Last week I reviewed her book, this weeks Mrs Thomas kindly answered to my nosy questions.
– Where do you live and write from? Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in rural Montana on a ranch, but I now live North of Seattle in Washington State.
– When did you first become interested in becoming a writer? What was the deciding moment for you?
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I like to say that I was born with ink in my veins. I started out telling stories before I could read or write and was very eager to learn those skills so I could write them down. I have a degree in journalism and worked in the newspaper field and did freelance writing for magazines before I turned back to fiction, my first love.
– Where do you find your inspiration? I was inspired to write Cowgirl Dreams because my grandmother actually did ride bucking steers in rodeos during the 1920s. Even though there were a number of women who competed with men on “rough stock” in that era, it was still an unusual occupation for a female. I admired her courage, her strength and perseverance.
Do you put yourself in your stories? (I sometimes do… ;-p) (The fourth book in my series, which is based on my mother, will have me in the story.)
– What do you love most (and then least) about what you do? I love those (somewhat rare) times when the story flows, the characters take over and writing seems easy. I hate it when I get “stuck” and can’t seem to jump over the hurdle. I also love getting positive feedback from my readers—that validates the idea that what I’m doing is worthwhile and fun.
– When and where do you write? Do you have a specific routine? I have a computer in a home office. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t have a regular routine and keep telling myself that I need to! I do belong to two weekly critique groups, so that gives me a deadline of sorts. That helps.
My sequel, Follow the Dream, should be coming out before the end of the year. So, watch for it on my website www.heidimthomas.com And I am writing the third book in the series.
– In your book it says you “specialize” in writing about strong women, so I guess you’re a sort of historical writer. Do you concentrate on a specific period or plan on exploring all ages of history? The books in my “Dare to Dream” series are based in large part on family history as well as women who similarly stood out in their era. The first three books feature the same character, based on my grandmother. The fourth will be based on my mother who emigrated from Germany after WWII and the hardships she endured in relocating.
– Did you query agents/publishers before publishing? If yes, for how long? I’ll tell you my “overnight success” story. I started writing Cowgirl Dreams in 1999. It took 2 ½ to 3 years to write and polish before I started sending it out. I collected 17 rejections before I found my publisher, Treble Heart Books, who believed enough in me and my story to take it on. So almost 10 years later, I had a published book. The advice I give other writers is “Don’t give up.” Perseverance is the key. I had decided when I first started sending out any kind of fiction that I would actually TRY to collect 100 rejections. I thought that making it into game would help ease the pain somewhat. I collected a total of 36.
– What was your overall experience with publishing so far? I’m just thrilled to have been published—it’s been my own “dream come true.”
My books are availabe from my website http://www.heidimthomas.com or from my publisher http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidiThomas.html
My blog is http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com
Thank you, Heidi for your time. I will definitely keep an eye on this author, I want to know more about Nettie Brady and all the other ladies she’s talking about!
Just a quick reminder of my call for writers: you have another week to send me an e-mail saying why you write what you write! Looking forward to hearing from you all!