Kat Heckenbach is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom–everything from Art to Algebra II—and now homeschools her two children. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name. Her debut novel, MG fantasy Finding Angel, is available in print and ebook. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com and www.findingangel.com .
SKC. Welcome Kat. Before we start talking about you as a writer, let’s discuss who you are away while away from your computer. Tell us a little about you. Who is this lady next door?
KH. I’m a homeschool mom of two kids and married to an engineer. Before the kids came along I was assistant direct of and taught upper-level math at Sylvan Learning Center. And before that, I attended the University of Tampa where I earned a B.S. in Biology. Before that, if you’d known me, you probably wouldn’t believe any of the above. I grew up with plans to be an artist and never have kids.
SKC. Woops! Sounds like a few changes took place. Tell us about your new book
KH. Finding Angel is a middle grade fantasy about a girl named Angel. She was found wandering, with amnesia at the age of six and taken in by a foster family. They love her, and she loves them, but something inside her can’t seem to accept her place there. She is enamored by all things fantasy, and dreams of story book magic being real. Then, at the age of 13, she meets Gregor, who saves her life with magic, and soon learns the truth about who she is and where she’s from—and her role in a prophecy that is directly related to the madman who set her fate in motion.
SKC. A fantasy sounds perfect for that age group, but also a lot of older readers I've spoken to. What was your inspiration for this book?
KH. I’ve always loved fantasy novels, and much like Angel, when I was young I would have loved to find out I was actually from someplace where magic is real. I was naturally drawn to the idea of writing exactly the kind of adventure I would have liked to read about when I was a kid.
SKC. I would have to agree. How long does it take you (on average) to write a book, from first word to putting it in the publisher’s hands?
KH. Well, this is my first book. It took me three months to write the first draft. But it was four years before it was finally published. I spent the years in-between working on my craft, editing and rewriting, and building my credentials. I accumulated over 40 short story credits during that time, both fiction and non-fiction, in online magazines, print magazines, and print anthologies. Many of those stories are actually companion stories to Finding Angel.
SKC. Three months. That's great. I have never been able to say that. It takes me forever. So what’s next for you? Can you talk about what you’re working on now?
KH. The sequel to Finding Angel, of course J. I plan on this being a trilogy, with a fourth book serving as a prequel. I know—how completely fantasy of me to do that :P. I honestly didn’t plan it that way in the beginning, but the story grew as I wrote Finding Angel.
I’m also working on a completely unrelated novel that would qualify as a paranormal thriller.
KH. Most—brainstorming story ideas. That passionate scribbling as the ideas flow. Figuring out how the plot elements will tie together, and who the main character will be.
Least—trying to get myself to write when my muse is being uncooperative.
SKC. Maybe that uncooperative muse is what is wrong with me. Where do you get your ideas?
KH. Honestly, a lot of my short story ideas just plop into my head out of nowhere. Once I’m into a story, though, the ideas for details can come from just about anywhere.
SKC: Thank you for being with us, Kat. And thank you for offering to share one of your books with one of our readers. We enjoyed your visit, and look forward to reading your book.
Is there anything you'd like to ask one of our readers?
KH: In my novel each of the characters has a Talent—a magic ability stronger than all their other magic, such as being able to Transform one natural substance into another, or Controlling the weather, or Angel’s ability to Find objects anywhere in the world. If you could choose a Talent, what would it be?
SKC: Thanks. That's a great question to ask. Be sure to let us know here where we can find you and also where we can locate your books.
KH: My blog: www.katheckenbach.com
Finding Angel site:www.findingangel.comMy Facebook page:
My books can be found in print and ebook online at
Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Angel-Kat-Heckenbach/dp/1927154138/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315400880&sr=1-1)Barnes & Noble (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Finding-Angel/Kat-Heckenbach/e/9781927154137?itm=1&usri=finding+angel+kat+heckenbach)