Heidi Nicole Bird, Author and Friend Talks About her New Release 'Ontario'... Building Bridges with her Words
GMB: Hi Heidi, it is nice to have you in the "Anything But Tired Barn" ... And with two thumbs up no less ... Please tell us all about yourself.
HNB: I am a gung-ho, twenty-something gal who absolutely loves to write. I love the outdoors, my family, my religion, and being crazy. I also really love to watch basketball and football, yeah baby! I find that writing is my way to express myself. Without it I would pretty much explode.
GMB: Where and/or how do you find the greatest inspiration?
HNB: Well ... I don’t know ... good question...
GMB: They usually are... *Grinning*
HNB: Heh, heh ... I don't know that there is a specific answer for this, at least not in my case. I just sort of come up with ideas and have to write them. I guess I am inspired by my fellow indie authors and their success, and also by the success of my first book, Through the Paper Wall. Good question...
GMB: What made you chose to write juvenile fiction, young adult fiction, fantasy in particular?
HNB: Though I have written one book that was general fiction, I tend to stick to fantasy. I adore fantasy, and always have. I love to get lost in different worlds, especially worlds that involve magic. I grew up reading fantasy, so it was just natural for me to write it. I can let my imagination expand more that way!
GMB: I see ... Nice ... You seem sort of a bridge builder with words ... from here to fantasy and back... Is there any other genre you’d like to write? And, if so, why?
HNB: I would like to try historical fiction, at least once. I used to read that a lot, and I majored in history, so it would be fun to put my love of history and novels together and see what happens.
GMB: And again, I sense the theme of bridging the past with the now, perhaps the future... Which appears first when contemplating a new project: a character, the plot or the title?
HNB: Usually a plot, even if that just means a single scene, though for my newest book, Ontario, it was definitely the main character that came to me first.
GMB: What’s the hardest part of a novel for you to write: beginning, middle or end? Why?
HNB: The middle. I’m usually pretty good at starting a story, and I tend to know how I want it to end. It’s the messy bits in the middle that make up a great story, so you have to make sure the middle is sooo good!
GMB: Has your own life influenced your novels? If so, how?
HNB: Definitely. I don’t usually use stories or circumstances from my life, but I have definitely used names and based characters on specific people, including myself.
GMB: Oh, oh ... I'd better watch out ... I know I'm already historic, but to end up in one of your fantasy plots... hmmmm *winking* ... Now who is your favorite character you’ve created? And, why?
HNB: Oh man, that’s a toughie! Probably Austin, the main character’s love interest in Ontario. He’s drop dead gorgeous and so intriguing, and yes, I do have a crush on him. Probably always will. My future husband will just have to deal with it.
GMB: And I'm sure you 'future husband' will appreciate the warning *grinning, winking* ... So tell us about your newest release ... perhaps a little more about Austin...
HNB: Ontario was released April 29th. The story follows a girl by the name of Ontario, who lost her father and was abandoned by her mother. Left with her older brother as her guardian she faces her senior year of high school feeling like she can’t trust anyone anymore and that she is only a burden to her brother. Eventually she begins working at the local diner and while there, working with the amazing people there, she comes to learn that she can still trust and love.
GMB: Nice ... I get a feel your work is relationships based ... I write a lot about relationships as well ... It is very rewarding ... Now, if I was a publisher, I believe my first question would be, “Why were you chosen to write this story?” How would you respond to this inquisitive, hypothetical publisher?
HNB: Ontario is, in many ways, me. I feel like Ontario is having me tell her story so that I can reveal some things about myself without coming right out and saying them.
GMB: Which do you prefer a great hero or a great villain? Why don’t you name one of each…
HNB: Ooh . . . well, I think you need to have both, really. Though, I have always wanted to play the villain if I was ever in a movie. Hmm, to name one of both . . . that’s an awfully good question. Okay, a great villain – Beloved, from Bruce Coville’s Unicorn Chronicles series. Wooh, she’s good. And a good hero? Let’s go with . . . Abby, from Lisa Mangum’s Hourglass Door Trilogy.
GMB: Interesting ... Tell us Heidi, what is your favorite movie? And why? What is NOT your favorite movie?
HNB: Well, that certainly changes from time to time...
GMB: for me too...
HNB: ...but I think currently my favorite movie is Wreck-it Ralph, because it is family friendly, funny, dramatic, emotional, and just plain awesome. Plus, Owl City does the end credits song, which always makes a movie better! What is NOT my favorite movie: any of the newer Star Wars movies. Gag.
GMB: Now Heidi, you ready for a biggy? Tell us out here in the Blogs Sphere ... If you could be anyone in the world, space, and designated realm, who would it be? And why?
HNB: Honestly, I would be me. I know, I know, that probably sounds really lame, but it’s true. I love being me. BUT, if you’re going to make me pick somebody else . . .
GMB: Not making you ... *smirks*
HNB: Peter Pan. No lie. I've always wanted to be him.
GMB: 'Petta' ... 'Petta Pan' ... ? Now that I did not see coming ... I mean Peter Pan flying into the Barn on that question? ... Now where do you and Peter see your writing career in the next five to ten years?
HNB: Hopefully I will be a bestselling author. That would be cool. I would love for writing to be my only occupation, besides being a mother. A snazzy website is a must! That sounds absolutely perfect.
GMB: And where can we learn more about you bridgeable with words, about you and Ontario?
HNB: You can find me at my website, http://heidinicolebird.blogspot.com
GMB: How about sharing a little from Ontario? Will you read for us?
HNB: Sure ...
“Don’t worry, Ontario, I’ll never leave you. You will always have me here to protect you and your brother.”
Those words from a childhood memory would haunt Ontario Stratton for the rest of her life. Losing her father had been difficult enough, but her life would change even more drastically at the beginning of her senior year of high school. Only weeks into the school year Mrs. Stratton abandons her two children for a more carefree way of living. Suddenly thrown into a very different life, Ontario clings to her brother Eddy, her new legal guardian, and to no one else. Could she trust anyone anymore? Even her best friend isn’t there for her. . .
In order to feel like less of a burden on her brother, Ontario gets a job at the local fifties-style diner. It is there that she meets her new “family,” including the oh-so-intriguing Austin, the only one who can help her truly heal. In time, Ontario discovers that Austin has his own demons, and that he needs her just as much as she needs him. Some things in Ontario’s life begin to come together again, but others continue to fall apart. Though her world seems to be breaking, she is introduced to a kind of happiness she has never known before, and her new found friends show her that maybe, just maybe, she can learn to love again.
GMB: Sounds Great! And, where can we find and purchase Ontario?
HNB: Thank You for asking Mitch ... the Purchase Links for Ontario are listed below:
Paperback Kindle Store
Ontario on Goodreads
GMB: Well Heidi it was wonderful to learn about your passion for building bridges with words in this "Anything But Tired Old Barn". We hope you come and visit again real soon.
HNB: You are welcome Mitch ... Enjoyed our visit and look forward to writing more and developing a following of readers who will appreciate what I do with words.
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G. Mitchell Baker, Author