Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Review and Interview Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell

Today, we welcome author Heather Wardell, who is promoting her latest novel, Blank Slate Kate

Author: Heather Wardell
Publisher: Self
Date of Publication: November 2011

Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That's terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life?

Heather Wardell is quickly becoming a favorite indie author of mine. 
Every book I have read by her has managed to suck me right in so that I am compelled to keep reading until I finish it.  Blank Slate Kate was no exception.  What would you do if you woke up and the last 15 years of your life was just gone?  That is what happens to Kate.  I was drawn right into the story as I struggled to figure out what had happened to Kate right along with her.  The story is so well written that the reader finds out the solution to the mysteries right along with Kate.  I say mysteries, because there is more than one thing that Kate needs to discover about herself.  The story is heart wrenching at times, yet is also a story of the power of love and forgiveness.  To say much more, would give too much away.  I definitely recommend this one.  It is definitely going into the keeper pile! 

Heather was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  Thanks Heather!

Kari: What inspired you to become a writer?

Heather: In May 2005, my husband went away for a one-month business trip. On a whim, I decided to do my own version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, officially held in November) to give myself something to do. I LOVED writing what eventually became my free-to-download book "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo", and from then on I've just kept writing!
Kari: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Heather: They usually start with a concept or issue I feel like exploring. "Go Small or Go Home", for example, involves the question of whether art should be a hobby or a career, and I worked out some of my own feelings about that while writing the book. (I do NOT use my books to try to persuade people to feel the same way I do, but I do think that having some sort of strong issue or question at the heart of a book leads to better and more enjoyable fiction.)
Kari: What is your favorite part of Blank Slate Kate?

Heather: I love the beginning because poor Kate is so confused and I like that the reader gets to work through that with her. I think my absolute favorite part, though, is a scene about halfway through at a restaurant where Kate and a man end up walking out with their hands full of garlic bread. It makes me laugh and cry at once.
Kari: What is your favorite book (of the ones you have written) so far?

Heather: That's such a hard question: I love them all! "Life, Love, and a Polar Tattoo" was my first book and I had such a blast writing it, so I think I have to pick it even though I think my writing is better in my later books. Of my later books, I think "Blank Slate Kate" is my favorite because it incorporates something of a mystery and I'd never done that before.

Kari: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Heather: I usually have two books on the go at one time, along with another awaiting its turn. To avoid getting myself confused, each book gets a codename because I usually don't find their titles until they're nearly ready to be released. (I explain this because the codenames are... weird. :)

Flying Squirrel is currently in second draft, and it's about a doormat of a woman who develops inner and outer strength via the marathon. Gemstone, finished in first draft and awaiting its turn to be edited, features an Internet columnist who's assigned a project to be "good to herself" for thirty days and quickly realizes she has no idea how to do that. In Hippo, currently in first draft, a woman arrives on what's to be her wedding cruise only to realize she's dated both her fiance's brothers and still has feelings for them both. It's my intent to release all three of these books in 2012. Here's hoping!

Kari: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Heather: I have to say Harry Potter. He's real, with hopes and dreams and weaknesses. I think that's a big part of why the books were such a success, and I try to make my own characters as rich and real as J.K. Rowling did with hers.
Kari: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Heather: A polar bear, no doubt. I've always loved them, and in honor of my first book each of my others has the words "polar bear" somewhere in the text! I think they're my favorite animal because they're not crazy fast but they get where they need to go, and they're solitary beasts but can work with others when they need to. (Plus they're adorable and have great white hair. :)

Thanks so much for your great questions! I'm happy to answer any reader questions or comments, and I'll pop back in throughout the next few days to check in.

About the author:

Growing up, I was an avid (rabid?) reader. I am a natural speed reader, regularly clocked at about 1200 wpm (I read Harry Potter 5 in just under three hours), and always have several books on the go, nearly all in e-book form on my Kindle.
I have always made up stories in my head, but never considered becoming a writer. Instead, I intended to be a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked by my enjoyment of my psychology courses in university, and ended up with a psychology degree with a concentration in computer science.

This took me to a major Canadian bank as a software developer. I stayed there for just over four years, and then went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. After four years teaching elementary school computer science, I took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge and attempted to write a novel in a month.

I succeeded, and the first draft of "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" was the result. I realized I love writing. I left teaching, and I haven't looked back since!

In my non-writing time, I read, run, swim, crochet (I am on Ravelry and would be happy to add you as a friend!), take care of my 55 gallon aquarium and my cat Trinity, and play drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

Visit Heather's Website

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