by Jeff Reynolds
Today, my interviewee is from outside the state of Indiana -- just barely. Heidi Glick hails from the Cincinnati area. I discovered her on the large ACFW critique group, and her stories were among my favorite to read (including the one that's the main topic of conversation). We're also co-contributors on the Sleuths and Suspects blog -- me at Heidi's invitation.
Jeff Reynolds: Heidi, welcome to Hoosier Ink. I know this is an eventful year for you. I believe your second most exciting achievement of 2013 is the release of Dog Tags, your first novel. Please give us a story summary. What inspired it?
Heidi Glick: The story is about a marine, the woman he loves, and the stalker who is obsessed with her.
At first, Dog Tags started out as a romance novella. I subbed it to a publisher, and it was rejected. But the story wasn't ready for publication. I revamped it as a suspense novel. I wanted a hero with real struggles, and I wanted a villain who would capitalize on the hero's weaknesses. The book's themes include forgiveness, loss, and fear. Because these are common themes that most people deal with, I'm hoping that the book will speak to many readers. In 2011, my father died from ALS, and so I've used that experience to help me write this book as well as another work in progress (Ten Degrees from Normal).
JR: You might disagree with me, but I believe the real star of your novel is Sparky. Could you tell us about him and his real life counterpart? Is he involved in the marketing of the book? If I remember correctly, he had been interviewed once, correct?
HG: In the novel, the hero owns a Schipperke named Sparky. In real life, I have a Schipperke named Sparky. He is a rambunctious dog, hence the name. He is involved in the marketing of the book. You are correct. I did interview him once: http://queencityquill.blogspot.com/2012/09/interview-with-schip.html
JR: Are you an outliner, a blank pager, or somewhere in between?
HG: I'm somewhere in between but more of an outliner. I'm a planner by nature, and so I like an outline. When I first started out as a writer, I was more of a blank pager, but as I studied the craft of writing, I found that outlines save me time because I rewrite less when using an outline. Nonetheless, I still like to allow my characters to speak to me, and I like a few surprises.
JR: I've had the honor of critiquing this and a couple of your other stories in the ACFW's large critique group. Could you share how both the critiques of others on your writing and your critiques on your writing peers have helped your work on Dog Tags?
HG: Singlehandedly, crits have helped me grow the most as a writer. I would not be published were it not for the crits of others. Other writers showed me areas of improvement.
JR: People compare finishing and releasing a book with childbirth. Which brings me to your most exciting achievement of 2013. Would you like to tell us about that? How does this affect your writing and marketing? What is Sparky's take on this?
HG: Let's back up a year. In 2012, I signed a contract with a publisher, but even more exciting than that was finding out I was pregnant (after infertility). In Februrary 2013, I gave birth to Aaron Samuel Glick. For more info. on the miracle baby: I'm leaving my job to spend time at home with my son. He is my priority right now, so writing takes a backseat, which is fine with me. I still jot down ideas and work on writing while he naps, but I am allowing myself time to enjoy being a mother. Sparky whimpers when Aaron cries and likes to rush into the nursery to check on the baby.
JR: Okay, enough about the important things in life and back to writing. Am I correct that you have three blogs that you work on? Could you tell us about these, and how do they help you develop as a writer?
HG: The Ohio State Parks blog is about some of my experiences visiting Ohio State Parks with my dogs. The Queen City Quill is a hodgepodge (posts on writing, authors, book reviews, etc.). Sleuths and Suspects is about mysteries, suspense, romantic suspense, thrillers, and anything related (book reviews, author interviews, and book giveaways).
JR: I know you've been working on a couple of other stories. Do you work on multiple stories at the same time? How do you prioritize which one to focus on? Is there any "separation anxiety" with the stories you set on the shelf?
HG: Sometimes I work on multiple stories at once. I prioritize by working on the story that I'd like to submit to a publisher next. So for example, I love working on my "Ten Degrees" novel, but I need to work on the Dog Tags sequel/spin off. I feel separation anxiety from the Ten Degrees characters.
JR: Thank you for your time. Please share any websites you have, and any other information you'd like us to know.
HG: I'd be glad to. Here they are: