Monday, October 3, 2011
Interview with Author Heather Justesen
Hi, Heather. Please tell us about your new book, Blank Slate.
Your book sounds fascinating. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
Actually the nugget of inspiration came from a news report on TV, and I just twisted and played with it until I had something that interested me enough to build on. Also, some of the cooking catastrophes came from stories some neighbors told me. Oh, and when I was a realtor (about ten years ago), I had a client who had to prove he was still alive in order to get his home loan. (Because apparently banks don’t like to lend money to dead people. Go figure!)
That is awesome that you use so many real life experiences in your book. Since one of your characters ends up with amnesia, what kind of research did you have to do?
I did an internet search on amnesia, the causes and after effects, but probably spent more time researching her other injuries, the plastic surgery she went through to fix facial damage from the accident and other medical issues she faces. Though I have a medical background as an EMT, that really only helps me as far as the ER. Once my characters are actually admitted to the hospital, I’m out of my depth!
A Reviewer wrote, “A slow start from the beginning, but once the story starts to unfold it is one book that is beyond hard to put down.” I have read several books like this and found it hard to put down once I got into the story. Tell us your thoughts about this review.
The ‘slow start’ comment makes me shrug, not because I don’t care if my story starts too slow but because my first chapter actually won an award for being a great start to a story. It placed second behind the first chapter for my book Rebound—that was a fun contest for me! A review like this makes me think about how I could have written the first fifty pages differently; if there were things I should have tweaked or cut. And it helps me look at my current projects from a different perspective to try not to get that comment again. But really, how could I possibly not grin when I have someone say that the book is ‘beyond hard to put down’? That’s about the best comment anyone could get, so the review is A-1 awesome in my book because it’s constructive and positive!
I love your reaction to my question. You’re an awesome author. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
My dad is one of the handiest people I’ve ever met considering he doesn’t work construction, and he’d passed a lot of that along to me. I’ve installed windows, tiled almost my whole basement, built pantry shelving, and a couple of years ago I needed another coop for my chickens, so I built an 8x8 A-frame coop completely by myself in a day (with the help of a handy nail gun).
Thanks, Heather, for a great interview. I enjoyed this very much. Now I know the real you… I can just picture it… an EMT who can build chicken coops with a nail gun in one hand and an author’s pen in the other.