Tuesday, March 02, 2010

SPOTTED: Heidi Kling & Sea (My first author interview!) + Heidi's Contest!

Hi guys! This is my first official post for a new Meme I'm starting. *Spotted* in which I interview a debut author about his/her debut novel!

Today, I have SPOTTED, the author of Sea! Heidi Kling! *claps* As a sign of my support for Heidi and her novel, most of this post has GONE BLUE.

Heidi was born and raised in California and changed schools every few years. At a young age, she discovered a love of writing and creating. When Heidi stepped in highschool, she stumbled upon the world of acting and was cast in the role of the whimsical Clarisse in the spring production of Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian story of a world without books; a bleak and disturbing future where books are banned—burned by fireman—and preserved only through people’s memories. That story changed her perspective of life. Right there and then, she decided to be a writer.

Since I've SPOTTED Heidi, I took the chance to interview her! Here it is:

P: When did you start writing?

H: I started writing SEA six months after the 2004 tsunami--about the same timing that Sienna visits Indonesia.

P: Oh, I remember that tsunami. It was so close here. Tragic experiences can really push a writer to pour creative juice.

P: How long did it take for you to finish the draft of Sea?

H: About two years. The first draft was VERY long. :)

P: Long, indeed. But Sea is definitely worth writing for two years!

P: What inspired you to start writing Sea?

H: My husband returned from his volunteer trip to an Indonesian orphanage after the tsunami and was profoundly affected by the experience. He urged, "You need to write about this." The long version is on my website: heidirkling.com


P: Favorite book?

H: I loved Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

P: Favorite authors?

H: Judy Blume was my favorite author as a kid/tween, now I like John Green, Sara Zarr, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen, Sarah Ockler, L.K. Madigan, Jennifer Hubbard, Jon Skovron (to
name a few...)

P: Favorite movie?

H: Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. I watched Before Sunset last night. The dialog is so real it almost hurts.

P: Oh! I know that one! I think I watched it when I was a younger. I know what you mean by this: The dialog is so real it almost hurts.

P: Favorite among the characters of Sea and why?

H: I love Sienna, Deni and Spider equally. I also love Dad and Big Doctor Tom and Oma and Amelia...the only one I don't like much is Vera, because she's so annoying. ;)

P: Favorite scene in Sea?

H: I don't want to spoil anything, but I'm particularly found of the motor ride to the ancient temple. It gives me the chills (in a good way) just thinking about it.

P: *curious*

P: Was there a part of the novel that was hard to write?

H: The almost to the end scenes. Yeah.

P: Did you include any personal experiences in the novel? Or was there a part of the novel that was inspired from your personal experience?

H: Well, Sea was inspired by my husband's volunteer work, and I could definitely relate to the pain of losing someone you love.

P: How does your mood affect your writing?

H: That's a great question. No one has asked me that yet! In order to get into the really emotional stuff I listen to sad music, and if I'm feeling really optimistic and energetic (which is my norm) I can dive into something exciting or some fun back/forth dialog, etc.

P: Maybe, I should try that! You just gave me an idea, as well as other aspiring writers. 

P: Is it important that you are in an ambience that you like when you write? If yes, why?

H: I used to need it to be really quiet and I had to write at home. Now that I have two kids and am more seasoned as a writer (read=used to chaos of my life) I can write easily in noisy cafe's with lots of distractions. The thing I *do* need is a some sort of coffee product next to me. Also, I never write at home if my kids are around. Some people can do that, but not me.

P: Do you listen to music when you write or not? Do you have a specific song in mind?

H: I love your questions! I usually don't write to music, UNLESS I'm working on a particularly emotional scene. During revisions of Sea, toward the end of the book I listened to "Details in the Fabric" over and over and over again.

P: Do you write continuously or do you take breaks?

H: I write until I have to stop. (Either I have to go home, or whatever) --I only take breaks to go to the bathroom and its usually a mad sprint.

P: What are you working on now?

H: A fantasy trilogy about witches and warlocks. :) It is so much fun.

P: I'll be watching out for that series!

P: What tips can you give to aspiring writers (like me)?

H: Stick with it. Really perfect your craft before you query agents. Join a critique group. Listen to their advice even if it hurts to hear. Read the sorts of books you want to write. Network (like your doing) interview authors, learn about the craft, make connections. Think of these things as puzzle pieces---and collect as many as you can before you try to put the thing together--and remain optimistic. Think, "WHEN" I get this published instead of "IF" You know what I mean?

P: Yep! Must keep that positive energy inside you. *chants* Think positive, think positive, think

P: What would you like to say to the people who have read Sea or have included your novel in their wishlists and/or to-be-read piles?

H: Thank you! I'm thrilled that people are connecting with my characters and the story. It means so much to me. Cup overfloweth. :)

P: Thank you for your time Heidi! My eyes are open for Sea!

H: Thank you! Best of luck with your writing!

P: Why, thank you! *waves goodbye* Bye!

Heidi-related Links:

Follow Heidi on Twitter!
Add her in Facebook!
Befriend her in Goodreads!
Follow her Blog!

Sea debuts on June 10, 2010!
You can pre-order Sea at Amazon!

Book Description:

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother's accidental disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen year old California girl Sienna "Sea" Jones reluctantly travels with her father's volunteer team to six months post-tsunami Indonesia. During her stay at the orphanage, she meets scarred and soulful Deni who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can't be together, so why can't she stay away from him? And what about her old-best-friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why is her psychiatrist father so secretive about her mother's plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to the truth. And Sea's real adventure begins.


"SEA is a richly woven story as turbulent and beautiful as the sea itself, plunging us headlong into the depths of loss, devastation, compassion, and hope. A touching and romantic debut about the redemptive power of altruism and the heart's capacity for love."

-- Sarah Ockler, author of TWENTY BOY SUMMER

"From the first page of SEA, the reader is plunged into a world of love, loss, and hope. The heat between Sienna and Deni is mirrored in the steamy exotic setting of Indonesia. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put this book down. Sienna is conflicted and compassionate... I truly loved this book and can't wait to recommend it to all the teenagers I know!"

-- L.K. Madigan, William C. Morris Award winning author of FLASH BURNOUT

"From the opening pages of SEA, the hair stood on the back of my neck, as it does whenever I encounter a writer who really knows what she's doing with words. Tragedies and miracles coexist in this entrancing debut novel about the aftermath of a tsunami."

-- Jennifer R. Hubbard, author of THE SECRET YEAR

Heidi is also having a SEA ARC GIVEAWAY at her blog! Go there for a chance to win Sea. (I entered. And I must say, it's very fun! I almost painted my whole body blue and danced in the street, screaming how much I love Sea, except that my neighbors would freak out and I probably might end up in the local news and be labeled as "The Crazy Blue Screaming Girl.")

That's it for SPOTTED this week! Next week, I'll be spotting Judith Graves!


  1. Wow, I learned quite a bit!

    For a 1st interview, I'd say you did great!

  2. Great interview! I can't wait to read this book AND read about the motor ride scene!

  3. GREAT interview!

    I LOOOOVE Before Sunrise/Sunset. GLEEE!!!

  4. Oh that was a really great first interview ^_^. I've learned a lot of things today.

  5. Thank you for the wonderful comments! :) It's all encouraging!

  6. Great interview! Sea looks amazing :)

  7. Wonderful first interview! It makes me even more eager to read Sea :)

  8. Great interview. I'm so wanting to read this!!!