Thank you C.K. I graduated with a degree in biochemistry from the University of Arizona and proceeded to use my education to make Polyjuice Potion with my children’s Harry Potter Potions Set. I live with my husband and three teenagers near Wichita, KS. Our dog Jasmine looks very much like Toto but refuses to go to Oz, even though I promised to “procure” the slippers from the Smithsonian when we were there last year. I have written several YA novels and recently published Perception, the first book in The Tigers’ Eye Trilogy. You can find out more at my website, www.heathercashman.com.
You have quite a sense of humor, Heather. Would you tell your readers something interesting about yourself AND/OR your favorite character?
Perhaps I compare myself too much to the characters in my books. The fact that they have been genetically altered and can now speak with intelligent animals is more fascinating than anything I have ever experienced, including my near death experiences. My favorite characters are the tigers. They are powerful creatures endowed with intelligence far beyond their predecessors and have a way of looking at life that is simple yet profound. Their views can clash with their human companions, which can create problems, but I really want one.
What was your favorite book as a teen? Tell us about it and how it affected you as a person.
I’ve probably said this before, but my favorite author as a kid was Anne McCaffrey. I fell in love with her fierce, female protagonists and wanted to be just like them. I can’t count how many times I read her books as a ten year old, and have reread them several times since. I already knew from my own reality that life was difficult. The characters in her books all clawed their way out of obscurity, and it made me feel like I might have a shot in life.
Tell us about the genre you have chosen to write for. Why do write specifically for them?
I never chose a genre. The stories were there, and I wrote them. Occasionally I steer the story a certain way, but more often than not, the characters dictate what will happen next.
That’s an interesting thought. Can you tell us about your new book. How did it come about and share your favorite excerpt/scene.
I don’t really know where the idea for The Tigers’ Eye Trilogy came from. I know the idea of telepathic communication was inspired by The Dragonriders of Pern. Other than that, my mind refused to be idle during the mundane, household chores. One day when my children went back to school, I sat down and began to type.
My favorite scene—that’s a tough request. I suppose it might be the last page of the novel, but sharing it would spoil everything.
How has writing affected your life? And what’s your favorite part of being a writer?
Writing has turned my life sideways. My house isn’t nearly as clean as it used to be. I now have a twitter account. I actually check my email. Other than that, writing has become necessary. Sometimes I can’t think until I get the words down in print. There is nothing like creating a world. The only experience that surpasses it is having a child, a real human that can live and breathe and make choices all on its own.
What advice can you give regarding the writing process?
Find what works for you. There are so many people out there giving advice, and that’s good. But you are unique. Your style of writing will be unique, and so will your methods. Writing on napkins may work for some people; writing ideas on your hands with a borrowed pen might be required. Use your kids’ waterproof crayons in the shower if you have to. Do whatever it takes and don’t worry that it isn’t like someone else.
Regarding publication and marketing, what advice can you offer aspiring writers?
Slow and steady. I have found that the most success comes from real people who care. Having a thousand twitter followers from China who never tweet one thing isn’t going to help sales. If you find a reader who loves your work, then give them the attention they deserve, and you will have a reader for your next WIP.
How can your fans find, follow or friend you?
The easiest way is to go to this (http://www.heathercashman.com/contact.html) page of my website. You will find links to Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, and my email. If you would rather use these:
My twitter handle is HeatherCashman
My facebook fan page is
My GoodReads author page is http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4919548.Heather_Cashman
My email is email@example.com
Thanks for joining me today Heather. It has been a joy to get to know more about you. I wish you the best of luck with your stories and look forward to reading more from you.