Monday, August 3, 2009

Heather Paye, Part 2

We're back with Heather Paye for the 2nd part of our Writers on the Move tour. Today we have a number of questions that Heather happily answered for us. So, lets get to know this young author a little better:

You seem to be a very determined and confident young lady. Where do you think you get this from and does anything get you down?

I’d have to say I get my determination from a little bit of both of my parents.. My confidence probably comes from my mother as she is always encouraging me to do my best, and assures me that I am.

Does anything get me down?

Yes, there are a few things that get me down. Being a 15-year-old published author things are basically black and white, either people judge me and think that I am incapable of publishing a book, they’re jealous, some people even get to thinking that ANYONE can publish a book that it’s “so easy”. Other people are completely and utterly astonished, and happy for my achievements. So, it’s really black and white for me, there is no in between as an author, which can get quite frustrating. And so, I guess my answer is: people’s judgment of my age, and not my stories, or not my abilities really gets me down. And it really doesn’t sound like something too bad, but it can get really upsetting for me and people just close their eyes and refuse to believe anything. So, it’s hard.

Tell us a little about your family life.

Well, I have lived in Arizona my entire life, and I know this place like I know no other, and it will definitely always be my “home”. But right now, it’s 106 degrees, and I’m looking at the like for the next few weeks, probably more, plus 60% humidity, so right now I’d really like to be somewhere else, Montana maybe? *laughs* Other than the heat, Arizona is really a wonderful place to live, quiet and full of beautiful scenery.

I have always been homeschooled, along with my three other siblings. Right now I’m really starting to see how useful homeschooling can be with my writing career. Say, for instance, I would have to do a book signing early in the morning, being homeschooled I could do this book signing, and then I could complete my school work later in the day. So, it’s really convenient.

What’s a typical day for you?

Typical day… let’s see… I wake up around 8AM, check my emails and do all of my necessary work on the computer (I can’t say exactly, since it varies from day to day), I eat lunch and then complete my school work.. By this time, it’s usually around 3PM maybe, then I finish up my work on the computer (if necessary, which it usually is), I eat dinner and then go for my evening walk which also includes playing with my little brother. Then I use the rest of the night for my writing, editing, or reviewing, depending on which I need to do. Most of the time I’m multitasking, such as right now, I am typing on my laptop, playing with my iPod, and watching TV. Lol

When you told your parents you wanted to publish your book what was their initial response?

Well, it wasn’t quite as awkward as you make it sound. It was really just a gradual thing, I started writing, and my mom was reading over my shoulder, and I don’t remember her exact words, but it was something along the lines of me getting my book published, and it was mostly a jokingly, but I kept writing, I think I was about 10 years old then. But, what really caused my book that is currently published to be published was a contest that I entered it’s called NaNoWriMo, you may have heard of it you may have not, it’s where you attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in one month’s time. And I managed to do just that, well, a few weeks after the contest; I found out that all winners received his or her first proof copy of their book for free if they use a certain publisher. So, I decided there to get my book self-published, I mean, why not?
So, I guess my answer to your question would be excitement, we were all excited.

I know you’re very involved with your writing, but what do you do for fun?
Watch movies, read, play video games, listen to music, and I would say play keyboard, but it recently broke, so right now I’m having piano withdrawals.

Who’s your favorite writer? And, what is your favorite genre?

My favorite writer, and my role model is definitely J.K.Rowling, with Nora Roberts coming up closely behind. My favorite genre is definitely fantasy, anything with drama, and a little bit of comedy, mild romance is good too; I have a wide variety of books that I like to read.

What advice would you give other young people who have a desire to write?

Read, Write, Research, Revise, Learn! READ a good variety of books, learn about what you like and what you don’t, it’s a rule that I’ve heard quite a few times myself, and it doesn’t require very much thinking, just read, it helps! WRITE what you know, and what you love, writing about a subject (fictional or non-fictional) that you don’t know about doesn’t work very well… ever.

RESEARCH good writing skills, publishers, publishing techniques, learn everything you can about publishing. It’s necessary, and it makes the process go a lot smoother if you don’t have any/many bad surprises, research anything and everything you can get your hands on, from writing, to publishing, revising, how to write query letters, how to market your book after it’s published, everything. REVISE everything you’ve written, I usually revise my work around 9 or 10 times, seriously, I know it sounds like a lot, but it is definitely necessary, I recommend a minimum of six rounds of editing. LEARN everything you can about grammar, keep it sharp. When I first started writing, I used no punctuation, I did not make paragraphs, and just about every word was misspelled. I worked to learn just about everything I could about writing a proper novel. I’m still learning proper writing even now, but look, I’m using punctuation, and nothing is misspelled. *laugh*

How has your personal faith and beliefs influenced your story?

Well, it might have slightly influenced my story, but not by very much I wouldn’t really say that it is a religious story, a lot of people assume that it is because of the title, “A Gift From Above” but it isn’t really. There is one scene with Celia (the main character) going to church. But, other than that, there isn’t anything else really religious in it. To be honest I’m not quite sure how to answer the question, I guess I would say, I’m a Christian and Celia is a Christian so that its self might have influenced the story. I’m not strongly religious though, so... yeah.

Do you have plans to go to college when you finish your high school courses? If so, what will you major in?

I’ll definitely be heading off to college. I get along really well with computers, so it’s only natural that I do something that they are involved in, my major of choice is game design.

Heather Paye
Student, Author, Dreamer

You can get your copy of A Gift From Above at:

That's it for this tour. Thank you Heather for being our guest; with your determination and confidence I'm sure you'll reach all your goals.

Talk to you soon,
Karen Cioffi


Nancy Famolari said...

Very interesting interview, Karen.

Heather, it sounds like homeschooling has been a plus for you. I've heard good things about other homeschoolers. Keep writing!

Gayle said...

Great post, Heather! Don't let other people get you down. You're doing great.

Vivian Zabel said...

Interesting interview. I enjoyed it.

kathy stemke said...

Way to go, Heather. Keep writing!

Helena Harper said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, Karen, and learning more about what it means to be a young writer. It must be difficult to deal with the prejudice of others who focus on the writer's age rather than their ability. Age has nothing to do with it. There was a 7 year old boy on the news the other day who is a tremendously gifted artist. He drew a couple of pictures of the seaside from memory whilst in the studio and my mother said that she would have bought either of those pictures then and there had they been for sale. Judge the product, not the artist.


KittyNadem said...

Thank you Nancy, Gayle, Vivian, Kathy, and Helena for your wonderful comments, and for reading!

Nancy - Yes, homeschooling really has been a plus for me. Thanks for visiting!

Gayle - Thanks, Gayle, I try not to. :D

Vivian - Glad you enjoyed the interview, thanks for stopping by!

Kathy - Thanks, Kathy!

Helena - Thank you so much, I heard about the 7 year old artist too. I think there was an article that I read about him a few days ago. I didn't really compare that to this until now though. But, it's perfect, yes, definitely, judge the product, not it's creator. I just keep telling myself though, I'll grow out of it. LOL!

Heather Paye

Donna M. McDine said...


You are a true inspiration. Never, ever let other peoples judgments get you done. You are doing terrific. Keep up the great work.

Donna M. McDine
Marketing Manager, SFC Magazine
SFC: Families Matter Blog
SFC Magazine Website

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Hey, All,

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving comments.

And, thank you Heather for being our guest for the August tour.


Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Hey, All,

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving comments.

And, thank you Heather for being our guest for the August tour.


Heather said...

Thank you Donna and Karen!

Donna - Thank you, I try not to, but there are so many people out there, it gets hard.

Karen - It certainly was a pleasure being your guest!

Heather Paye