band fanfiction in middle school. I know it sounds silly, but I really count that as my first romance writing endeavor. When I was a senior in high school, I discovered Carly Phillips, and over the next few years I learned to mesh the angst and romance I was already writing in fanfiction with original characters and, of course, good ol’ fashioned sex.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I wrote this futuristic, barbaric mercenary named Brody into a sci-fi story a while back, and I still think he’s the hottest character I’ve ever come up with. I’m still tweaking that particular story, so it’s not yet been published, but keep an eye out!
Do you have a character that you look back on now and don’t like?
I do, but all of the characters I dislike belong to unfinished projects. If I fall out of love with the characters, I just can’t finish the story.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Westridge is actually the only story I’ve ever written where the characters are inspired by people I know. Just know that my family is very much like Gabby’s family. There is a lot of baking, a lot of gossiping, and a lot of love.
And my Great Aunt Helen really did give me a nickel once and tell me to keep it between my knees.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Right now it’s just finding the time. I have my first full time job, plus babysitting and wedding planning. Needless to say the dishes are piling up…
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
Probably my age. I’m 22. I had my first short story published under Heather Lin at 19.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Caramel frappes from McDonalds! I spend so much money and so many calories on those things.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I need my laptop. I used to be able to write with a pen and paper, but now it’s really hard for me unless it’s my journal or poetry. And I need to be in a good mood. If I’m angry or upset, I just can’t focus.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Pretty much ALL of my stories have theme songs, especially the longer ones. Music is a huge part of my writing process. For Westridge my theme songs were “Mary’s Song” by Taylor Swift (as previously mentioned) and “Run” by George Strait. For the futuristic project I mentioned earlier, it was “Dolphins Cry” by Live. There is always a theme song when it comes to my writing.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Ooh. Good question. I could see Bryce Dallas Howard for Gabby and, um, Josh Turner for Jason? I know he’s not an actor, but he could be. Just this once.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was in my apartment. I’m pretty sure I screamed the news to my fiance.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I think I was 17. I used to peek at my Mom’s before that (looking for the dirty parts, of course) but I found part of Carly Phillips’ Bachelor trilogy in a secondhand store, read it, and had to have more.
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
I’m in a lower-level management position at a bookstore. It was on my list of top jobs even before I went to college, so I’m actually pretty happy about it. But, of course, I’d rather be a full-time author.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I just finished the rough draft of my longest work ever! I’m so excited. It’s actually novel-length, which I have a hard time writing, for some reason. It’s called The Reason and is about a girl from NYC who falls for a guy she meets in Virginia. I was very excited to explore the glamorous city girl vs. country boy dynamic.
Also, another, shorter ebook of mine was released this month by New Concepts Publishing. It’s a steamy paranormal piece called Strangers. It involves a sexy bartender and a mysterious bouncer and, unlike Westridge, is more erotic than romantic.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”?
I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten that….I know that the perception exists. I guess I try to stop it before it happens. Someone asks “What do you write?” and I say “Trashy romance, mostly.” It doesn’t really give them the opportunity to bash the genre. I’m happy writing it, and plenty of people are happy reading it, so I don’t mind what people’s opinions are.
Where can readers find you? (Include all links you want, facebook, twitter etc….)
The best place to find me is my blog. I’m also running a contest for the month of June, so be sure to stop by for your chance to win a Country Chic gift set from Bath & Bodyworks!
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dove dark chocolate. Yum.