Heather S. Ingemar – Rise Of Gothic Blog Tour
Hello one and all! I know, I’ve been a ghost lately-and I’ll get to that a bit later-but today is not about me. Nope. Today is about my fabulous guest blogger Hearther S. Ingemar, the writer of one of my favorite YA tales, Collecting Dreams, from Drollerie Press. She’s doing a whole slew of guest blogging for her blog tour and I was one of the lucky few who snagged a slot for her. Becuase I love her work, and I’ve been dying to get to know the brain behind it, I decided I’d interview her.
So, without further adieu, please give a very warm welcome to Heather!
1. So, what’s your Sign? *grin* You’ll have to forgive me I’m a huge Astrology geek. I figure you’d like some nice icebreaker questions too. Can’t all be serious can they?
Heather: I’m a Pisces. And if you’re into the Chinese Zodiac, I’m an Ox.
2. Was writing ever a hobby for you or was it more like this haunting addiction that simply couldn’t NOT be done?
Heather: Well, it wasn’t really either, actually. When I was young, I always wanted to tell stories, always had ideas for stories, but I simply didn’t have the skills to make the desire translate. So I pursued music instead, for a loooooong time. Then, somewhere between elementary school and my junior year of college, writing and stories clicked. And it very quickly became an addiction!
3. I think my Muse is a pimp, or a pusher with a Cheshire cat’s grin. I guess Ideas would therefore be the Johns or the crack. Do you believe in Muses? Do you visualize one for yourself?
Heather: I’ve actually never really thought about it.
4. What was the first story idea you ever wanted to write? Did you write it and if so has it been published?
Heather: Ah, let’s see. I’m guessing that my first story idea would have been something relating to horses, since I was a horse-crazy little kid, and no, it hasn’t been published. Kind of hard to publish something that was so blatantly fan fiction, hehe.
5. Why don’t you think it panned out? Would you ever consider re-vamping it and trying to make it work?
Heather: I don’t think I’d ever consider any of my pre-college work for publication. I’ve come such a long way since those days, and my style has changed DRASTICALLY since then.
6. What turned you on to writing on the darker side of things? I can’t get enough of Dark Fantasy, so, I wish there were more writers like you around to feed my addiction.
Heather: Lots of things, really, but I think, subconsciously, the reason why I write about monsters and supernatural creatures and the darker side of humanity is my way of dealing with the scarier parts of our world. Once, I woke up after having a convoluted dream about catching Jack the Ripper, and how he was really a vampire set on turning all of England, and since my husband and I have a habit of sharing our dreams in the morning, I told him about it. He looked at me and said, “Geez, that was some nightmare.” And I shook my head, saying, “No! I think it’s a great idea for a story!”
7. Your bio says Edgar Allen Poe is your favorite literary hero. But whose work do you read from this day and age?
Heather: Now that’s a tough question! It really varies depending on my mood. I’ve been itching to read the P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast “House of Night” series for a while and just haven’t had the time. I’m a big fan of Karen Chance’s books, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ books, and earlier this year kind of got into the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. And, always, I’m devouring whatever horror/supernatural/fantasy short story anthology I can get my hands on.
8. Loved the claws in your Author image. I think it’s perfect for your branding. Where did you get them?
Heather: Hehe! I love my monster hands! K-mart, a couple Halloweens ago, for roughly $10. They’re these awesome silicon/plastic gloves that are made to look like monster hands. At the time we bought those (they’re white), they also came in brown and green. They’ve since changed the design to include Velcro fasteners around your wrist, and now come in red.
9. I heard you’re a musician as well. You play the Irish whistle, the Irish flute, and the mandolin. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the flute or the violin. My sister used to play piano but didn’t stick with it. Did you have formal teaching or was this something you picked up and discovered you had a natural talent?
Heather: I am a classically trained musician, and performed professionally for over nine years. My whole family is musical. I started college with the intent to begin with a minor in Music and then transfer and get a Music Education/Performance degree. I guess you could say I got sidetracked. J
10. Do you listen to music when you write? Instrumental or Lyrical? Or do you have a playlist for each project with a mix of both?
Heather: I do prefer to listen to music while I work, but the type/style depends on my mood. I’ll listen to Coldplay, Matchbox Twenty, Linkin Park, Daughtry and Train one day, then switch to Clannad, Loreena McKennitt, Turlach Boylan, and Gaelic Storm the next. Sometimes I’ll listen to classical instrumental, other times opera and broadway musicals. It just depends. Once, I wrote a novella for a creative writing class project where I could only listen to Middle-Eastern and Indian Raga music!
11. As you know, I loved your Dream-Drinker tales. Might we see more of Isabele? Or is she holding on to her Contentedly-ever-after for dear life?
Heather: I’m not going to say ‘no,’ because you never know what can change. For all I know, I could wake up tomorrow and be all “OOOOOHHH, here’s her next adventure!” But for now, I think she’s pretty content with where she’s at. And that’s all anyone can ask, right?
12. Do you think you could ever write something light-hearted? Have you? I’ve tried, I suck at it.
Heather: This is kind of a funny question, because some of my work I consider rather light-hearted, but my readers think it’s pretty spooky. But, I guess that’s all part of the individual reading experience, and everyone takes something different away from the work. Will I ever write a Romantic Comedy? Probably not.
13. Can you tell me a little about your upcoming release ‘Requiem’?
Heather: Sure! “Requiem” is a novella about a girl, Hattie, who can “sing the dead,” or call them from their graves. Hattie’s a little tired of having all these zombies show up at her concerts, but she’s got some pretty overbearing parents who like having the prestige of a Death-Siren for a daughter. “Requiem” is all about her struggle to reconcile her needs with the desires of her parents, and finding her own place in life where she’s happy, especially when a very nice, very attractive Shade-boy offers her freedom from her ‘curse.’ “Requiem” is available now from the short story division of Echelon Press (http://echelonpress.com/), and will shortly be available from other retailers like Fictionwise, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.
14. What’s next? What are you working on now? Or do you prefer to keep your WIPs somewhat secretive?
Heather: I’m waiting on word regarding a couple submissions (a short story and a novella) to a couple places, and in the meantime, I’m working on another short story featuring goblins, enchantments, and love. J There might end up being a few stories in this vein, but I’m not going to promise anything.
15. You said your peers regarded you as “a little odd”, was this high school or does that verdict hold up today? I think everyone’s a little odd but it seems writers are especially quirky. And well, High school just sucked all around, didn’t it?
Heather: Hehe. It was a verdict right from the get-go, and I do think it holds true today. What else would you call it when someone sees a plastic skeleton in the Halloween section of Wal-Mart, and then daydreams about zippy-tying it into the second seat – like a passenger — of their motorcycle, just so they can go riding around town for the next week getting goofy looks? (Yes, I am guilty. Oooohh soooo guilty.)
16. Which brings me to another point. You have a Bachelor’s degree in English. Did you enjoy college?
Heather: Oh, I loved college! Especially after I got sidetracked into the English division. ;)
17. A lot of writers don’t think that a degree helps much in the publishing biz. That might be true but I imagine it does help in terms of being a head of the game when it comes to sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and even story analysis. So many aspiring writers don’t even know what constitutes as a story. I sure didn’t when I first started taking ‘this writing thing’ seriously. Do you think your education, if not the piece of paper you received for it, helped you in anyway?
Heather: I think going to college was the best decision I ever made. Quite honestly, I wouldn’t be here, writing, if I hadn’t gone to college. It was the right path for me.
18. What do you do when you’re stuck on a project? Some people don’t believe in ’writer’s block’, and to a degree I understand that it’s merely something that was either overlooked or over-planned in the story to the point where motivation begins to decline. How do you combat this?
Heather: I don’t believe in ‘writers block’ either. Whenever I find the going is slow and arduous, I usually find it’s time to take a break. So I put the work down for a while, jot down notes, and mull the whole thing over until my ‘batteries’ are recharged for it.
19. What’s next on the horizon? Do you think you might like to try any other genres?
Heather: Well, someday I’d like to have enough stories written to put into a full-length collection for print. As for trying other genres, I’m pretty content where I am. ‘Gothic’ lit is pretty cool in that it’s got the capacity to run towards horror, towards paranormal, towards romance, towards mystery, towards just about any other division I’d like to try, and still maintain its’ dark edge.
20. Finally, where can we find your next blog tour post?
Heather: My next blog tour post will also be a post for the Drollerie Authors’ Blog Tour, and you can find me on the 21st at Sarah Avery’s Blog (http://dr_pretentious.livejournal.com/). After that, I’ll be rounding up my tour on the 23rd at Tales from the Hollow Tree (http://hollowtreetales.wordpress.com/).
I wish you luck with your submissions Heather, and will be sure to send all five of my readers over to your next Blog Tour posts. *g*