Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Heather Paye

Today, my guest is Heather Paye, author, illustrator and book designer extraordinaire - I'm a little biased because Heather is my illustrator and she does such a wonderful job. Her covers are really striking and I've heard nothing but great things about her covers when I show them to other writers.

Heather, tell us a little bit about yourself, your likes (and no Taco Bell doesn't count since apparently the whole world knows you love Taco Bell), dislikes - who you are.

HP: Well, I'm the author of A Gift from Above, the soon-to-be-released young-adult, fantasy novel Howl, and Cacti, a children's book due to be released March 1st. Besides my writing career, I'm a freelance graphic designer, editor at Joyfully Reviewed, and student. I think it's safe to say I'm a bit of a workaholic. I like music, humans, puppies, dancing, and good causes. I dislike people who aren't open-minded, coffee, malfunctioning computers, and slow internet.

You are a young writer, only 17 soon to be 18. How old were you when you started writing and what is the first piece you wrote that you would have considered publishable in your early writing days?

HP: I was nine years old when I began writing my first novel. I had it in my mind that I was writing this novel to be published, even though I had no idea what the word "published" meant beyond "other people get to read it". When I started writing for publication, I had only ever written two short stories and a handful of lyrics, but I was determined to write something longer, all I had in my mind was an extremely vague idea of a young woman sitting in a cafe talking to a reporter. As I was writing, that expanded into ideas for a nine-novel-series. Currently, the first novel in this series - The Artifact Series - has just been assigned an editor and is being polished for its release.

EE: Now this sounds like an interesting series. I can't wait to read your first one when it is published. Daughter is reading A Gift From Above but she is a slow reader

What's your favorite genre to read? to write?

HP: I'm actually really picky about the genres I read. I've never actually been a big reader. When I was a kid, my sister used to consume any novel she could get her hands on, and I would read a lot just because she was - *chuckles* - but now that I have less time, I've become even more selective. My favorite genre is paranormal romance, with fantasy being a close competitor. I'm much less picky about what genre I write in, but my favorite is paranormal - stories that are absolutely intertwined with our own reality. It's fun to take the base of reality that you know - that girl in boring high school, or that guy locked in his room playing video games. You can actually get your readers to deeply relate to the character, and have them walk into something entirely fictional. To me, that is one of the most enthralling genres, and I love that I can be the one to pull the reader really indepth like that.

EE: I'm similar to that - I've found that writing short stories allows me to write just about any genre, although I'm not into vampires, werewolves, and other things that have taken over lately, but I don't mind a good ghost story as far as paranormal goes. I don't read much sci-fi or fantasy or romance, although I can write a little bit (depends on what the contest calls for).

What are your writing aspirations? aspirations in general?

HP: This is actually something I haven't really put much thought into. Of course we'd all like to be on the New York Times Bestseller list - isn't that every author's goal? To write a bestselling novel? I have several smaller goals I'm working toward right now: first is to be on the Amazon bestseller list and second is to increase my fanbase. It's really all about the readers reading and enjoying my work. Everytime I receive fan mail, it really motivates me to keep doing what I'm doing because I know someone else is reading my work, and my own thoughts have been acknowledged. The more of that, the better.

As far as my general aspirations go, I'm working toward my Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts, so I really want to get that and graduate with honors. Right now, that is what I'm really focusing on and aiming for so that I can move on to even bigger things.

EE: Do you still aspire to work for Disney/Pixar as you had told me when we first got together and you started working for me?

What's a typical day in your life like - do you have a set schedule or do you just play it by ear?

HP: Yes and no. I keep a prioritized list of the tasks I need to complete. My day consists of waking up, getting ready for my day, checking my text messages, emails - and the social networking sites, I read Twitter every morning like a national newspaper, and Facebook like a local newspaper. *chuckles* After that, I'll take a look at my schedule and decide what is due first and I'll work through my list that way. The only exception to this, is if I have school that day, then I'll complete my school work first and then move on to the to-do list. Normally, I'll finish with my school and work around 10pm.

EE: I think it's great that you have a to-do list and try to stick to it and not let anything get in your way. Gotta have set goals when you wear so many hats.

You wear many hats, what are they and which is your favorite? How do you juggle all the goings on in your life?

HP: Oh, no! I have to pick a favorite! I guess we have the author hat, graphic designer hat, editor hat, and student. All of these things are so different and there are things I deeply enjoy with all of them. At the same time, all aren't without their own frustrations at times. I'm going to say the author hat is my favorite. It's literally whatever I want it to be, it's the most flexible job I've ever had, and you can bring it to whatever legnths you want with how ever much effort you put into it. It's like taking your own continuous thought and casting it into the world to share with a bunch of people. How do I juggle it all? Sometimes it's easier and sometimes it's harder, it depends on what time of year it is. Spring is usually the busiest. 90% of what keeps everything in order is my to-do list and my iPod. If I'm supposed to be doing something - or I forget something - my iPod reminds me via my to-do list. That's all there is to it for me really.

Why Taco Bell?

HP: First, Taco Bell has wifi - any restaurant that has wifi is epic in my book. Second, Mexican food is one of my favorites. Third, their website is well-designed. That is what makes Taco Bell awesome.

EE: Many fast food places have wifi now. I've not checked out TB's website, so that may be something to do later. I like Taco Bell more than other Mexican restaurants really, but I'll reserve the awesomeness to you - lol.

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

HP: When it comes down to it, I think Arizona will always be my place of residence - at least, primary residence. Everything that I need is here, and there's plenty to expand on with Arizona being one of the newest states. There are only two other locations I would consider: Atlanta, Georgia and California.

EE: Atlanta, really? Scary place to live or at least fly out of. I do live close to Atlanta and don't even like driving too close to it. The traffic is horrendous, even skirting the town on the major highways. I guess there are worse places in the United States to live though.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Elysabeth!

Thank you for participating, Heather. I really enjoyed getting to know a little more about you. Looking forward to your new series - and of course more awesome covers from you.

H.C.Paye first picked up a pen and started writing when she was about six-years-old. It started with simple lyrics, but then she moved on to short stories, and finally, when she was 10 began writing full-length novels.
Miss Paye is a part of many groups and organizations. When she is not writing, she is an editor at Joyfully Reviewed and a Graphic Designer. During her spare moments, she enjoys entertaining her Twitter followers with her random quips.

Heather can be found here
or on her blog
or her graphic design site


Vici Howard said...

so accomplished at such a young age. I'm impressed.

elysabeth said...

She's a pretty impressive young lady. I didn't even know I was going to write until I entered my first contest and took a shared second place with the story. I'm glad Heather is my illustrator. If she is still aspiring to work for Disney/Pixar, she's building a heck of a portfolio because not only is she doing my state books and the covers for my other stories, I've also referred other folks to her. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, Vici. I'm sure Heather will make a stop sometime today (she's in classes as far as I know). - see you in the postings - E :)

H.C.Paye said...

And that would be correct, Elysabeth, I was in classes. Out of classes now.

Thank you for stopping by and reading, Vici!

I am still aspiring to attend Pixar University for one of their internship programs, but I'm not sure it will be for the same thing - animation - as I was previously aiming for. I'm still shooting in the Pixar direction, but my aspirations have changed slightly with reguards to that.

elysabeth said...

Sounds great about the Pixar internships - good luck with all you do - E :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview. Heather certainly is a busy young lady.