Interview with Heather Hummel
What is your favorite thing about Connecticut?
I grew up in Connecticut, but now live in the Rocky Mountains. I’m much more at peace in the Rockies being surrounded by nature, stoic mountains and perhaps the altitude chills people out because everyone here is so nice!
What is WHISPERS FROM THE HEART about?
WHISPERS FROM THE HEART was my first novel, which won Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival. The protagonist, Madison Ragnar, is a high school English teacher who moves across country to escape an emotionally abusive relationship and to start a new teaching job. Her challenges are to overcome her fear of falling in love again and to cope with the death of a student in her classroom.
What’s next for you, what are you working on?
After WHISPERS FROM THE HEART, the second in the Journals from the Heart series – WRITE FROM THE HEART – released. Now I’m about half way done with the third, WISDOM FROM THE HEART. This has been the most difficult and challenging one to write, which is also making it the most rewarding!
What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?
Seeing how and when the characters show up. Most of my characters are the ones telling me how it’s all going to go down. I’ll be on a bike ride and they’ll pop into my head and tell me all about how the next chapter is going to unfold. Cycling and photography are my two muses and they never fail me. When on a photo shoot or a bike ride,
my characters pop into my head and chat. It’s nice to have company along. The trick is getting it all down on the page when I get home!
Three facts about you?
I’ve never drank a cup of coffee.
I’ve never drank a diet soda.
I’ve never smoked a cigarette.
Do you believe in UFOs?
Nope. Nor am I a fan of sci-fi.
What was your favorite cartoon growing up?
Not really a cartoon, but my five siblings and I were glued to the Little Rascals every Saturday morning.
Would you rather have fame or fortune?
When I ghostwrote my mother’s book, GRACEFULLY, I told her she could have the fame, I just wanted the fortune. She became a model at the age of 65 and is now almost 73 and still models with Wilhelmina Models in Miami. I find that interesting because one of our dogs growing up was named Wilhelmina.
Pick one book that is your all-time favorite?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It was my favorite read and when I was a high school English teacher, it was my favorite to teach.
Embarrassing guilty pleasure?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Both. Just depends on who I’m around. I’m very comfortable spending time alone, so I’d say I’m more of an introvert. But, I’m also comfortable speaking to large crowds, which I’ve had to do many times.
Do you speed when you drive?
I’ve driven cross country 7 times. Let’s just say that some states are longer and more boring than others.
Your thoughts on Self-Publishing.
I’ve been both traditionally and indie-published. McGraw-Hill published GRACEFULLY and I have an agent in NYC. However, I find indie-publishing to be much more productive and rewarding. I’ve also coached and assisted dozens of clients in the indie-world of publishing. (I see self-publishing as vanity press and indie-publishing as an author who makes it their career and treat it like a business.)
Are you a Tweeter, a Re-Tweeter, or you couldn’t care less about Twitter?
I Tweet. I Re-Tweet. I have great relationships with both authors and photographers on Twitter. There are pros to it over Facebook. They’re not meant to be the same, of course, and knowing how to use both effectively is critical to success. HooteSuite is my friend.
Would you rather sit on a porch with sweet tea or go hiking with a bottle of water and a
Both! When I lived in Charlottesville, VA (11 years), I drank enough sweet tea to fill the Atlantic. I’m more of a cyclist than a hiker, but since living in the Rocky Mountains, I’m doing both about equally.
Your favorite type of music: 70′s rock. I’m sort of a hippie that way.
Your favorite color of Skittle: Red!
Your favorite memory: I could tell you, but he’d kill me.
Your favorite quote: “Don’t choose the one you can live with; choose the one you can’t live without.” – Advice from my grandmother, Dorothy Crispo.
Your favorite way to spend an evening: With my boyfriend or writing.
Anything you would like to say to the aspiring authors reading this blog?
I’ve been coaching new authors for almost a decade. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the publishing industry between both traditional and indi-publishers, so my advice has changed with the times. I told a client the other day, “There are over 8 million books on Kindle. Authors used to battle the slush piles of the publishing companies, now we’re battling the slush piles of anyone and everyone who can publish a book and upload it to Kindle. Your book needs to be special, and know that word of mouth is still the best, most honest, way to sell a book.”
Thanks a lot!! Emily Walker
Heather Hummel is a “photonovelist” who blends her love for photography with her award-winning career as an author. Her published works include:
Life in the Iris of the Beholder (2012)
Signs from the Universe (2011)
Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008),
Messages of Hope and Healing ( Sunpiper Media, 2006)
Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007) with David Baldacci and Rita Mae Brown
2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award
2009 New York Book Festival, Honorable Mention
Heather has ghostwritten for politicians, corporations, and public figures. Her books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Health, Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. A graduate with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree with concentrations in English and Secondary Education. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Metaphysical Sciences.
Visit Heather’s websites: