Sunday, June 10, 2018

Author Interview: Hannah Heath

Welcome back to Theme: Abandoned!

As I continue to (willingly) go without internet, I’ve conducted an author interview for your enjoyment. I’ve been following her blog for a while now, and a couple of years ago, I wrote a story review for my blog of her first publication.

Please welcome Hannah Heath, indie author of “Skies of Dripping Gold” and “Colors of Fear.”

Welcome, Hannah! It's good to chat with you. I hope you're having a lovely spring. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey, Azelyn! I’m so excited to talk with you! Thank you for having me on your blog.

I’m an author of YA Christian Speculative Fiction. My goal is to write encouraging and inspiring Christian fiction that is accessible to the religious and non-religious alike. I spend most of my time reading, writing, or science-ing (that’s not a word, but it should be). I have an intense love for all things nerdy: particularly Batman, Harry Potter, Marvel, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I covet a good cup of chai tea and a serious conversation, but am also always down for copious amounts of sarcasm and nerd references.

Do you prefer mountains or the ocean or both?

Hmmm. That’s hard. I grew up by the beach, but also spent a lot of time camping as a kid. So I’m going to have to go with both, particularly the type of mountain that looms right over the ocean. I want to build a house on one and just admire the view all day. Which is largely impractical and unproductive, but still. That sounds amazing to me.

That does sound amazing. Who are some of your favorite authors? How have they inspired you?

My favorite authors are varied and often change, so I’ll just pick my current main three: C. S. Lewis, Douglas Adams, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. A weird list, I know. Let me explain: Lewis and Adams encouraged my love of sarcasm and irreverence in fiction (and real-life). Dostoevsky and Lewis taught me that no question is too big or too dark to tackle. And all three of them showed me that strange, honest, out-of-the-box stories, while scary to write, are often the best kinds.

Do you have a writing schedule? If so, what does it look like?

My schedule varies each semester and often has to be very flexible due to College Student Busyness and Lyme Disease Tiredness. However, when a schedule is possible, it usually involves me writing every day at around 10 AM. I write for at least 30 minutes… Sometimes more, but rarely less. I light an incense stick or a scented candle, put on some music (usually electropop or EDM), and fill up a cup of water that I will inevitably forget to drink, then I dive right in.

Can you tell us a bit about your published stories?

For sure! I’ll start with “Skies of Dripping Gold,” which was my first publication. A YA Christian dystopian short story, “Skies of Dripping Gold” is set in an urban world where the air is poison and mysterious elevators all over the city are rumored to take worthy people to Paradise. The main character’s sister is dying from the poisonous air, so he sets off to climb the elevator tower and figure out exactly where it leads, a task that nobody else has ever successfully completed. It’s a very personal story for me, as it deals with topics such as illness and faith struggles.

“Colors of Fear” is the first short story in the YA Christian Fantasy series, The Terebinth Tree Chronicles. It tells the origin story of a young, fearful desert elf who will one day lead a band of assassins to kill the most powerful sorcerer in their world. I’ve been writing The Terebinth Tree Chronicles universe for almost ten years, so I’m excited to get to share it with you all.

How many stories are in The Terebinth Tree Chronicles? Have you set a release date for the next one?

There will be five stories and “Colors of Fear” is currently the only published (or even completed) story. The second one, titled “Flames of Courage,” will hopefully be released on 07/07/18, but I’m not sure. I probably should be, given it’s my story, but I can’t ever tell these things because my life is messy and my thought process is even more so.

Your covers are pretty awesome and vibrant. When did you decide you wanted to design them yourself? How do you choose what kind of image you want for each cover?

Thank you! I’m so glad you like them. I decided to design my own covers when I peeked into my bank account and saw the sad numbers sitting in my checking’s. I’m also a bit of a control freak, so I wanted to be able to design the covers myself to make sure it looked the way I wanted… bright, simple, and eye-catching.

Currently, the process for choosing a cover design is two parts loving symbolism and bright colors and one part having very limited artistic skills. I like each of my covers to showcase an important part of the story (the colors in “Colors of Fear,” the symbolic dripping sky in “Skies of Dripping Gold”) and I try to make sure the colors match the mood/feel of the writing. I also choose images based off of artistic skill: my talents are fairly limited in the drawing realm, so I mostly end up drawing landscapes and silhouettes.

One last question, just for fun. Do with this what you will. Pick three random characters from any of your short stories? Got them? Okay, now imagine they are all trapped in a cave together. What happens?

Oh. So much fun. I’m going with Gabriel from “Skies of Dripping Gold,” Jayel from “Flames of Courage” (she appeared briefly in “Colors of Fear” as the nameless half-blooded she-elf with fiery hair), and Wanderer from “Colors of Fear”:

Gabriel and Wanderer would start hammering on the cave wall while Jayel would make fun of them. Gabriel would get annoyed with Jayel and Wanderer would get annoyed with both of them, so they’d all sit down in separate corners. Then, as time passes, Gabriel would take charge and formulate a plan to get them out. They would all quickly realize that Gabriel’s plan sucks, which would end in a lot of swearing on Gabriel and Jayel’s parts. But, eventually, Wanderer would put his foot down, shut everyone up, and divide up their supplies so that they could survive until somebody finds them. It would end with everybody being good, though vaguely annoyed, friends.

Such a great answer! I laughed.Thanks for the opportunity to chat! (And for putting up with my internet scheduling difficulties.) Have a great week!

Meet the author!

Hannah Heath is an author of Christian speculative fiction, college sophomore, and regular comic con attendee. You can read more about her and her stories on her witty and nerdy blog appropriately named Hannah Heath or hear her talk about books and writing on her YouTube channel.


Lets chat! Have you read any of Hannah’s story’s yet? If not, what are you waiting for!? Be sure to say hello!

Theme: Abandoned
Up next: Writing and Abandoned Projects by Faith René Boggus

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