Kindle Author Interview With S. A. Healey

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Join us as we talk with Kindle Author S. A. Healey about the craft of writing and her new book Empty Me Out, which is available on the amazon kindle store now.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? 

Using my first and middle initials along with my last name felt right and looked professional in print, so I went with it. 

Why do you write? 

I write for a great many reasons. Some of them are:

· To connect.

· To dig deep.

· To search for outlets.

· To explore what it means to experience life.

· To share lessons.

· To express with honesty, always…no matter how joyous or sad or ridiculous or maddening.

· To recognize that the truth is often convoluted. 

· To begin each day knowing there's a chance to make it better.

· To embrace all the moments, big and small.

· To reunite with my first love every time I hold a pen.

When did you decide to become a writer? 

I honestly can't remember a time when I didn't write, but it took me 43 years to gather enough courage to put my stuff "out there" and make a go of it professionally. Now, at 46, with one book published and another slated for a spring release, I can honestly say that taking the plunge was one of the best decisions I ever made.

What genre are your books? 

My books fall under the Romance umbrella, and their subgenres tend to be: New Adult, Contemporary, and Erotica.

What draws you to this genre? 

Romance has always compelled me, even as a young girl. Plus, my dating history was an adventure to say the least, giving me many experiences from to draw from. I am a sucker for a good love story, especially one where the happy ending doesn’t come easy. 

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? 

It all began with one random idea—a single climactic, dramatic scene. I didn't think much of it initially, but then, after it continued swimming around in my head for a time, I knew I had to lay it out and see if maybe I had something there to build on.

Do you write full-time or part-time? 

For the most part, I write full-time, though I do work another job as well, so it can be somewhat of a balancing act. 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 

Due to my day job and family commitments, my creative time is often spent in the wee hours of the morning or very late at night. Needless to say, I don't get much sleep. Lol.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? 

I feel as though I'm now able to convey more with less words, using description when it adds to the story, but knowing when to scale back so as not to slow the pacing. I've also learned to step out of my comfort zone, exploring ideas and subject matter that I would have shied away from in the past. 

What have you written? 

I've written two New Adult Romance novels, titled Empty Me Out and Fill Me In. Both are part of The Liquid Series. 

In addition, I've written several lifestyle pieces for various online and print media. I have a sensual short story series featured on the digital magazine, as well as two shorts featured on my blog I also dabble in poetry, much of which can be found on my blog as well. 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? 

As soon as a story begins to formulate in my mind, I write a brief paragraph or two just to get the gist of it down. But from there, I usually wing it, letting the characters lead the way until a full story unfolds. 

How do you market your books? 

I have an opt-in subscriber mailing list, which has been wonderfully beneficial, and I believe will be even more so as it continues to grow. Also, I use social media quite a bit, which has been moderately effective. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, you name it. Word-of-mouth, of course, is important as well, and I do try to mention my books as much as possible when appropriate opportunities arise. 

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? 

Yes, focusing on my mailing list first proved to be invaluable, giving me that initial burst of sales upon release. Following release day, I spread my marketing efforts over a period of days and weeks through various social media outlets. 

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future? 

My biggest mistake, I believe, was deciding to put my book out in the midst of the December holiday season. Once my book was finished and ready to publish, I was too antsy to methodically schedule an optimum release date. If I had to do it over again, I would have published before November or right after Christmas. What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

If you have a passion for writing, don't let anything or anyone stop you from pursuing your dream. Don't allow your fears or that pesky inner critic to hold you back. Instead, face them head-on until you've built up some confidence, which will then fuel your drive to keep going. Don't worry about not being good enough. Write because you love it. And the more you write, the better you'll get, and the easier it'll become. Remember that no matter how talented you are, there will always be room for improvement and growth, so learn to take criticism from those who give it constructively, and learn from it. Go for it!!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

Empty Me Out features main characters Kelsey and Mark, both college seniors. She's conscientious, responsible, and hardworking, despite battling persistent inner demons and an increasingly volatile relationship with her mother. He's romantic, charming, and sexy as hell—but he is hiding something, and that's putting it mildly. 

Together, they form the consummate fractured fairytale. 

Where do your ideas come from? 

It's different all the time. Sometimes, my ideas originate from first-hand experiences or things that I have observed in the lives of those around me. Other times, just hearing a song or observing nature or witnessing a relevant piece of art can spark something. 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me, the hardest part is consistently carving out enough time to stay on track with my goals. I often find it necessary, especially when I have a deadline looming, to pull an all-nighter to get the job done. But my love of writing far outweighs the challenges. 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The most difficult thing about writing Empty Me Out was the fact that it often put me in a bit of a dark place emotionally. 

Which writers inspire you? 

There are too many to count, but some include J.D. Salinger, Emily Bronte, Jane Austin, Anne rice, Judy Blume, William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, and Lisa Genova.
What is the current book you are promoting? 

The book is titled Empty Me Out (The Liquid Series Book 1), which is a New Adult Romance set in Massachusetts.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite character is Mark because he is flawed in such a profound way that I cannot help but root for him. Despite his struggles and intermittent deplorable actions, beneath it all is a man who cares deeply, loves with all his heart, and desperately wants to better himself. 

Who is your least favorite character and why? 

My least favorite character is Mrs. O'Reilly (the heroine's mother) because she often behaves more like an errant child than the emotionally present parent her daughter needs. 

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast? 

Oooh, that's a tough question! I honestly have no idea who I'd choose to play Mark. Even though I have him perfectly pictured in my mind, there are no actors at the moment that I think fit the role. Someone once suggestion Jake Gyllenhaal, which was an interesting choice, but I think someone younger would be more suitable. 

I can picture Jennifer Lawrence as Kelsey.

What is your next project? 

I've just begun work on a Contemporary Romantic Comedy, titled My Eyes Are Up Here.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? 

I'd love to meet Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the great heroines of the Middle Ages. She was, irrefutably, a woman before her time, a powerful figure during an era when women were regarded primarily as property. 

How do you write your books? 

Each book is different. With my first, I actually typed the last chapter first, then built the rest of the story around it. With my second, I started at the beginning, then banged out each subsequent chapter in order until the book was completed. In general, I do most of my writing on my laptop, but as ideas float into my mind throughout the day, I'll jot them down in a notebook I keep within reach. As a result, I've got notebooks upon notebooks filled with God-knows-what. Lol.

Where do you come up with your stories? 

I typically conceptualize them at home, either in my office, or in my "thinking chair," situated in a cozy corner of my living room.

Who is your favorite author? 

One of my earliest literary influences was Judy Blume, and her books became my friends, offering comfort and understanding during those awkward adolescent years. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, in particular, will always hold a special place in my heart. Ms. Blume's adult novels are wonderful as well. 

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

No story is ever completely told. 

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

I loathe editing, and typos are evil. 

Tell us something unique about you.

I'm a wife, a mother, a former dancer, a wannabe singer, a bibliophile, and self-confessed music junkie (I'm listening to the Foo Fighters as I write this).

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Book Links: 

1 comment :

  1. Great article! I have been following S.A. Healey's writing for awhile and its really nice to see her getting the recognition she deserves. Empty Me Out is one of the best romance books I have read in recent years and I look forward to more from this talented young lady.


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