Though a part-time editor by day, Heather Hayden’s not-so-secret identity is that of a writer—at night she pours heart and soul into science fiction and fantasy novels. In March 2015, she published her first novella, Augment, a YA science fiction story filled with excitement, danger, and the strength of friendship. She immediately began work on its sequel, Upgrade, which continues the adventures of Viki, a girl who loves to run, and her friend Halle, an AI. You can learn more about Heather and her stories through her blog and Twitter, both of which consist of equal amounts of writerly things and random stuff she’s interested in.
Q: How do you publish your books, and why?
A: When I was preparing to publish my first novel, Augment, my sister and I started Rowanwood Publishing, LLC, a small publishing company. We wanted to publish our books under one umbrella, so to speak, and also wanted control over the entire process. So far we’ve released four books: Augment, its sequel Upgrade, an anthology, and Demon’s Blade.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: I have many favorite quotes, from books, movies, and people. My favorite writing-related one, though, would probably be CJ Cherryh’s “It is perfectly okay to write garbage–as long as you edit brilliantly.” As for non-writing-related quotes… I’m not sure I could pick an exact favorite, but for the sake of brevity I’ll go with Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: TNG): “Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.”
Q: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A: It could be anything—a book I haven’t finished reading, an idea that came to me in a dream, a song stuck in my head, or a pressing urge to work on my current project. It could be the weather—sun, rain, fog, or snow. Or simply a good feeling about the day that has me up and moving.
Q: When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
A: My characters tend to develop on their own. I prefer it that way—they’re people living a world (fictional as it may be), and forcing them into the expected mold would only diminish the story. Often one will do something unexpected that shows a new side of their personality, and makes them a richer character for it. Because of this, I love watching my characters grow organically.
Q: If you could retire to any fictional world, which would it be?
A: Isn’t there a book in which the characters could travel into other books? That would be a pretty sweet place to retire, since I could also check out other fictional worlds, not just the one I started in.
Featured Writers is a series dedicated to discovering the talents, motivations, and strategies of writers all the world over. I don’t care how experienced you are, whether you’ve published anything, or what you’re writing about: If you’ve got a story to tell, I want to hear about it! To share your process or project with my readers, contact me with a brief bio and a little bit of information about what you’d like to talk about.