Erin Healy is the author of several supernatural suspense novels, the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a wife and mom, a Jesus follower, and a coffee lover. She lives with her family in Colorado.
INTERVIEW WITH ERIN HEALY
S.S: How long have you been writing?
Writing: since about age three. Publishing: since high school—if campus publications count. Publishing novels: only since 2009.
S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?
I’ve been an editor since my college days and split my work time between editing and writing. I’ve been freelancing for royalty book publishers since 2002, helping novelists craft their fiction.
S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
That moment hasn’t actually happened yet. From an objective point of view I know I’m real enough. I’ve published a bunch of books. But from an emotional point of view I still feel like I’m trying to figure everything out—how to connect with readers, how to exceed expectations, how to grow in my craft. Some part of me might always feel a bit like Pinocchio.
S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author?
My husband. My parents. My dear and brilliant friends, most of whom are editors. Ted Dekker, who launched me. And everyone who has ever bought one of my books (thanks for that).
S.S: Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?
To date I have written only supernatural suspense—though sometimes these lean toward the thriller category (Afloat, Stranger Things) and at other times these lean toward mystery (House of Mercy, Motherless). Hiding Places, which comes out in 2015, will be a straight-up suspense without the supernatural part.
S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?
The supernatural components of my stories are generally symbols of what it means to be a spiritual person in a physical world. What does it mean to feel someone else’s pain and carry their burdens (The Baker’s Wife)? What would it be like to see the world as God sees it (Stranger Things)? What is it like to be physically alive and spiritually dead—to believe in things that aren’t true (Motherless)? I have been a Christian all my life and am governed by a biblical worldview, but writing supernatural fiction gives me a way to explore spiritual truth metaphorically.
S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
S.S: Tell us about your current release.
Motherless is the story of two young adults who are trying to solve the mystery of their mother’s years-old suicide. It’s also a tale about a family who has spent their lives believing things that aren’t true, and the grace that starts showering them when they make themselves vulnerable to truth.
S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
Motherless started as a story of mistaken identity in which two young adults seeking revenge against their estranged mother target the wrong woman. It was going to be a story about how relationships and regrets can be redeemed in the most unlikely circumstances. In many ways it still is that story. But as I wrote, I became preoccupied with my characters’ perceptions about the world. Everyone became less villainous as my compassion for them grew. And it quickly became a novel about how good people who are just trying to do the right thing come to believe things that are so wrong.
S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
Overall, I want this to be a story about my hope that truth and mercy go hand-in-hand.
S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
Dylan, who is the youngest, the smartest, and the most vulnerable of all the players. In some ways he’s the strongest, and he has the most to lose. He’s agoraphobic. He’s funny and tragic. He surfs and he writes poetry.
S.S: What are you working on now?
I’m editing a few books and am awaiting my editor’s notes on Hiding Places (September 2015), in which a child brings a murderous gang down on her family’s head when she hides an injured homeless man at their hotel.
S.S: Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.
Write a book while visiting Ireland.
Take my kids to Disney World.
S.S: What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done?
In my first editorial job out of college, my boss left town to attend a recovery conference. (He wasn’t in recovery, he was meeting people who wrote about it.) All of us on his creative team went to his house, which he was in the habit of leaving unlocked, and we took Polaroids of ourselves having a grand ol’ time eating his food, riding his kids’ bikes, reading his books, and so on. I jumped up and down on his sofa. We bound the photos into a book and FedExed it to him at the conference. I think he committed himself to a recovery program after that.
S.S: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
It’s a tie between marriage and parenting. Which happen to also be the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?
My blog and descriptions of all my books, including free downloadable chapters, are at www.erinhealy.com, which is where you can also find links to my social media and a handy-dandy form to sign up for my monthly newsletter.
S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Motherless officially releases November 11, Veteran’s Day, so I just want to thank everyone reading this who is associated with our armed forces. THANK YOU for serving your country so sacrificially.
Erin is giving away a copy of her book, MOTHERLESS. For your chance to win, leave a comment, along with your contact info. We'll pick a winner next week!