Friday, August 28, 2020

Writer Bites! With Heather Bell Adams

Getting to know....

            Heather Bell Adams, author of The Good Luck Stone

Her desperate decision during World War II changed everything. Now, almost 70 years later, her secret is unraveling.

Have you ever fallen in love with a book?

Yes, I would say I’ve fallen in love with lots of books. So many good ones, but I’ll give one example. Several years ago, when I finished reading Bloodroot by Amy Greene, I clasped the book to my chest, in tears. I was—and continue to be—astonished at this beautiful Appalachian novel.

How do you choose the names for your characters?

What a fun question! I talk to myself a lot… I try out how different names sound and whether they fit my mental conception of the character. In The Good Luck Stone, my agent asked me to change the name of a major character because she felt it was too similar to another character. Of course I was willing to make the change, but I’ll confess that it took an entire day of talking to myself to settle on a new one. (The character went from Patricia “Tish” to Kathleen “Kat.”)

Describe yourself as an author in One Word.


Do you ever experience doubt or ‘impostor syndrome’? How do you cope with it?

Oh yes, all the time… I like what Elizabeth Berg says in Escaping into the Open about playfulness: “Learn from the inherent wisdom of children. Watch them when they work: They make it fun.” That advice helps me take myself less seriously and get back to the joy of writing.

Do you write to music?

Honestly, I prefer silence or just outdoor nature sounds. But the reality is that I write when the TV is on or other people are chattering away or the neighbor is landscaping or the dog is barking. It’s okay, truly. But silence is nice sometimes too.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Writer Bites! With Stephen Burdick, author of Deemer's Inlet

 Getting to know...

              Stephen Burdick, author of Deemer's Inlet, from Shotgun Honey

Deemer’s Inlet by Stephen Burdick

What does your writing space look like? What does your Ideal writing space look like? 

My living room and sofa. I hand-write each chapter in a notebook, editing as I go along, before entering them into the computer. Then I edit some more. A larger living room with a nicer sofa would suit me.

Go back to yourself at a very early stage in your writing career—what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Find a good writer’s group or take a creative writing class, believe in yourself and your work, and prepare for the criticism and rejection sure to follow.

What do you hope to be remembered for by future generations of readers? 

A writer of crime fiction who did his best to entertain readers with stories of mystery and intrigue. 

Is there anything about your writing that you wish more readers noticed?

Other authors have told me of the difficulty they have with dialogue. I try to make the exchanges between characters as realistic sounding as possible.
How do you handle negative reviews or feedback? How do you handle praise? 

A thick skin is necessary when dealing with negative reviews or feedback. You must resign yourself to the fact that your work is not going to please everyone. I am very thankful. For me, it is humbling to know that something I’ve created has, in some way or another, brought enjoyment to a reader.