Author Interview: A Long Way From You by Gwendolyn Heasley

Welcome back to Author Gwendolyn Heasley

Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. She’s also currently at work on her third novel for Harper Collins.

Q: If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

A: The past because I would love to meet my ancestors. I want to thank them for their hard work, which enabled me to get where am I today.

Q: Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

 A: Read it for two great (in my humble opinion) characters: New York City and Kitsy Kidd.

Q: What inspired you to want to become a writer?

A: The Baby-sitters Club. I would visit the bookstore every day for a week, just waiting for that month’s shipment. I wanted to be Ann M. Martin back then and I still do. I want to give readers what she gave me: fictional friends and lifelong memories.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A: Peanut butter and chocolate. It has been since I was little and would visit Baskin Robbins with my baby-sitters.

Q: How do you react to a bad review?

A: I think even the worst reviews still contain great advice. Nobody’s ever written anything about my first book that didn’t have a glimmer of truth in it. I read every review out there and take it all as free advice. I value their opinions and have taken some of their advice in my second novel.

 Q: What is your favorite Quote?

 A: “There are only 3 colors, 10 digits and 7 notes, it’s what we do with them that’s important.” Jim Rohn

I have this quote hanging above my desk and it inspires me everyday.

Q: How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

A: I had many wonderful friends come to NYC for my first book signing. It was the greatest gift of friendship that I have ever received and I will never forget it. It’s so great to have friends that want to celebrate your success with you as well as help you when you’re down.

Q: Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

A: The letters and emails I’ve received from readers. They make my heart sing. I love connecting with the readers and hearing what they thought about my book.

Q: What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?

A: I’m an ABCfamily fanatic and would like anyone reading this to please help me get a writing job there.

Q: Pet Peeves?

A: People who look down at self-publishing. Everyone should be allowed to write and share his or her stories. I love the fact that more and more people are out there writing and making it on their own. It’s so inspiring. 

A Long Way From You

For too long, Kitsy has had to satisfy her dreams of becoming a real artist by giving her friends makeovers before prom. So when her best friend Corrinne’s family offers to sponsor her for a summer art course in New York City, Kitsy bids a temporary good-bye to Texas to say hello to the West Village. Between navigating the subway and the New Yorkers–namely, the Art Boy who has a nice trick of getting under her skin–Kitsy knows that this summer is going to be about a “lot” more than figure drawing.