An interview by
Wild on Books is honored to interview Heather Beck, author of books and screenplays!
Heather Beck's Sites:
Posted December 13, 2008
Hi Wild on Books. Thanks for having me! Iím a twenty-three year old author who
writes mainly coming-of-age and genre fiction, such as paranormal romance,
horror, etc. I began writing professionally at the age of sixteen and had my
first book, The Paradise Chronicles, published when I was nineteen years
old. I have also been practicing screenwriting for almost three years. I have a
short film ďYoung EyesĒ in post-production. I also have two TV shows and two
features which are optioned and now in development.
SheilaMonique: Can you tell us about your newest release, What Legends Are Made of?
Heather Beck: The following blurb best describes what my latest release, What Legends Are Made Of, is about:
Travel to Sir Tristanís Estate, a place where ghosts roam freely and enter into your dreams at night. Step aboard the Blue Oceana, a ship that will lead you to the worldís last merman. Get a ticket to Frankís Freak Show to discover the truly disturbing main attraction. Finally, enter the doors of Karyn and Max Shieldís Costume and Magic Shop. Itís a place where you can buy merchandise that is out-of-this-world.
These tales will leave you spellbound and yearning for more. Are you ready to find out what real legends are made of?
What Legends Are Made Of
is a mixture of horror, paranormal activity and romance. Like many of my
fantastical stories, it was inspired by nature, unique locations and
fantasy-like characters and situations. For ďSir Tristanís EstateĒ I imagined a
remote, Romantic (in the artistic sense) castle with a Gothic feel. Krista was
the fantasy-like character in so much as she epitomized a strong, beautiful,
career-orientated woman. Sir Tristan, on the other hand, was the epitome of the
dark stranger with a secret. All of the stories in What Legends Are Made Of
work on the principal of paradises coming alive.
SheilaMonique: What do you enjoy doing when you arenít writing?
When Iím not writing I love to spend my time outdoors. Fishing and hiking are
two of my biggest passions. Iíve also spent the last four years of my life
working towards an HBA at the University of Toronto. I studied, probably to no
oneís surprise, English!
SheilaMonique: Are there any up and coming projects that you can tell us about?
Heather Beck: I have completed another paranormal romance anthology which includes five stories. The featured characters include a man whoís too perfect, a mummy that looks very good for his age, an alluring merman and many more which break all categories.
On the screenwriting side, Iíve just written my third TV pilot. Itís a
coming-of-age drama set in a small town. Scandal and trouble most definitely
SheilaMonique: What was the most exciting moment in your writing career?
Heather Beck: Getting that first publishing contract was a surreal experience and having the paperback in my hands was sublime. I still get excited with every published book. After all the hard work, itís wonderful to receive sweet and supportive letters from fans as well as complimentary reviews.
Regarding screenwriting, itís amazing to cast actors in roles which Iíve created
and hear my words come to life. Screenwriting is associated with a lot of
business meetings and invitations to events Ė I adore both of these things.
SheilaMonique: Who is the person who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Heather Beck: I have high esteem for kind and compassionate people who attempt to make the world a better place, even if only for one person. I also admire people who achieve their dreams. I donít, however, feel wholly influenced by just one person. Instead, each person I know offers something unique and special to my life.
Heather Beck: Iíll let my blurb answer that question!
Seventeen-year-old Krista Huntington lives in the heart of California. With a movie producer as a father and all the best things money can buy, one would think her life is perfect. Itís too bad Krista doesnít see it that way. All she can feel is disappointment despite her accomplishments. Whether itís being the high school valedictorian, receiving a scholarship from university or having Neilís full attention, Krista is in a race for it all.
Unable to meet the expectations she feels society is placing upon her, Krista
strikes back with a vengeance. Destruction of public property, aggressive
behavior and emotional breakdowns begin to define her life. In desperation,
Kristaís family and friends come to her aid. Their solution is a unique outward
bound program. Krista has two options left; either fight her inner demons or
continue the rampage of self-destruction.
SheilaMonique: There are many stories and movies about superheroes. What in your view constitutes a real-life hero?
Heather Beck: I think a real-life hero is strong and possesses a vast amount of knowledge without being condescending. Loyalty, dedication, compassion, and the ability to love endlessly are also crucial.
Heather Beck: I really want to see the pyramids in Egypt. They must be so magnificent and awe-inspiring in real-life. I highly doubt, however, that Iíll ever see them. On a more superficial note, Iíd love to dye my hair red but probably never will. There are two things, though, that I fully intend to do. They include swimming with dolphins and catching a hammerhead shark.
The thing which Iíve done and still amazes me is my writing career. Iím very
proud of what Iíve accomplished and thereís much more to come! Specifically
though, I was astonished when my scary series for kids was optioned for a TV
show when I was only nineteen years old.
SheilaMonique: What is the one piece of advice you received from another writer that you still heed today?
Heather Beck: Honestly, the first few writers I met after being published myself were extremely jaded. They appeared discouraged by the state of the arts. Perhaps they were having a bad day or expected much more money than their royalties yielded. Either way, they offered only bleak expectations and no encouragement.
My English teachers and friends who read my work were always supportive though! Regardless of what anyone could have said, I knew I wanted this and thatís what mattered. Thus, the notion that youíll just know when somethingís right is my advice, now and forever.
I would go to Hawaii since I love beaches with an intense passion. I can stay in
the water for hours and walk or lie on the sand for days. Palm trees are
absolutely beautiful and the sun is one of Godís greatest gifts.
SheilaMonique: Can you tell us about your book Ten Journeys Through The Unknown?
Heather Beck: Ten Journeys Through The Unknown is a collection of ten scary stories that always end with a twist. They are fun and suspenseful rather than gory so itís great for readers of all ages.
Befriending a vampireÖ
Playing games with tricky gnomesÖ
Hunting a not-so-ordinary wolfÖ
Being swallowed by a mountainÖ
Fighting a ten thousand-year-old curseÖ
All these adventures and more await you inside this book. The future of horror
is here. The only question is: are you ready for it?
SheilaMonique: What helps you to keep on writing when you get discouraged?
Iím usually optimistic and fuelled by desire when it comes to my writing. I have
a ton of ideas and am always eager to start a new project. However, like many
authors, I sometimes get discouraged. When this occurs, Iíll look at my books
and movie/TV contracts and remind myself of how much Iíve accomplished. When I
get really down and start to think Iím writing in vain, Iíll unload on the
person who never ceases to encourage, support and make me smile.
SheilaMonique: If you were given super powers what would they be and what would you do?
If I had a super
power Iíd like it to be the ability to heal all wounds, both physical and
emotional. Iím uncertain if I believe in a utopian world but Iíd definitely use
my gift to stop war and inequality as well as the devastating aftermath of such
SheilaMonique: Who was the first author you can recall reading?
It was definitely Francine Pascalís Sweet Valley Kids series in grade two.
Pascalís characters were multifaceted and relatable while the plots contained
the excitement of fiction with the structure of real life. I loved those books
and can recall having an intense desire to create my own fictional series.
SheilaMonique: I see, by reading your ďAbout MeĒ page that you are a fan of American Dreams. What were your thoughts when you learned it was cancelled?
It was a classic, ďwhat were they thinking?Ē moment. American Dreams was
well-written, finely acted, and perfectly executed. I donít watch a lot of TV
but I definitely miss the show. If American Dreams was still running I believe
that, decades from now, it would have been a show that defined American culture.
SheilaMonique: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Jack Londonís wilderness adventures are amazing. I also love Tennessee Williams
and J.D. Salingerís work because theyíre so insightful yet compassionate when it
comes to the human condition.
SheilaMonique: Do you prefer sunsets or sunrises?
Heather Beck: Sunsets, which is kind of weird since I love the sun and the heat it generates. Iíve seen more sunsets than sunrises so that may have influenced my answer.
They may be surprised to know that authors are extremely
Honestly, much of my writing is an autobiography masquerading as fiction. Then,
oddly enough, some of my writing is my reality with borders.
SheilaMonique: Thank you for taking the time to sit and answer our questions Heather. Is there anything you would like to add?
I would like readers to know that I started in this
business with nothing but passion and a dedicated work ethic. I strive to
improve upon my craft with every word I write so the best is yet to come. I
would like to thank everyone who has read my books and offered me supportive
feedback. I hope I can bestow inspiration and a reminder that it is possible to
live out a dream.
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