Today I've cleaned up the locker room and have invited Young Adult writer, Heather Cashman, to talk about writing and her book, Perception. Please welcome Heather as we always do here with a high-five and a "what's up, dude?"
Kris: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your life at this point?
Heather: Staying sane with three teenagers living in my house. Second would be staying married for almost 20 years (which has really been a lot of fun). Third would be writing a book.
Kris: Perception is a survival story of twins trying to find their way through a land where deceit and treachery rule, but it’s also a love story. How did you come up with the storyline?
Heather: I'm not sure I did. I knew what Ardana and Kade were like, their personalities, their back-story. Then my imagination ran wild. I have no idea where that stuff came from. The characters dictate what they will do next, and Ardana is so impetuous. I suppose the bottom line is that, when you know the characters' motivations, you can see what will happen, what they will do to get what they want or need, and how that's going to impact those around them.
Kris: Having the ability to hear thoughts and feel emotions of other people and animals was intriguing to me. Why use a tiger or vine as a ingenium to the human counterpart?
Heather: You will find out the entire story in the prequel, Resurrection. The short story is that human and animal/plant DNA was being mixed to create super-human soldiers. Tigers are fierce, strong, etc. Scorpions can live for a very long time without food and withstand a great variance in temperature. The Passion Vine was not supposed to happen, but scientists have a way of doing things they probably shouldn't when their passions come into play.
Kris: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Heather: Not a lot. I did research the qualities of animals to make descriptions accurate. I've read innumerable books about how to write since my college degree is in Biochemistry. Other than that, I googled a lot when I needed to know something.
Kris: What was the most challenging thing about writing this book and how did you overcome it?
Heather: I've been asked this before, and my answer seems to change depending on my recent experiences. Sometimes I feel like publishing was the most difficult. Other times I would say that marketing it is a bear (and her cubs). At the same time, I am learning so much and meeting so many wonderful people in the process, I can't regret any of it. In reality it's the people banging down my door for the next novel and my love of the craft that keeps me in the game.
Kris: What was the easiest?
Heather: Writing. Editing. I love that process.
Kris: If you could trade places with any of your characters, which one would it be and why?
Heather: Ardana. I think Kliax is really amazing. (Dare I say? . . . No, I don't. But he's really . . . great.)
Kris: Did you self-publish or traditionally publish?
Heather: I self-published because I thought this would be a hobby. It was all a ruse. I now spend about ten hours a day at it or more.
Kris: I love when authors stop by and share their journey and their writing. Where can we find Perception?
Heather: Amazon for Kindle, Barnes & Noble for Nook, and in Paperback here, and any other format from my website.
Let me tell you that Perception is one story not to be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by the locker room, Heather!!