Between Tweens: Middle Grade Author Heather Brainerd

Heather B

Continuing with our April MG-Tween authors Blog Hop, and the last of the series, is my interview with Heather Fraser Brainerd. Heather has been writing since she was a child. After careers in both the insurance industry and early childhood education, she began writing again. Her published works include the YA paranormal romance Dream Shade and the first two books in the Jose Picada, PI series, a paranormal mystery for grown-ups, co-written with Heather’s brother David Fraser. Their first MG novel, Shadows of New York, will be released in 2014.

(To see the other blog hop interviews today with different questions and answers – including my answers on Suzanne’s blog – go to the links below this interview.)

SHADOWS OF NEW YORK summary: Eleven-year-old Josh Cooper is surprised when his new nanny ends up being a guy, but that pales in comparison to the dude nanny’s supernatural secret.

Sandy: Welcome Heather. Would you share where you like best to write, and is there special music you like to listen to as you write, or do you prefer silence?

Heather: I write on my laptop, so I can be found in any number of places, typing away. Sometimes I sit in my window seat, sometimes (if the weather is nice) on my porch. But I’m most likely to be found at my kitchen island. It’s centrally located, so I can hear what’s going on all over the house. That’s kind of important with three kids and a crazy dog! So, to answer the second part of this question, I don’t listen to music. I listen to my kids.

Sandy: Are any of your characters based on people you’ve really met?

Heather: Nope. My characters tend to pop into my mind, fully formed, begging for me to do something with them.

Sandy: What are some things you do to overcome writer’s block?

Heather: I pick up the phone and call my brother. He’s my co-author, and talking things through tends to clear writer’s block for both of us.

Sandy: Tell us about your revision process.

Heather: Well, when I co-write with my brother, we pass the manuscript back and forth via email. Each of us has total editing power over the other. So we’re constantly revising as we go along. Once a book is complete, we each do a read-through and make any necessary changes. Then, possibly, another read-though with more changes. We do this as many times as needed until we’re satisfied that the book is right.

Sandy: What are you doing or planning to do to grow as an author?

I want to get better at marketing and promotion. I’m actually looking for a workshop along those lines. If anyone out there knows of a good one, I’d love to hear about it.

Thank you, Heather. I look forward to reading your book when it is released.


To receive the full interview questions, please check out: Madeleine McLaughlin; Heather Fraser Brainerd (; and Suzanne de Montigny (

12 thoughts on “Between Tweens: Middle Grade Author Heather Brainerd

  1. Great interview, Heather and Sandy. Heather, I also would like to know more about marketing and promotion. If you ever learn of any secrets, please let me know.

    I read Suzanne’s comment above. Hi Suzanne! I have to have it quiet to either read or write. I’ve always been like that. In college I always had to study in some corner of the library.

    Best wishes to both of you.

    • Really interesting you should mention marketing, Susan. I presented a talk on marketing last month. With these interviews going on through this week, next week I plan a blog series on marketing tips, perhaps through May. See you then.

      • Heather, I started to write after my kids were grown and out of the house. I don’t know if I could have done it when they were at home. I give you a lot of credit.

        Sandy, I would love to read your blogs on marketing. I hope you will mention them in the Yahoo group or please email me when you have them up. Thank you.

        Susan Bernhardt

  2. Had to giggle at your choice of writing at the kitchen island so you are in the middle of the action in your home. I want to wall myself off to write. I imagine though, when it is silent at your house, you wonder what they’re up to.. Moms are like that,eh? Kudos to you on your new release!

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