Welcome to author Deborah Heal
Deborah Heal is the author of the young adult novel Time and Again. She lives in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about southern Illinois history. She is married and has three grown children, three grandchildren, and a canine buddy named Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). Currently, she is working on book three in the Time and Again trilogy.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Definitely the past. I’ve wanted my own WABAC machine for years so I could go back to see how it really was. I think the future would be way too scary to see. I’d rather be surprised about my future. You can read about that here.
What is one book everyone should read?
The Bible, of course. It’s filled with jewels of wisdom. One of my favorite stories is of Ruth in the Old Testament. It’s so romantic. I’m working on a modern re-telling of it, which I plan to complete when I finish my Time and Again series.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
I’d love to meet Abraham Lincoln so I could find out if he really was a vampire slayer. Just kidding. Lincoln has been my hero since I was a child and I discovered he had visited my village. You can read about that here. Since I haven’t been able to find a way to go back in time to meet him, I allowed my characters to in Time and Again. You can read about the Lincoln history behind the book here.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Book three in the Time and Again series is coming along nicely, although I still don’t have a good title for it. I hope to have it ready for publication by May of 2013. Then, there’s that book on Ruth I was telling you about. After that, I plan to write a historical novel based on the pioneers who settled near where I now live. Southern Illinois is rich in history and I don’t suppose I could ever run out of great topics to explore.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I love it when people write reviews that show they “got it” or that they wanted to know what happened next to the characters. But my favorite experience to date was when a young reader told me she wrote a book review for Time and Again for her English class. Awesome!
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Parsifal Rides the Time Wave was the first time travel book I’ve ever read. (It’s still available on Amazon.com, by the way. You can even read the review I wrote for it.) In it the character gets to go back to Scotland to the time of Robert the Bruce. I’ve wanted to time travel ever since. You can read more about how books shaped my childhood here.
How did you know you should become an author?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was four. When my 8th grade teacher Mrs. Fite wrote encouraging words on my story, she ignited a dream. You can read about that here.
How do you react to a bad review?
I know that people’s reactions to book, movies, etc. vary so tremendously that it would be foolish to expect everyone to like my books. If I get a bad review, I analyze what that reader is telling me, because I want to always be learning more ways to improve as a writer. Of course, an author has to disagree sometimes with the critics.
What do you do in your free time?
I love to work in my garden and spend time with my husband and two canine buddies, Digger and Scout. And it goes without saying that I love to read.
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I am most fortunate to be able to structure my days the way I see fit, unlike millions of writers who must write in their spare time. After I feed my dogs and myself, I sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee to check my email (and Facebook of course). Then I make myself write for the rest of the morning no matter what else needs to be done, because I know that’s when I’m most creative. After a break for lunch I continue to write, even though my brain is usually more sluggish then. I know the main thing is to get the story on “paper.” I’ll revise and edit it the next morning when I’m fresh. Evenings are for relaxation and catching up with household chores. Sometimes I watch TV, but more often I end the day picking up whichever book I’m currently reading, because a day without reading would be dismal indeed.