I’m delighted to introduce you to YA fantasy author, Heather McCorkle, a fantastic purveyor of all things YA and writerly. Heather’s blog outlining her journey to publication is a brilliant read and has many loyal followers. She’s been supportive of my own adventures as a debut author and it’s a treat to return the favour and champion her work.
Heather’s debut novel, The Secret of Spruce Knoll will be released this month and she is busy editing the sequel.
Eren Donovan is about to discover she has access to a power that is latent in most humans. As if being orphaned and forced to live with an aunt she’s never met wasn’t bad enough, now she’ll have to figure out what being a channeler means. Worse yet, the fate of channelers is tied to the fate of the earth. Because it is slowly dying, so are they.
The tiny Colorado town of Spruce Knoll is populated solely by channelers from four different countries who immigrated there when they were driven out of their own lands. Being half-Mayan and half-Irish, Erin doesn’t exactly fit in. But not long after arriving she meets Aiden, an Irish boy who makes the ability to channel the energy of living things seem more fascinating than frightening. Complications arise when she and Aiden realize both of their parents’ deaths were not accidents. They become drawn into a dangerous game that could end in either justice for their parents’ murders or their own deaths.
You’re a great supporter of other debut novelists, interviews on your blog, promotion of groups like The Elevensies, the Class of 2k11. How important to you is fostering relationships with other writers
It’s everything to me. When I was first starting out in the industry (I won’t say how many years ago 😉 it was hard to find information and social networking was really just getting started. There was little to no support for authors and at that time it was still a very lonely profession. I want to make it easier on those who are in the industry now. I love supporting them in any way I can.
You’ve started the Twitter chat, #WritersRoad, can you fill us in?
I participated in a prior chat that filled that slot, and unfortunately it went away because the moderator wasn’t able to keep it up. There were so many people that got together every week for it, I hated for us to lose all that the chat offered. So, editor and writer TS Tate and I started the #WritersRoad in its place to help support writers and authors.
How do you see social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc) featuring in the lives of authors?
Social media is everything now days, it’s where people are at. I’ve connected with so many wonderful authors, like yourself, that way, that I can’t imagine not having it. It has closed the circle and made the lonely writer’s life in a supportive and amazing community.
I know you’re a lover of lore, your blog features different creatures each week. How much research did you undertake for The Secret of Spruce Knoll?
So much that it’s staggering to think back on it, honestly. The story involves four very different cultures, Romanians, Tibetans, Irish, and Mayans. I got to learn about each of their cultures and it was amazing. The research was mountainous but it was worth it, it made the story so much richer.
On your blog you were very open about your decision to take your manuscript out of the hands of an agent and back into your own, via self-publishing. Can you tell us about this gutsy decision?
It was hands down the hardest decision of my life. Giving up ‘the dream’ of being traditionally published is not an easy thing, especially since I had two small, traditional presses that wanted it. After a lot of research I weighed what they could do for me, against what Abbott Press (Independent) could do for me. Unfortunately for the small traditional presses, they just couldn’t compare. Abbott (Writer’s Digest) has put something very unique together and I’m glad to be a part of it.
Do you have any events coming up which you’d like to plug?
I do, thank you! I have a massive blog tour, Tour Of Secrets, that is launching on August 8th. There will be many fun stops in which you can learn secrets about me, my novels, my characters, and writing. Of course there will be prizes too! On August 30th, YA Bound will be hosting a live chat with me to wrap up the tour and dish any final secrets, and there will be prizes there as well!
Thanks so much for hanging out, Heather! Follow Heather on Twitter: @HeatherMcCorkle