Today here at Hayley Reviews I welcome to you Heidi Swain, an author I have had on my TBR list for a while I am ashamed to say. I was lucky enough to meet Heidi at the Simon & Schuster Digital Originals evening in June. (I will be posting a blog post on that it is on my list.)
Happy Publication day Heidi….I cannot wait to start delving into your world…
Before I start are you all excited and set for publication day.
Hello my lovely and thank you so much for inviting me to feature on your blog. Yes, I think I’m ready – the fizz is in the fridge and every device in the house is fully charged.
• How will you spend publication day?
Publication day itself is mostly spent on social media thanking everyone for their fabulous likes, posts, shares, tweets, shelfies and kind wishes. It’s always fabulous but very busy and this time around I have to be even more organised than usual as I’m heading off to the RNA Conference early the next day!
• This is book number four and you are now a full time author that must feel like a dream come true?
The last two years have been an absolute whirlwind and I consider myself very lucky, not only to have had 4 books published so quickly, but also to be doing the job I love every single day. It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point but I wouldn’t change a single thing and am looking forward to writing dozens more books for decades to come.
• Have you always known what you wanted to do?
Yes. For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be an author but it took me years to pluck up the courage to do anything about it. A school friend of mine says she can remember me talking about wanting to write when we were in our early teens but it wasn’t until I was actually in my 30’s that I began to seriously get some words down.
• Tell us something about you that no one would know?
My first job was working Saturdays in a ‘record’ shop. Yep, we’re talking before CD’s here. Who would have guessed I’m that old?
• As its publication day we have to talk about your latest book, where did you get your inspiration for Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage?
The initial idea for Cuckoo Cottage popped into my head when I was writing my first Christmas book, Mince Pies and Mistletoe at The Christmas Market. Gwen, the owner of Cuckoo Cottage is a wonderfully eccentric character in that book and I just knew, having discovered what she did with all the battered Christmas trees, that her home had a story of its own to tell. A research trip to Happy Days Retro Vacations to stay in a refurbished Airstream van sealed the plot and Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage was born!
•Tell us about the main characters from Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage and your inspiration for them?
Lottie Foster is the main character. She hasn’t had the easiest of starts in life and I wanted to tell her story and show that just because life has rubbish moments, it doesn’t have to be that way forever. You have to look out for the opportunities that come your way and grab them, even if they might not be what you are expecting.
Lottie has two guys to keep her company at Cuckoo Cottage – Will and Matt. I’m not going to say anything about either of these characters. I’ll let you make up your own minds!
• It must be a nice feeling to see two of your novels in the Kindle sale ahead of your fourth coming out?
Yes, this is really exciting and perfectly timed. I would love as many people as possible to fall in love with Wynbridge and to have both The Cherry Tree Café and Summer at Skylark Farm in the sale offers the best chance of that happening!
• Now you are a full time author what is your average day like?
I’m an early bird – always up around 5 or not long after. Weather permitting, I’ll start the day with a 20 minute walk and then settle down to work on the WIP until lunchtime. Afternoons are generally reserved for writing blog posts, answering emails, fiddling on Insta and occasionally flinging the vacuum cleaner around of course! I do like to write longhand sometimes so if I can’t get to the keyboard for any reason I’ll be working away in pencil.
• What would you say to aspiring authors?
Don’t put off getting those words down. Even if all you have are a collection of ideas – character names, bits and pieces of dialogue, settings – get them all recorded and let your creativity grow. If you have a story in you, let it out! Once you have committed your thoughts to paper, you’ll be amazed by how quickly they begin to take on a life of their own.
• What sort of books do you like reading and what are you reading right now?
I love reading commercial romantic fiction but I’m not adverse to the odd thriller. I’ve also started to read more historical fiction – Georgette Heyer has been a revelation. My current read is The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by lovely Cressida McLaughlin, which I am absolutely loving.
Heidi – Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions ahead of a busy day.
Heidi Swain Author Bio
Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.
A lover of Galaxy bars, vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she now writes feel good fiction with heart for Simon and Schuster.
Her debut novel, The Chery Tree Café was published in July 2015 (paperback June 2017) and Summer at Skylark Farm hit the shelves the following June. Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market was a hugely successful Christmas 2016 release and her fourth book, Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage was published in July 2017. She is currently preparing for her October 2017 Christmas release, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells at The Christmas Fair.
Heidi lives in Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.