Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Interview with Heather Davis

I have recently done an interview with Heather Davis, who is the author a newly released book entitled Never Cry Werewolf. Here, my friends, is the interview...

What made you decide to write a novel about a werewolf?

I wrote the book back in the winter of 2005/spring 2006 – There wasn’t a whole lot happening in paranormal back then (this was pre-Twilight hysteria) and the previous fall I had written a ghost-whisperer book only to have Jennifer Love Hewitt’s series come on TV. I wanted to do something fresh, and I realized what was really missing was werewolves. Also, I’ve always loved werewolves – there’s something intriguing about having two ways of being – about how everyone has a “dark” side. I remember driving home from town one day and thinking as I reached the thick woods about how werewolves would totally live in the Pacific Northwest.

What is it like being a debut author?

I sold Never Cry Werewolf back in October of 2006 – and it’s finally coming out now -- so, to say I am overjoyed is an understatement. Finally seeing my book in the hands of readers is going to be such a sweet reward for the waiting and the hard work. I’ve dreamed of seeing my books in print for years.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Absolutely – be fearless. And what that means is don’t be afraid to write something that sucks (all first drafts do, anyway). Don’t be afraid to show your work to other writers to get feedback to help improve your writing. Don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t make it. Know in your heart that you are born to tell stories and keep working to get better and better. Someone close to me actually told me that I’d never sell a werewolf book -- and after writing seven other unpublished novels, Never Cry Werewolf is the first book I sold. If I had listened to that nay-sayer or believed in the negativity they expressed, I never would have published my book. So being fearless means believing in yourself.

Is there a certain place where you do all of your writing?

Yes. I write at a local, independent coffee shop two to three nights a week after my normal day job ends. On the weekends I mostly write at home. Once I’m into revisions, sometimes I’ll just write at home during the week so I can write, eat dinner, write again, etc. Writing takes a lot of discipline and sometimes I can’t go out and hang out with my friends because I’m on deadline. Luckily, they understand.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

When I was a teen I loved Anne Rice’s vampire novels and even earlier than that I used to read all the Agatha Christie mysteries. These days I love books by Scott Westerfeld, Libba Bray, Marcus Zusak, Neil Gaiman. I read widely in YA, I guess – although you might find me reading adult authors too.

When you found out that Never Cry Werewolf was going to be published, what was your reaction?

Well, I was on the top of a mountain, just coming into cell range when I saw the message icon on my phone. I parked the car at an overlook and listened to the message from my agent that we had an offer from Harper. Then, I got home, called him, and freaked out. It was such an amazing feeling to have finally sold a book after fighting through more than six years of rejection letters. Let’s just say there were tears.

When did you first know that you wanted to become an author?

I always knew I would be some kind of artist. I wrote plays in elementary school and poetry, and short stories later. I kept a journal all through high school! But actually, as an adult I was going to be a filmmaker/screenwriter. After college though, I bailed on a graduate degree in film to get married and stay close to home – but then I rediscovered short story writing (which I’d loved in high school and college) and went to a writing conference. And then, sitting there with all those people so into writing like I was, I suddenly realized maybe I could write a novel. I sold a children’s short story to Cricket Magazine soon after that, and it was like validation that I was on the right path. Jump cut to many years later and I’m a novelist. It’s pretty amazing.

Why did you choose to write Young Adult fiction?

I substitute taught elementary school for six years and loved working with the older kids. I realized that maybe instead of writing adult novels, I should write something for them. So I did. I actually had a student I trusted read a few chapters of my first YA and she encouraged me to go on. I’ll always be grateful to her.

If you could have any other profession, besides being an author, what would you be?

I really enjoyed a lot of different jobs I’ve had in my life, so, maybe I would be a teacher or a chef. Or maybe a screenwriter…?

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Just thanks so much for doing the interview! It’s been an honor. If anyone wants to know more about Never Cry Werewolf or my spring book, The Clearing, pop over to .

Thank you to Heather Davis for agreeing to do this interview.


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