Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
This week Erin Healy is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of Erin’s latest book, The Baker’s Wife, leave a comment on this post!
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
I’m a freelance fiction editor by profession, specializing in the developmental stages of novel writing. I work full time from home around the schedules of my husband and kids—a preschooler and a teen—and I devote about six months of the year to editing and six to writing.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I write contemporary supernatural suspense novels that are character- and theme-driven. They feature strong female protagonists confronted by high-stakes dilemmas. My characters’ spiritual experiences bridge the earthly and heavenly realities of their lives and lead them to new understandings about God.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I came to writing via my editorial relationship with Ted Dekker, who invited me to write a couple novels with him. It was very backdoor, I know. But every meaningful effort in my life has involved writing of one type or another. I can’t say that I had a dream to publish as much as I had a skill worth nurturing. At least that how I’m trying to think of it: God gave me a gift that I mean not to waste.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
My brain requires a clean work space—clutter in my environment is like litter in my mind—and long hot showers, which is where I do most of my reflecting. As much as I love music, I need silence for writing, and about four hours a day.
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
The day-to-day routines are pretty much as I expected, and not so different from my editorial life. But the emotional layers have caught me off guard. After writing six novels, I expected to feel more confidence about my creative choices. Instead each book is like a newborn child with its own unique personality, joys, and issues. I expected isolation to nurture my creativity—I’m an introvert—and have been most surprised by how much I want feedback and interaction with others.
What are your biggest distractions?
Social media—not because I’m addicted but because there’s so much management required. Research—because there is no such thing as a rabbit trail that doesn’t seem interesting. Children—mainly my own. Family drama—we all have it don’t we? I guess that it seems like I’ve had more than my share (starting with a surprise pregnancy) since launching my writing career four years ago.
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
Best (because it was funniest): When one of my teenage daughter’s friends secretly complained to his mother: “It’s not fair—her mom is famous.” Worst: I personally asked an author I know and respect to read one of my books for endorsement. When he decided the book wasn’t up to par, he didn’t say this to me. Instead he called my publisher to suggest they delay publication so I could rewrite.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
Least: How hard it is to effectively translate the vision in my mind into language the reader can also “see.” Most: The sense of accomplishment for having created something good.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Adopt an attitude of humility about your creative work. Humility will keep you teachable, will cultivate self-discipline, and will go a long way toward making your work truly great.
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
The Baker’s Wife combines fast-paced suspense with real thematic depth for Christian readers. In this story a woman with a supernatural ability to feel the pain of others must use her gift to save her family and rescue her enemy.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
A complete list of my books—plus summaries, free sample chapters, and reader comments—is at erinhealy.com/books. I love to interact with readers on Facebook at erinhealybooks, and I am venturing into the Twitter waters these days (up to my ankles now) @erinhealybooks. I’m also still unfamous enough that I answer all my own e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Write me a note and I’ll write one to you!
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)
Thank you, Suzanne! It’s so fun to reconnect with you in this venue. God bless and keep you (and all your bleaders).