Thursday, August 25, 2016

Told You Twice: An Interview with Heitzmann

Last week, I posted an extended review of Heitzmann's new novel, Told You Twice. This week, I'm excited to have you hear from her directly. I hope you'll be as blessed as I am by her words.


What message do you hope your readers receive with the Told You Series? 

I never intend a specific message when I write, though I suppose the stories reveal one or another depending on the reader. This series seems to be about the realities and struggles of life, of love, of failing and forgiving. I want to bridge the gap between Christian stories that paint a church-perfect life for the characters, and Christian (and non-Christian) characters in stories of life that are recognizable to secular readers. In this series I hope to portray the entirety of human experience, physical, emotional, and spiritual, giving each its due without sanitizing to meet expectations. I let the characters speak for themselves and the stories go where they may.

If you could be any of your characters in the Told You Series, whom would you be? Why? 

Oh, probably Exi. Because, well, Beau.

What authors/books have inspired you? 

Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow, Doc, and most everything she writes. Craig Johnson Longmire Series. Louise Penny Inspector Armand Gamache Series. C.S. Harris Sebastian St. Cyr Series.

In the Creative Writing textbook I use for my students, the author states, "All writing is autobiographical as well as invented. Just as it's impossible to write the whole and literal truth about any experience, so it's also impossible to invent without drawing on your own experience, which has furnished your brain" (Burroway, p. 3). Do you agree with this statement? In what way do you draw on your own experiences for the Told You Series? 

I do think that’s true. The first book, Told You So, deals with the impact of fame and appearances in Christian life. That amount of fame is not autobiographical, but I’ve wrestled with trying to appear righteous when I struggle as much as the next person. I have also felt the censure—especially with how honestly I chose to tell that story. Life imitating art that imitated life. The second book, Told You Twice, deals with the hard realities of life without a moral compass, even when fame offers such reward. I’ve seen the wreckage of promiscuity and drug abuse, of hopelessness and despair. The shine that radiates from Told You Twice is made brighter by choosing to show the darkness as it is.

 "The shine that radiates from Told You Twice is made brighter by choosing to show the darkness as it is." ~ Kristen Heizmann

What's your writing process like? What motivates you and keeps you on schedule?

First, schedule is anathema. Writing for me is a creative river that always flows. At times I step out or others step in, but it’s really the rhythm of my life from the time I wake to when I sleep—and even asleep, I think. :)

What advice do you have for novice writers? 

Immerse yourself in good books by good writers.

How do you re-fuel?

Reading, watching shows or movies with a plot and characters, listening to audiobooks, hiking with audiobooks. Hitting mountain trails is especially refreshing.

Who is the hero or heroine in your own life?

My husband. 36 years of hanging in there with me. Gold medal performance right there.

Kristen Heitzmann is an internationally published, award-winning author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels. She is a fiction teacher and conference speaker. An artist and mountain hiker, Kristen lives in Colorado with her family, pets, and wildlife. 


Click to Tweet: An interview with @KFHeitzmann on books that inspire, why schedule is anathema, and insight into the #ToldYouSeries.

Click to Tweet: @KFHetizmann tells novice writers: "Immerse yourself in good books by good writers."

Click to Tweet:  "The shine that radiates from Told You Twice is made brighter by choosing to show the darkness as it is." @KFHeitzmann

Click to grab your copy of Told You So and Told You Twice on Amazon.

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