Today’s featured artist is author Jay Heavner, who took some time out to discuss his book, writing, and life. Enjoy!
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Being published is a great thing, but you soon realize that just like writing the book, it is just a step to getting your book out to the public. Marketing is an equally big step.
I tried submitting queries and chapters to various publishers and agents but got no results or interest. I told my sister about my book. She knew a publisher interested in books about the Appalachian area and history. The publisher, Headline Books, Independent Publisher of the Year, asked for a copy, and I sent them one. After two long months of waiting, they expressed interest in publishing. We struck a deal, and the book, “Braddock’s Gold,” is now available for preorder at Amazon and Headline Books. I will be at the Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood, WV for its premier on Sept 24 and the following two days. It gives you a real feeling of accomplishment to see your book in print. Networking will help everything about your book.
Several years ago my wife and I were out West and we discovered Tony Hillerman’s books. We devoured them that summer. I told her I could write something that good. She said, “Go for it.” I knew I wanted Indians in it but Eastern Tribes from where I grew up in the Appalachians. I needs a story. Gold and greed are usually good plots. A search of the internet for all these brought up the story of Braddock’s Gold supposedly lost during the French and Indian War in my home area I know like the back of my hand. The story grew slowly. I was not sure where it was going. Sometimes I was very frustrated with this, but I wrote the chapters that came into my head, and then figured out how to bridge the gaps in the story. Don’t know if others do it this way, but it worked for me. 🙂
Interesting fact on me. I was switched at birth. A cousin of mine with the same last name was born in the same hospital several hours before I was. At that time the only ID a baby there had was an arm bracelet with the last name only. Fortunately, from birth we have never looked anything at all alike and the mistake was discovered quickly.
Ideas are everywhere. And being 63 helps. You have lots of experiences. Write about something you know or somewhere you have been. Let ideas flow in your head about a plot, and let it take you to places you could not have imagined. Daydream about the plot for your book. Ideas are everywhere. Writers see a few of them. Go to places you think would be good in the story line and ideas will follow. Don’t worry if you get stuck. Keep moving, and the little grey cells in your brain will be at work behind the scene working on your story. It will come.
There is no typical day for me writing. Some days, I do none. Other days, 3000 words. LOBICs disease is a problem of mine. LOBICS-Lack OF Butt In Chair. 🙂
If stuck on a deserted island, the one book I would want? a Bible. It is God’s manual for us. One drink? Knobley Mountain Bottled Water. The main character owns a bottled water company. Who I would want with me? Rambo. If anyone knows how to survive and get us home, it would be him. Song-It is Well with My Soul by Horatio Spafford. He lost all his wealth, his only son to disease, and his four daughters in a shipwreck. Even after that, he kept his faith in his Lord and was able to write this beloved Christian Hymn of hope and provision.
What Muppet would I be? Maybe Rowlf the dog. He always seemed to roll with the punches and keep a positive outlook on life. Actually I would rather be the person inside the muppet pulling the strings so to speak.
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About the Book:
In 1755, the American frontier was the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. Two great empires, the British and the French, were in a deadly contest for control of the North American continent. British General Edward Braddock along with Colonel George Washington and 2,000 British and Colonial troops were sent to drive the French and their Indian allies out of contested areas. The two large armies met on a hillside near present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Braddock was soundly defeated. His payroll–gold coins valued at nearly two million dollars–disappeared, but now, major clues have appeared. Tom Kenney, Vietnam veteran and owner of a local business, and others are caught up in this drama. People are looking for the treasure, and some will stop at nothing to find it.
About the Author:
Jay Heavner resides in central Florida with his family and two cats who think they own him. He was born in Cumberland, Maryland, and lived his first thirty years in West Virginia, which he still considers home. He is a graduate of Fort Ashby High School, Fort Ashby, WV, and West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, where he earned two degrees. He is a recently retired member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Mr. Heavner’s articles have been published in newspapers in West Virginia and Florida. This is his first major work, a cozy mystery, but there are several more writing themselves in his head at this time. Stay tuned.