Yawatta would like to welcome her special guest John A. Heldt, author of The Show. Please enjoy his insightful interview.
I guess it depends on what you mean by write. I finished the first draft of The Show in thirty-five days but needed another two months to get it ready for publication. I needed about four months to outline, write, and edit The Journey, and more than seven to complete The Mine. The first draft is usually the easy part.
2. Can you tell us about your challenge in getting your first book published?
Publishing The Mine as an e-book on Amazon was easy. Preparing it for publication was the hard part. Writing and editing are extremely time consuming.
3. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
That depends on the time of year. I read a lot in the winter and occasionally snow ski. In the warmer months, I fish, camp, bike, and walk. I really like walking. It’s a great way to clear a mind and come up with new ideas.
4. What does your family think of your writing?
They generally like it but think I spend too much time doing it. (I do.)
5. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best in your genre?
I make use of social media, email, and review sites. I like working with bloggers because many are writers themselves and know the challenges facing new authors. By going to reviewers who favor certain genres, I have also been able to market my books to readers most likely to enjoy them.
6. What do you think makes a good story?
Most writers and English teachers would probably say conflict, and I suppose they are right. Stories without conflict tend to be boring. But I think it is just as important to offer characters and a plot that readers can relate to. The characters in my second novel, The Journey, are ordinary, the epitome of everyday. None are truly awful people. None were dropped on their heads as children. None, except my time-traveling protagonist, keep any secrets. But they are nonetheless compelling. And they are compelling because they are real people who experience life as most of us experienced it.
7. Can you tell us about this book?
The Show is the third book of my Northwest Passage time-travel series and the sequel to my debut novel The Mine. It is the story of Grace Vandenberg, a shy honors student who gets the shock of her life on December 7, 1941. Grace reads a letter from her boyfriend Joel Smith minutes after Pearl Harbor is attacked and discovers that he is a time traveler who has left her for a future he insists they cannot share. She follows him to the year 2000 but finds trouble before she can find lasting happiness. She accidentally enters a second time portal and is thrown back to 1918, just as the Spanish flu sweeps through Seattle and World War I draws to a close. Grace meets her parents and her aunt as young, unmarried adults and befriends a handsome, wounded Army captain just back from the war. How she handles this unexpected trial is at the heart of The Show.
8. What’s your next project?
I plan to publish the fourth book of my five-part series by the end of this year. In that book, Kevin Johnson, the son of Brian and Shelly Johnson of The Journey and a geology student of Professor Joel Smith’s, will travel as a 22-year-old in 2013 to Wallace, Idaho, in 1910. He will see Halley’s Comet and experience the Big Burn, the largest wildfire in U.S. history. The fifth book also will feature the grown children of characters from an early book, but it will be set in Seattle in 1964. After that, I will probably move on to historical fiction.
9. Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Yes. I appreciate their support. When you are starting out as an author, you treasure every thoughtful review and every word of encouragement. They keep you going.
10. Social media you’d like to share?