Karen again. 🙂 So, this week I thought I’d introduce you to a wonderful friend of mine and her debut novel. Heather Manning just recently published her first novel, Swept to Sea, and I have to admit, it ‘swept’ me away. The story was very well written, the pages flowing together seamlessly. I loved the descriptions, the setting so beautifully described that I felt like I was on the ship as well. I loved the characters. Eden was such a sweet character but with a great inner strength. And Caspian, while plenty rough around the edges, has such a sweet heart. The banter between the characters is hilarious, but I could not help but ‘awww’ as their romance deepened. I will gladly admit that I could not put this book down. And the best part? Not only was this a debut novel, though it feels like a seasoned author’s work, but Heather is only 16. That’s right, 16! And you would never guess it, her writing is so very mature. This is definitely a novel that I recommend. 🙂
So, having Heather as a friend of mine has a few perks, including getting a few minutes of her time to have this interview with her. 🙂
Hello, Heather! First of all, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to be here on my blog. I have to say, as soon as I got my hands on Swept to Sea I couldn’t put it down. My first question is what inspired you to start writing?
Thanks so much for having me! I am very glad you enjoyed Swept to Sea. I have always kind of written, but I never realized it. I would write stories in my spare time but I didn’t think it was anything special. Then, my 5-8th grade English teacher had me write some short stories, and I discovered I loved doing it. She gave me good feedback, and that’s when I really realized I loved writing and I could actually make something of it.
Tell me the story of Swept to Sea. Where did the idea come from? What made this be your debut novel?
Swept to Sea is about a young lady, Eden, who stows away on a pirate ship to escape marriage to an abusive man. The idea kind of just came to me. I wanted to write a trilogy about three best friends and their adventures in the Caribbean, and Eden’s story kind of just happened. This became y debut novel because I poured so much time and energy into it. I knew as I was writing it that I loved the story and the characters, so I was determined to make it happen.
Now, the romance between Eden and Caspian is so wonderful, but there are some delightfully tense scenes between some of the secondary characters. Is there a chance that we’ll be seeing them a bit fuller in the future?
Why, yes, there is! I have a trilogy planned, and Ivy, Gage, Aimee, and Matthew will all make some appearances. 🙂
Are there any future publishing plans in the works, or is it all hush hush? 😉
Hopefully! I am working on a sequel, but haven’t signed any contracts as of yet. 🙂
Now, a little bit about you. How does it feel to be published at sixteen?
It feels pretty great! I remember when I was fifteen I heard about another young author, Rachel Coker, and I wanted to be like her and get my book published young. I want to get a head start in my career. Some kids get summer jobs at McDonalds and places like that, but I love being able to start working in my dream career. 🙂
Do you have any favorite books or authors you like to read?
I have three favorite authors, whose books I could re-read and re-read and re-read: MaryLu Tyndall, Mary Connealy, and Deeanne Gist.
Aside from writing, and I’m assuming school, I also hear that you’re into theatre?
Yes! I adore theatre. I perform in local community theatres and a local college. Right now, I am deep into rehearsals for “The Dixie Swim Club.”
Do you have a favorite play/musical of all time? Or that you’ve been in?
Hmmmmm. I like so many! Haha 🙂 Phantom of the Opera is one of my definite favorites. And recently I saw a one-man production called “Dracula: the Journal of Jonathan Harker” and it was absolutely fantastic. My favorite play.
It seems like you have a very busy life. How do you juggle it all?
My life can get crazy busy at times, and I really am not sure how I do it. I try to create a familiar schedule and stick to that. For example, I will get my homework done at school, and then come home and eat. Then I head to rehearsals and have time to write when I get back. Sometimes it is difficult, but I just keep trying. 🙂
If you want a fast-paced adventurous romance, then I definitely recommend you check this amazing book out! Though only in e-book at the moment, it’s real easy to download a kindle or nook app for a phone or even your computer. 🙂 (Not to mention, it’s really affordable, under $5!) It’s available for both Kindle and Nook. Also, if you want to find out more about this wonderful author, be sure to check out her blog and Facebook page, and feel free to follow her on Twitter. Oh, and did I mention that it’s been on Amazon’s top 100 bestseller list for romance for 40 days in a row? No? Well, it is. 😉 So take a moment and check it out!