Rummanah Aasi
  I really enjoyed reading Sea by Heidi Kling. I contacted Heidi on her Facebook page and asked if she was willing to do an interview. I am very grateful that she said yes, despite her busy schedule. Heidi was born and raised in California. She studied and majored in English lit and creative writing at University of California at Santa Cruz. Heidi is not new to the YA genre. In fact her YA short story “Dear Mr. Moon” was published in a college anthology the year she graduated. Sea is her debut book. I asked Heidi about her writing, how it feels like to be a debut author, and our favorite show: The Vampire Diaries.

Rummanah: Heidi, welcome and thank you for stopping by. Sea is inspired by your husband’s experiences at volunteering trip to Indonesia after the tsunami disaster of 2004. Besides chatting with him, did you have to do a lot research for your book?

Heidi: I read typical travel books Sienna would read: basics about the country, language translations to get around etc., I became friends with several tsunami survivors that my husband worked with at the Pesantren and they helped me with the cultural distinctions and the true dialog.

Rummanah: Writing about a true event can be daunting. What challenges did you face while writing Sea?

Heidi: I just wanted the emotional notes to ring true. To pay my respects to what the young adults and children survivors went through. Of all the challenges, I wanted to present the culture accurately from a western teens perspective. It was hard to find the balance between an honest reaction and being over-the-top politically correct (which teens would cue on to in a second and would be suspicious of.) Sienna’s experience had to ring true for the book to ring true. 

Rummanah: I think you did that really well in Sea. Sienna is pushed out of her comfort zone, but ultimately embraces the different living style in Indonesia. When a natural disaster strikes (i.e. the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and most recently the flooding in Pakistan), we only hear and read about it on the news for a few weeks or months but it slowly fades in the background. Why do you this happens?

Heidi:  Because of human nature. We are excitable creatures who forget things in the long term. Other wise we’d have no wars—if we remembered how horrific they were, would we get involved again? No. Humans are flawed creatures. I’m realizing this more and more. To be terribly blunt, I think we get bored, and move on. Isn’t that awful? 

Rummanah: *Nods* Yep, and yet we wonder why we do the same horrible things over and over again. We're told that history repeats itself, but you would think that we would revisit those events and come out smarter, wiser, and better. I guess we aren't smart as we like to think we are. On a bright note, what is the one thing that surprised you the most as being a new author?

Heidi: The fans. I was hoping teens would like Sea but the amount of love and attention some of them are giving it astonishes me. I love interacting with the readers on Twitter and on my blog. I love the whole thing. 

Rummanah: I noticed that on Facebook, you and I share a love for The Vampire Diaries. You know I have to ask you questions about the show. Which Salvatore brother has your heart and why?

Heidi: Nice! Don’t all roads lead back to Damon?

Rummanah: *Laughs* I know mine do.

Heidi: I wrote an essay for the upcoming Smart Pop novel, “A Visitor’s Guide To Mystic Falls” that comes out in October, 2010. It’s about the challenging relationship between the Salvatore boys. I must say, Damon has my heart, but after what he did to Jeremy and to Elena? I’m not sure I like him as much. That was unforgivable. But remember what I just said about humans being flawed? Likely they will move on.

Rummanah: I still can't believe he did that! He's got to do a lot to make up with Elena. What I love about him is that he's a shady, complex character that you can't really pin down. He is sarcastic, impulsive, handsome, and smart. He also has a heart, which is buried under all of his angst. You never know what plans he has under his sleeves, which makes him an awesome character to watch. Do you have any predictions for Season 2?
Heidi: My predictions for the season: Stefan will be stronger, more likable character, Katherine will wreak havoc, and Damon and Elena’s tension will increase. I’m guessing by season’s end, Damon and Elena will be making smoochies. ;D

Rummanah: I hope you're right. I would love Delena. There is definitely chemistry between those two. I’m always looking for the next great read, what is your favorite book that you’ve read this year?

Heidi; I just finished Linger, which I liked a lot. 

Rummanah: I absolutely loved Linger. Can't wait for Forever to come out! What else?

Heidi: Next up is Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler and Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

Rummanah: What are you working on now? Can you tell us something about it and when we can expect it to come out?

Heidi: I’m working on a fantasy trilogy about estranged witches and warlocks. Sexy witches and warlocks. It is a ton of fun to write. Book one is complete and on my editors desk now. I’m starting book 2 shortly. I refer to it as #sexahmagicbook on Twitter. I’ll announce its real name when I announce the sale. *Fingers crossed*

Rummanah: *Crosses fingers* Thank you so much for stopping by, Heidi!

Heidi: Thanks for having me!!!

3 Responses
  1. I <3 Sea. And I'm super excited for the #sexahmagicbook!!! Can't wait!!!

  2. Very thoughtful interview, thanks for posting it. I especially enjoy the Vampire Diaries references right on time for Thursday night TV. *goes off to watch TVD*

  3. Nat Says:

    I enjoyed this interview. And yes, all roads DO lead back to Damon!

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