Today I am very happy to welcome Heidi Perks to my blog.
Having seen lots of fabulous reviews for Heidi’s debut novel, Beneath The Surface, I was more than happy to feature an interview with the lady herself when her publisher made contact with me via my Facebook page.
Needless to say, Beneath The Surface, is on my TBR list!
(Photo credit to Andy Rapkins)
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I am a mum of two young children who used to work in marketing until four years ago. When I had my second child I decided to start writing seriously – something I have always loved doing but figured if I didn’t try it then I never would. Ever since I have been writing and ploughing any spare time into my first novel, Beneath The Surface. I love to read family mysteries and psychological dramas so it wasn’t a conscious decision for me to write this genre. I intended to write a book that makes the reader think – someone once said to me they like a book that shows the author has worked hard for the reader and I hope that comes across in Beneath The Surface.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Many of my ideas come from everyday situations and conversations around me. It can be any little nugget of an idea that I start playing with until it turns into something bigger. Often they won’t make it much further than just an idea but occasionally I see how it can be turned into a story. In the case of Beneath The Surface I was thinking about how I would react if my own mum did something completely out of character. When you trust someone implicitly how do you cope when they do something so awful and unexpected? This is how the idea of Abi’s story came about, and how she would come home to find her mother had vanished and taken the two younger girls with her.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
No they’re not in this book! I will use people I know to think about how they might behave in a situation – for example when I wrote about 16 year old Hannah I had a 16 year old I know in mind, but that was as far as the similarities went!
How do you pick your character’s names?
This varies. Sometimes I use the first name that comes into my head – this was the case with Abigail, and as long as it feels right I will stick with it. Other times I check baby name lists for the year the characters were born to see what was popular around that time – I did this with Kathryn and Eleanor.
There’s a character called Morrie in the book and his name came from the book Tuesday’s with Morrie that I was staring at when trying to think of his name! So I don’t have one method for coming up with them, but I do always make sure the name suits them. I think this is crucial. I don’t like it when I read books and the name doesn’t feel right or I can’t pronounce it easily.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
In a nutshell I come up with the broad idea for the story and how I think it might pan out. I then look at the characters, and then I quickly start writing. This is because I am impatient and cannot wait to get words on the page. I start Chapter One before I have fully thought out the story or what the characters are really like. This ultimately means many re-writes and possibly I do more than authors who plot more fully at the outset – but this is what works for me. I will end up plotting and getting into the heart of the characters but I don’t do this at the start, this will always come at various points throughout the writing.
Do you have a favourite author?
No, not one. I have many I enjoy and admire but I love reading so many books that I couldn’t pick one out. As a child it was Enid Blyton who stirred my love of books though.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes totally. I loved it. I would immerse myself in the Famous Five and Secret Seven and even at a young age could appreciate how books can transport you into a completely different world.
When did you start to write?
Four years ago properly, and by this I mean focusing all my spare time on it. My youngest was a baby and I would write when I had the chance, when they were sleeping or later at nursery. I set myself word count deadlines at the beginning so I had a goal to work towards.
What are you working on right now?
I am now in the process of editing my next novel, which is more of a thriller and one that I hope to have completed soon. At the same time I am beginning to think up ideas for the third! I love every stage of the writing process so it’s always exciting whether you are coming up with the idea, writing it, editing or eventually marketing the book.
When can we look forward to a new release?
That’s a hard one to answer as I can’t guess the time it will take to get to publication but I have hopefully got it to the point where I am happy with it for now and will start sending it out to readers.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
In many ways – I am on twitter @heidiperks1 and also on Facebook under HeidiPerksAuthor. I have my own website – Heidiperksauthor.co.uk and readers can message me via that. I would love to hear from people who either have an interest in writing or want to share their views on the book, or of course about anything they want to chat about!
Many thanks to Heidi for joining me on my blog today and many thanks also to Red Door Publishing for contacting me.
Publisher: Red Door Publishing Ltd (24th March 2016)
‘An intriguing novel… with a dark mystery at its heart’ C L Taylor, author of The Accident
I don’t know where you are…
I don’t know what I’ve done…
Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters’ room is completely empty. But the police think she’s trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there’s no choice other than face the future – alone.
Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth – and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.
What readers are saying about Beneath The Surface:
‘This was absolutely brilliant’ Reader, Goodreads
‘…an interesting read, filled with a sleuth of complex characters and unexpected plot twists. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, and was hooked from the first page’ Reader, Goodreads
‘Having just finished this book, all I can say is wow!’ Reader, Goodreads
‘Well fleshed out characters and a very satisfying ending’ Reader, Goodreads
You can order your copy of Beneath The Surface HERE
And why not visit Heidi’s Amazon author page HERE