I just reviewed Heldt’s book, The Mine… which was amazing… and I’m very happy that he has now let me interview him as well…
My name is John A. Heldt. You can find me online at:
2. Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?
I like to walk the dog, fish, and make my own beer.
3. How long have you been writing? How many books have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I’ve been writing since the first grade and professionally since college. I published my first novel, The Mine, in February 2012 and have since added four others: The Journey, The Show, The Fire, and The Mirror. All are part of the Northwest Passage series and feature time travel, historical fiction, romance, and coming-of-age themes.
4. What genres do you like writing the most? And why? Is this genre the same as the one you prefer to read?
I prefer to write historical fiction. I prefer to read thrillers.
I just started writing the first novel of the new American Journey series. It will be about a recently laid-off newspaper reporter and his college junior son who travel from Los Angeles in 2016 to Galveston, Texas, in 1900 – the place and time of a hurricane that killed 6,000 people. Like the books of the Northwest Passage series, it will feature romance, history, adventure, and multiple points of view.
6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I meticulously outline each book before writing it. I can’t imagine writing a novel any other way. I usually do the same with characters, but I rarely stick to the initial sketches and outlines. I like to have the freedom to change the characters’ personalities and backgrounds as I go.
7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
I think I do a fair job at telling stories in ways most people can relate to. Perfect prose, however, does not flow from my fingertips. I rarely get a scene right the first time – or the second or the third. For me, writing means continually fretting and fussing over single chapters, sentences, and even words. The work never ends.
I start by contacting bloggers and reviewers who are most likely to enjoy my works. They can be indispensable in introducing my books to new readers. I also make the most of paid advertising and various promotional opportunities.
9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Be persistent. Believe in yourself and believe in your works. Readers understand and appreciate authors who care about their books. Be one of those authors.