I have the exciting opportunity to sit down with Heather McCorkle and have a virtual cup of coffee today! I’m sitting here, ten minutes early, typing out this post so I am ready for her minute by minute responses. Good thing I type fast because Heather is full of energy! She is such a pleasure and a joy to be around, she just exudes happiness! And with her debut novel out, I can see why she’s so happy, but it’s beyond that. Heather is such a positive person that you can’t help but feel like the world is going your way when you talk to her. So, after the interview, I’m sure I’ll be playing the lotto. Cuzz I just feel like I can’t go wrong!
Ahem… Oh look, there she is now!
Heather: Sweet, I would love a non-fat double tall mocha with raspberry. Yum.
EJ: Omgoodness. Are you me? Am I you? I love raspberry in my mocha! Usually, if I order this with my homeschool friends, they look at me like I’ve grown a second head! Raspberry in my coffee, shut up! That’s so awesome. I think I will order one too now. COFFEEBOY, make that two of those! But make mine vente!
*claps hands enthusiastically*
I love coffee. Oh, Oh! We need munchies? You want something? Blueberry muffin? Donut? Or one of the many flavored breads?
Heather: (to coffeeboy) You have any pumpkin bread hiding in that basket?
Coffeeboy: Sure thing. Anything for you? (talking to EJ)
EJ: My usual.
Coffeeboy: Uhh and that is…
EJ: *gasp* *shifty eyes* Blueberry Muffin please.
Coffeeboy: Oh, I’m sorry. We’re out this morning.
EJ: What?! (at the top of my voice) How could you be out of blueberry muffins? It’s like 9:00am in the morning! What kind of establishment is this?!
Coffeeboy: A popular one… one where folks come in before 9:00am to get their blueberry muffins. (Coffeeboy is not impressed)
Heather: The pumpkin bread is awesome. So much better than the blueberry muffin. *whispers* Less calories.
EJ: Oh? Okay, I’ll bite. I’ll have that then. Thanks, Heather. You’re so awesome.
Coffeeboy calls up our drink orders and we snag the cushy chairs by the front window.
EJ: *talking with mouth full* So, uh, let’s get down to business now. Can you tell me a little about your debut novel The Secret of Spruce Knoll? Like how did you come up with such a mysterious name as Spruce Knoll? Is there a hidden meaning behind it?
Heather: That’s a good one. I wanted a name for a small town in Colorado that didn’t exist and it was important to me that it had the name of a Colorado native tree in it. The tree was important to me because I wanted it to sound authentic to the area, something the immigrants would have chosen based on the environment. So, I brainstormed names then googled to make sure the town didn’t already exist.
EJ: Omgoodness. I am such a noob. I’ve got a huge spruce in my front yard. And I do mean huge. Now every time I see that HUGE tree I am going to think of how HUGE this book is going to be. Cuzz it’s going to be huge. *makes large hand gestures*
You mentioned something on email the other day that has my curiosity piqued. You told me that the town, Spruce Knoll is a conglomeration of four different cultures. What made you decide on four? Not just one or even two?
Heather: Wow, dishing out the tough ones, I love it. The decision to go with four is metaphorical, they represent the four directions, the four elements, all coming together. Plus, Tibet, Romania (Wallachia at the time the people left it), Ireland, and the Maya culture all fascinate me!
EJ: So there is a little of each of these culture in Spruce Knoll? Will the reader be able to distinguish one from the other? Or have you made up your own culture using these influences?
Heather: The cultures are all based off the people and land they immigrated from. They’re very distinguishable! I tried to keep it as authentic as possible. But of course there is a bit of ‘channeler’ culture thrown in too, that part is totally my creation.
EJ: That is pretty rockin’ cool. I can’t wait to read it! What can your readers expect from this YA novel? Love? Suspense? Drama? Thriller?
Heather: Yes, yes, yes, and yes! I’m a believer in mixing elements to round out a story partially because my own tastes are so eclectic and partially to make it appeal to a wide readership. There is a love story involved, tons of suspense and thrills, and the drama of a murder mystery.
EJ: *claps hands enthusiastically* I am so excited for this book! *squee*
So, how did Eren come to be? Is she closely matched after someone in your life? Or completely just a fable? If Spruce Knoll was a movie, who would be cast in her spot?
Heather: Eren came to me fully formed, as many of my characters do. I knew she had suffered tragedy, was undergoing a massive change in her life, and had to find her place in the world. Out of that the story of The Secret of Spruce Knoll formed. I like to let readers develop their own ideas of what my characters look like but I will admit that to me Eren resembles Vanessa Hudgens.
EJ: Oh! I love Vanessa Hudgens! I am a closet HSM1 fan. I haven’t seen the others, but I loved HSM1! I’m a dork. 😉 But, as a HSM1 closet fangirl, I seriously doubt the dreamy Aiden from Spruce Knoll is anything like Zac Efron. At least I hope not. Who do you see as Aiden’s doppelganger?
Heather: That gives me shivers just thinking about it. Aiden has always looked like Taylor Kitsch (from Friday Night Lights and Wolverine) to me.
Dang. My coffee is gone. I guess that means we should wrap up so you can get to your next appointment with your adoring fans.
Just one last question. When, where and how can we purchase your novel?
Heather: I get all tingling and start to well up when anyone asks that. I wonder if that will ever pass?!
EJ: No, that feeling never passes. It’s awesome, right? Hehe! Any last words for my readers Heather?
Heather: : I keep saying thank you and it just doesn’t seem adequate enough considering how I feel about all the wonderful support you peeps have been dishing out. It means more than I can every say and I plan to give back to all of you a hundredfold! *hugs & cheek-kisses*
EJ: Believe me Heather, it’s a joy to host you and promote your soon to be HUGE debut novel The Secret of Spruce Knoll. I’m glad to say that I was one of the select firsts! Woooot!
For more information about Heather McCorkle and her novel The Secret of Spruce Knoll you can visit her website at http://heathermccorkle.blogspot.com/ or you can visit the Critique Sisters Corner to find out what she is reading.
Thanks again Heather for stopping by!
And if you think the fun ends there… it doesn’t! Heather is hosting a fabulous contest you can enter!
Check out how you can make a difference in the feet of those in Ethiopia by donating crocs!