I'm super excited to have Heather Manning on the blog today. This talented young lady is only 17, and she's already published her first novel. That's an amazing accomplishment! This busy young lady has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions, but first check out some information on her debut novel, Swept to Sea!
Genre: Adult Fiction (Inspirational Historical Fiction)
Date Published: November 25, 2013
Publisher: Astrea Press
Lady Eden Trenton never wanted to leave her privileged existence in London—until her father invites a dangerous suitor into her life. Left with few options, Eden devises the best reprieve she can: escape. Chasing freedom, she stows away aboard a pirate ship, praying she will gain her independence in the colonies before she is discovered by the nefarious crew.
Captain Caspian Archer has spent the last five years hardening his heart and searching to exact revenge for the event that tore his life to shreds. When he catches word that his enemy is residing in Jamaica, Caspian steers his ship toward the colonies in all haste. His plans soon change, however, when he discovers the young beauty hiding in his ship’s hold.
Cut from the only lives they have known, Caspian and Eden are pulled together as each pursues a fresh hope upon the sea.
How long have you been writing?
I have technically been writing since before I could actually write. I distinctly remember a time when I was little, when I used to force my mom and my sister to write down a retelling of The Princess and the Pea for me in a notebook. I started writing seriously sometime during middle school, and began writing Swept to Sea during eighth grade.
What inspired you to write Swept to Sea ?
I constantly read, and I wanted to write a story of my own, where I could control what happened and how it ended. I decided that I would enjoy a story based on three best friends and their adventures in the Caribbean, and Swept to Sea was born.
What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Well, I don’t know if nobody else knows this, but I love watching re-runs of The Nanny. I get really sad when I find a channel that plays a marathon of it, but then can never find it again. I love that show. *grabs the remote to find a channel playing The Nanny*
If your real life as was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
I would be a slightly socially awkward, quiet writer in high school. Which…I am, really. J Think the YA Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill. I would be just like Ellie.
What book have you read too many times to count?
Annie, Between the States by L. M. Elliot. I read that a ton in middle school. More recently, I would say The Restitution by MaryLu Tyndall.
I love reading books written by young authors such as yourself. You guys inspire me. What is the best advice you could give other teenagers who want to be authors?
I would advise other teenage aspiring authors to write, write, write, read, read, read, and study, study, study. You won’t get any better by not practicing your skills, so continue to write and your writing will improve. Reading also helps with writing, because not only is it fun, but it helps you subconsciously apply new skills to your writing. Finally, studying can also help tremendously. Learn about the industry and how to get into it. Attend writer’s conferences. The information learned there is priceless.
If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would hop into the life of Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera. She lives in an awesome setting…who doesn’t want to live in a nineteenth century Parisian opera house? And, she has some pretty cool outfits…and I just really like Phantom of the Opera.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing Swept to Sea ?
I was surprised to learn about window taxes in England during the seventeenth century. I had not heard of them before, and was shocked to learn that citizens bricked in their windows to avoid being charged extra taxes by the government. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon this, because it never appears in my story, but I found it surprising.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I am not writing, I love to act in community and local college theatres. That is my second favorite hobby. I also enjoy eating donuts, reading, and cross-stitching.
To learn more about Heather Manning and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.