What the Heart Knows , is a paranormal romance with hints of mystery and sci-fi horror. Oliver young is a widowed man having a hard time getting over the death of the wife. Then he meets, Juniper “Juni” Bloom, and everything changes. Ten years his junior, Juni is a free spirit who reminds him there’s plenty to live for. Things between them are going well until small incidents, and nightmares begin to fill him with doubt. Despite her light countenance Juni has secrets, and the both of them are being stalked by something not of this world.
This is the first story I’ve written that’s been heavily influenced by my love of the horror genre. The concept was a blast to research, and the mystery was a lot of fun to add to the story line. I felt like I was hiding little gems for my readers to discover later!
I’m actually working on my first Young Adult fiction. A paranormal piece called, Mark of the Dragon, which features dragon shifters!
Eden and Maxwell Stone are snow leopards born with the mark of the dragon. The birthmark they once thought to be harmless, forced their father to reveal the hidden history of their people when they come of age at eighteen, and gives them both powers unlike any they’ve seen before. I could go on and on about this one, but you get the big picture. YA is what really gave me my love for writing, starting with the baby sitter’s club, and sweet valley high. Then I read my first paranormal romance, and I knew I’d come home. For that reason it’s always been a dream of mine to write YA.
I’ll be writing under the pen name Astrid Novak, because it’s important to keep the youth fiction away from the naughty.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
For me personally, the biggest challenge of all is balancing writing with life, and then there’s trusting my characters when they go rogue, which is often. I’m a stay at home mom with two little ones, and a job in the publishing industry, so organization and time management is a must.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Write and read as much as you can. Learn you craft. I spent a lot of time brushing up on my skills, reading books on writing in the library etc as I wrote the first piece I planned on submitting. Also, its important to have others you trust to be honest read your work. Our eyes miss plot holes, typos etc. after we’ve looked art the same writing over, and over. Fresh input is invaluable. This is one of the hardest steps on the journey to being an author, submit. I know its nerve wracking sending your baby in to be judged, but until you press send, you can never take that last step to being published. Last , but not least, never give up. Just because one publisher didn’t think your manuscript was a good fit, doesn’t’ mean another won’t. Also they leave notes to help you. If they’ve listed things they saw as an issue fix them, and move forward.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I wish I could say no, but that’d be a lie lol. In my mind I have two kinds of block. Burn out, where I need to put down writing and do something else for a while, and scene or story block where everything grinds to a halt. For burn out, I’ll watch my favorite movies and shows, play with my kids and have family time. For specific block I’ve learned to leave notes and come back later. IE. If I’m writing about a mechanic, and I don’t know the correct jargon, I’ll leave a not and move forward to come back to do fill in. It’s a trick that’s really helped keep the words flowing.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
I take the constructive criticism and use it to make me stronger writer. I try to think of it as my English teacher handing me back a paper with the dreaded red pen. It made you wince but you made the changes and learned what not to do on the next one.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Hmm, I’d say Microsoft word, but I’m partial to a Pc, name books, and books on grammar and writing have always been very helpful for me personally. Aside from writing based items, I think a blog/website and a twitter account are essential to get your name out there and keep in touch with your readers as well as fellow authors.
Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.