Tuesday, January 4, 2011
An Interview with Erin Healy
Well some time ago I got really bored and started thinking up very weird ideas of what I could do. Surprisingly one of the first things I thought of was an email interview with someone. It's an idea that I've toyed with several times in the past, but never really acted upon. I always thought I could interview someone like Charlie Dominici or Erin Healy or somebody.
So I went for Erin Healy. We're friends, in a way. We've had several interesting and friendly conversations over email and FaceBook, and I figured I'd go ahead and see if I could get an interview. Here, a couple weeks later, I have what I wanted.
Erin Healy is an award-winning Christian editor and author who has worked with authors such as Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Jane Kirkpatrick, Randy Ingermanson, and Gilbert Morris. Yes, I did just get a couple of those names from Erin's FaceBook page, but that is completely irrelevant.
Anyway, I settled down at my computer, and wrote out ten questions. No more, no less. Well, unless you count the off-record question about whether she'd seen the Dawn Treader yet. This is how the interview turned out.
Reuben Horst: So how are you and your family doing, Erin?
Erin Healy: Doing great, thanks! Happy to be resuming routines now that the holidays are over.
RH: How old were you when you got into writing or editing?
EH: I regretfully admit that I plagiarized my first story while in second grade from my best friend, who was (and probably still is) a brilliant, imaginative thinker. After that, I found my heart in third-grade poetry and haven’t stopped writing since. Improved stuff, I hope. The editing didn’t come until later, while working my way through college. I had jobs on the newspaper and also as a tutor, teaching peers to write strong papers.
RH: What are your favorite authors of all time, Christian or non-Christian?
EH: This is such a tough question. I can name one author or a bazillion, so I’ll just name one. I read all of Chaim Potok’s books while in college and haven’t yet met an author who has moved me emotionally as much as My Name Is Asher Lev did. Potok, who was Jewish, wrote amazing stories about the painfulness of Jewish history and about what happens when an individual’s faith and experiences butt heads. I find that his stories transcend religion and are easy for me to enter.
RH: Of all the books you've helped edit for an author, which would you recommend the most?
EH: Ah, you move from tough to impossible! Honestly, I don’t know how to answer the “most” part of this question. I recommend different authors for different reasons. All of them have such strengths. I recommend Jane Kirkpatrick for living historical sagas and poetic prose; Lisa Samson for gritty and stunning characters; Ted Dekker for the adrenaline rush; Colleen Coble for the romantic adventure … and I haven’t even scratched the surface.
RH: Are you satisfied with the result of your second solo novel, soon to be released, The Promises She Keeps?
EH: Yes. It’s very different from my first novel. Promises keeps the supernatural core, but without angels and demons this time, and without oppressive darkness. The result is a spiritual conflict between characters that is more interpersonal than private. I hope readers feel that Promises still does a great job of asking high-stakes spiritual questions in exciting, dramatic, and memorable ways while drilling a few more inches into the human heart.
RH: Without giving away anything you’re not supposed to, what do you think of Forbidden, the upcoming novel you edited for Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee?
EH: It’s fantastic, of course. I think readers who enjoyed Ted’s Circle Trilogy will love Forbidden.
RH: Is there any chance that you and Ted will go back and finish your sequel to Blink of an Eye? (I believe you told me I could nickname it ‘Blink Again’ a while ago.) I know the project was indefinitely delayed, and you really aren’t planning on going back, but is there a chance?
EH: Chances are slim to none. Ted’s with a different publisher now, and unless the new house resurrects his passion for the idea—which was really custom tailored for our co-authoring publisher at the time—I don’t see it happening.
RH: Of the four novels you’ve written (two solo and two with Ted Dekker), which one is your favorite?
EH: In my mind, I don’t put my solo and co-authored books in the same category of thinking. Between Kiss and Burn, I love Burn for its metaphorical mind-bending. Between Never Let You Go and The Promises She Keeps, I’m partial to Promises, because it’s closer to the kind of stories that I really want to be writing.
RH: Do you have a third solo novel in the works?
EH: Yes. It’s called The Baker’s Wife (Fall 2011), about a police officer who takes a little bakery hostage because he believes the owners kidnapped his wife. The baker’s wife must find her before time runs out. I’m sending the manuscript to the publisher tomorrow—look for a synopsis on my website in late spring or early summer.
RH: What’s your favorite brand of soda?
EH: Diet Dr Pepper!
RH: Thanks for your time, Erin!
I actually won a signed copy of Erin Healy's first solo novel, Never Let You Go, on FaceBook about a year ago or so. Sometime pretty soon after it came out in May. I just found out today that she'd recently had a sweepstakes contest for The Promises Shes Keeps too, but I missed it. I don't feel as bad as I would have if I hadn't also just found out today that I won a signed copy of Merrie Destefano's novel Afterlife from a sweepstakes that I forgot I'd entered a few months ago.
Anyway, look for Erin Healy's new book, The Promises She Keeps, coming in February!
Erin Healy's FaceBook Page