Writer, artist, and underwater fire-breather Heather Rigney likes to make stuff. Stuff with words, stuff with paint, stuff that’s pretty, and stuff that’s not. Heather’s stories reflect her dark, gothic childhood spent alone in the woods of northern Rhode Island.
Having discovered the works of both Stephen King and Clive Barker at the age of eleven, she started to wonder if she truly was alone in the woods, or perhaps not. The perhaps was what kept her up at night. Her imagination cranked out stories and dreams that she kept to herself. She was an strange child and didn’t need one more reason for the neighbors to cluck, “That Rigney girl is so odd …” But now that she’s comfortable with her oddness, Heather loves sharing her stories with you, dear reader.
What inspires you to write?
1. People. I love people watching. I constantly make up stories while I am observing strangers. I also study their faces, their mannerisms, their speech patterns. All those little details are wonderful source material.
2. Nature. Our world is a weird wonderful place. I know it’s a cliche to say that I use my senses to write, but it’s true. I try to convey every aspect of a setting through sound, smell, touch, and taste (whenever possible!). The natural world is filled with so many subtleties. It’s a true pleasure to stop and just absorb them.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am an outliner and I adore the writing program Scrivener. I create character sketches before writing, and I also do extensive historical research to both strengthen and add credibility to the fantasy aspects of my work.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do listen to my characters. It’s strange, but sometimes I hear them. They guide my writing. Before I started seriously writing, I thought people were just being bs artists when they said they “heard” their characters, but then I it happened. It’s freaky.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Don’t talk about it, think about it, or fantasize about it. Just do it. Make the time and do it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish after I attended The Independent Author Symposium Conference in New England. I was sold on the idea of doing everything myself. It’s a lot of work. A LOT. But at the end of the day, if my book is not successful, it’s my own fault. I did, however, learn at the conference that if your book is junk, don’t expect it to sell. The phrase, “the book is king” was repeated over and over. If you’re going to self-pub, get an editor, then get a proof-reader, then get a formatter, and then get an amazing cover artist.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m not sure. It’s all changing so fast. I never thought I would be able to do what I am doing now.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Fantasy, Historical, Horror, YA, Slipstream
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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