YA Author Interview – Author Interview: Heidi R. Kling | Young Adult Mag

Heidi R. Kling, Author of Books: The Spellspinners of Melas County Witch’s Brew and The Gleaning
YA: When did you decide to start writing?
Heidi R. Kling: I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, but I started writing seriously in college while studying Creative Writing and Literature, then went on to get my MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. I sold my first novel, SEA (Putnam), in 2007 and it debuted in 2010.

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YA: Tell us a little bit about your latest work.
Heidi R. Kling: THE GLEANING is the sequel to my bestselling WITCH’S BREW, the opener to my SPELLSPINNERS OF MELAS COUNTY series, an interactive story (akin to Choose Your Own Adventures we read as kids) with Coliloquy www.coliloquy.com. It’s the story of a witch, a warlock, and their quest to undo a wicked curse that keeps them apart.

YA: What are some of the qualities in your latest work that set it/you apart from what’s currently out there on the market?
Heidi R. Kling: The interactive “choice” points set my series apart. In THE GLEANING there is a light path and a dark path. You choose where Lily (our witch hero) goes, and your choices affect her outcome. My Spellspinner series is also set on a NorCal beach town similar to Santa Cruz, so readers get that added experience of enjoying a fantasy beach read set on the sea, which opens up so many fun possibilities.

YA: What attracts you to the Young Adult genre specifically?

Heidi R. Kling: My voice has always skewed young. Even when I tried to write adult short stories, the voice would be 15-17 years old. Teenagers are so fun to write because their angst is built in. Usually they are frustrated with their life stage (old enough to not want rules, too young to be on their own), their hormones are in overdrive, and they see the world in such a unique way. This provides infinite possibilities for me as an author, and, in this interactive format in particular, Lily can actually choose BOTH things: going after her love Logan, and obeying her strict coven. Which choice was “right”? You’ll find out! In life, we don’t often get do-overs, but in THE GLEANING, you can go back and re-read the other path and find out what happens if you chose that direction. I love that.

YA: Who would you count among your strongest influences for your latest work, and why?
Heidi R. Kling: Hmm…I would say teen TV shows more than literature, honestly. This is a series and I’m trying to write each book like an “episode”. They end with an exciting cliff-hanger, have big plot reveals and lots of romantic tension and triangles and friendship-related angst, as well as this universal teenage quest to “find yourself” and your place in life.  I have to keep things fast-paced to keep up the momentum.
From the book:

YA: Who or what do you hope not to be compared to?
Heidi R. Kling: Hmm. I haven’t thought of that before. I don’t really care who I’m compared to one way or another. If they are comparing me, they are talking about me, so cheers to that! 🙂

YA: Do you have pursuits outside of young adult fiction?

Heidi R. Kling: To raise awesome kids who follow their dreams and are happy (I have a 4 and a 9 year old), to write a screenplay for my own adaptation, to own a beach house, roller-skate, create a book café, live on a cruise ship, own a ranch…so…the answer is yes!

Thanks for having me!

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