Monday, 2 May 2016

Author Interview: Heather Crews

Today on the blog I'm talking with Heather Crews, author of Unchanged, Dreams For The Dead, and Psychopomp. Heather's books are moody, atmospheric, and mysterious, and I was more than happy to get the chance to discuss writing with her!

The Author: Heather Crews lives in Las Vegas. Was born abroad. Studied art. Will spray paint almost anything. Loves popcorn. You can find her on Twitter or check out her blog, Keeping Ghosts Alive!

The Books:




When did you decide or realize you wanted to write?

Although my first dream job was an artist, I've been writing since first grade. My earliest efforts were short stories that basically made no sense. In third or fourth grade l I wrote my first book, an illustrated children's book called THE BIG PURPLE CATERPILLAR. I still have a copy somewhere. It wasn't until about seventh grade I made my first serious efforts at writing books. These were obviously pure crap. But I've kept all these efforts around, and one day they might make it into a novel that I'll actually let people read.

What does your general process usually look like, from initial idea to published book? Do you outline or wing it? Write digitally, or by hand?

I usually have a big pile of untidy notes that I've collected over time, since I write down ideas as they come to me and then throw them in a box. I work from those rather than an outline (because I'm bad at making outlines), but I always know how I want the story to end and events or conversations I want to happen. For the actual writing process I tend to type rather than write by hand, although with UNCHANGED I had filled a whole notebook with long scenes.

What was the idea or spark that led to your latest book?

It was probably a dream. Most of my ideas come from dreams. I remember sitting in my art history class scribbling down notes for it when I was supposed to be paying attention to the lecture. But now the idea has evolved and isn't anything like the original.

Do you listen to music while your write, or enjoy the silence?

I like to have music on!

What does your work space look like?

I write on my couch, oftentimes with a children's movie or PBS Kids playing in the background, and my kids chattering away. It's not the most relaxing setup, but I've learned to tune out distractions.

What type of research, if any, goes into your novels?

For UNCHANGED, I researched Heceta Head Lighthouse. For DREAMS FOR THE DEAD, I researched alchemy. For PSYCHOPOMP, I researched climate change and cloud seeding. For books I've set in real cities, I always like to look at maps in case I need to reference the geography of a place.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of writing?

Reading, of course! I also like drawing, hiking, and working on projects for my house.

Favorite snacks while working, if any?

I don't eat while I'm writing because the food distracts me and I don't get anything worthwhile done.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations as a writer?

L.J. Smith is a big one. Also Donna Boyd, Kim Wilkins, and Tanith Lee.

What can you tell us about your latest project?

It's a YA set near Branson, MO. A teenage girl goes looking for the sister she hasn't seen in a while and gets drawn into a goth underworld. One of the characters is an arsonist.

Speed Round!

Films or TV shows?


Singles or entire albums?


Sweet, savory, or salty?


Favorite Season?


Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?



And there you have it! Alchemy, arsonists, and PBS Kids. What more could you want? Once again, you can buy Heather's books here, or follow her here!

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