Jeny Heckman is a new author with The Wild Rose Press. Her debut novel, THE SEA ARCHER, releases on October 17, 2018. It's book one in her Heaven and Earth series. I'm very happy to welcome Jeny Heckman!
Where did you get the idea for your new novel?
I had written my first book, The Catch, and self-published it. I was trying to learn more about the craft of writing and decided to take on the challenge of a series. I love series! My favorite thing is getting to see what happens to favorite characters after their book ends. I knew I wanted the series to be paranormal and just had to decide on the element. I felt like werewolves, vampires and witches might be a market that’s a little saturated, and have always enjoyed Greek mythology. I love that the characters, even though they are gods, are so incredibly imperfect. I also loved the idea of gods needing help from us mere mortals, so it began there.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?
I believe women are pretty powerful beings and yet can sometimes lose their way or get caught up in an inner made up story. I would love for a woman that struggles with some of the same insecurities that Raven does, to find a voice and role model in her. You must be brave in the world, and that you are entirely capable of most things. The same would be said for men. I feel like they don’t always get a fair shake. They are expected to be these strong individuals, the driving force in most things. I would hope a man might read this book and let go of some of those beliefs and feel safe to be just a little bit vulnerable, especially to a woman.
If you could change something about one of your books already released, what would it be?
The Catch! My first book The Catch, is my baby! I wrote it just to see if I could but in doing so I fell in love with almost every character and gave everything I had to them. I wrote the book when my father-in-law was in the final months of his battle with cancer and I was taking care of him. So, there’s a lot of meaning behind the book. However, because it’s my first book, the writing wasn’t everything I hoped it would be. I’d like to go back and tighten it up a bit, now that I have more knowledge about the process. I will do that one day soon when I have time. It’s a great story.
When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?
Wow! Well I’ll try and make this concise! I’ve always thought in stories and pictures. My imagination was always very vibrant and I loved to read and enter those “other” worlds. I never thought about writing until I was older and walking one day. My father-in-law was very ill and I was taking a break from caring for him. I had an idea for a story and the character wouldn’t stop talking in my head. When I got home, the kids were in school and I didn’t have anything going on so decided to write it down. At one point, I looked up and four hours had passed! I decided to play it out and in three days had a somewhat fleshed out story. I sat on it for a long time, just being busy with my active family and job. People read it and encouraged me to, “do something with it.” However, it wasn’t until my son (who isn’t a big reader), read it and said he wanted me to publish it. I decided to try and, “The Catch,” was created. I fell in love with the craft and started writing another book which was picked up by The Wild Rose Press and the result is or hopefully will soon be in your hands, The Sea Archer.
What is the hardest part of being a writer for you?
By far, the most difficult thing about writing a book for me is having a head full of ideas and unable to write them down because I’m busy or the day is packed full of other events or people. It’s by far the hardest part. When I write, I don’t really like to stop. I definitely lose track of time. So, invariably I need a lot of undemanding time or I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when I get interrupted.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Well, I’m not sure they’d be surprised but I am an introvert, as many writers are. What I think is surprising is that many people don’t understand us. They think we’re hermits, and that we don’t like people or are somehow lonely and unhappy all the time. Which is unfortunate because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I gain energy and inspiration from quiet, where others might gain energy and inspiration from others or “busyness” around them. For me, I have to be in the mindset and prepare to be around a lot of people or it stresses me out.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Writing is absolutely my first passion and then a very close second is photography. Two very creative fields I know. I love capturing moments whether in life or in my mind and showing it to people. To stand in the Scottish Highlands alone but able to show it to people like they’re standing there too, is exciting. Primarily, I shoot portraits and weddings but recently I’ve really gotten into scenery and epic landscapes.
What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?
I love almost every genre, so I do have my favorites in all and it would be easier to name all my favorite authors but two authors on opposite ends of romance are probably Diana Gabaldon and The Outlander series because it has everything in it. Adventure, romance, time travel, humor, vision, just everything. My second is Sophie Kinsella and all her works, but primarily the Shopoholic books. Few people can make me laugh out loud when reading and she can with every book she’s written. Both of these amazing ladies I have their books in every format, so there’s an investment there and I find myself re-reading or listening to them often.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
I really like this question. My life has been a very fascinating one. Most people in my life don’t know half of what has happened to me and one day I may write about it. I feel my life has appropriately set me up to write about the topics I write. Empowerment has not come easily, it’s been a very long process but as I get older I do feel stronger, and more empowered than I felt possible. That’s why I wouldn’t trade my life now for my twenties or thirties for anything. It’s also why I like that evolution to happen to my heroes and heroines.
What do you like best about your hero in THE SEA ARCHER?
Oh Finn, what is there not to like about Finn! He is perfectly flawed, as most men are. I love men, so I love writing about them and Finn is the epitome of male beauty but doesn’t always get that isn’t enough. I like his turmoil in how he handles this tsunami that’s entered his life. Just a side note. When I write, I have to have a visual on my desktop of the character and when I wrote Finn’s scenes, his visual counterpart is Ben Dahlhaus (with the short beard). So, if you are wondering my vision of him, Ben was it. Go look him up now and you’re welcome!
What do you like best about your heroine?
I love…LOVE Raven! She was such a loud voice and presence in my head. I love that we have an idea about what a celebrity might be like. We think we understand their lives, their intellect, their beliefs, when we don’t know them at all and many times they are nothing like the people you fall in love with on the stage or screen. Raven is two separate people and everyone thinks the one on the stage is the real one. However, she is just as insecure as everyone else. She doesn’t know any more or less than anyone else. Her life is primarily the same just with extra wrapping paper. Second side note, Jennifer Anistan was the visual que for Raven. The best thing is Jennifer has played many roles and I was able to get the performer and every day woman characters of Raven from Jennifer too.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
As I explained already about the visual ques I do need that when I am writing and I look at the characters often when writing movement or dialogue. Other visual ques for characters in this book were Pierce Brosnan for Donovan Fortner and Gerard Butler for Wyatt Hunter. The others were models. As for names, I stopped doing that for the most part. In The Catch almost every character was named for someone in my life but it was very hard to tell the person that the name assigned to the character in the book had nothing to do with them personally. If you’ve assigned a loved one's name to a particular asshole in a book, you don’t want that person thinking that’s how you see them. So, I had a lot of explaining to do and decided I wouldn’t be doing that again.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
The primary place to find me online is my website www.jenyheckman.com You can sign up for my newsletter and get all the inside info. You can also find me on:
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
Currently I’m working on The Warrior’s Progeny, book two of the Heaven & Earth series and now that The Sea Archer is finally coming to release, I’ll be able to work on it exclusively.
I’d like to sincerely thank the readers for following along and I hope The Sea Archer finds its way into your hands and that you enjoy it. I’d also like to give my sincere thanks to Jana Richards for today, a brilliant writer and a very thoughtful host.
Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding.
Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men’s fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own.
The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?
When opposites meet the attraction is undeniable, but Fate has other plans.
Jeny Heckman, loves romance. She especially loves romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. Educated as an artist, banker, sales clerk, draftsman, charity fundraiser, jewelry maker, nursing student, hospice volunteer, photographer, mother, and wife, she felt her calling lay elsewhere. While taking care of an ailing loved one, she was inspired to write her first novel entitled, The Catch, about a female Alaskan crab fisherman, and self-publish it. Wanting to try something very different she pitched an idea to a New York agent who told her to run with it. This book is the first of that seven-part endeavor. When not ignoring her family and friends by writing you will find her time exclusively on them and photography. Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington, with her husband of over twenty-five years.
Links for Purchase:
Barnes and Noble Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sea-archer-jeny-heckman/1129487886?ean=2940161651582
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2444_jeny-heckman