We’re getting close to the end of the year, but we have time to squeeze in a few more interviews! This one’s for you plotters and suspense writers–Heidi Glick is both, and she’s here to give us a peek at her writing life. Welcome!
What do you write? How/why did you pick your genre?
I write romantic suspense and suspense with romance elements. I chose my genre because I enjoy suspenseful movies and books. In addition, it’s easier to create tension because I can include suspense and romance. I write Christian fiction because I want to share my faith and encourage readers in their walk with God, but I want to do so in an entertaining way.
What’s the most difficult part of writing your genre? How do you work through those challenges?
For me, the hard parts of writing suspense include researching and drawing out suspense. I rush through things, so I have to leave a note in my manuscript to go back and draw out the suspense. With research, I have worked with Wesley Harris, who is a consultant with Write Crime Right. Also, I have sought research help from friends and family. Basically, if you have an area of expertise, watch out, because I might ask you some questions.
What’s your favorite book on writing? What do you like about it?
My favorite book on riting is Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody because it’s formulaic, and I’m mainly a plotter. The Emotion Thesaurus (by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi), which is a reference guide more than a book on writing, comes in as a close second. I use that book almost daily. I like it because sometimes it’s hard to describe emotion, and I like to vary my descriptions.
What’s your favorite writers conference? What do you like about it?
While not a traditional writing conference, my favorite is Writers’ Police Academy (WPA) because it’s like Disney for suspense writers. I had the privilege to attend WPA in Wisconsin for the first time in June 2022. The guest speaker was author Robert Dugoni. I liked WPA because it was fun and helpful in terms of law enforcement research.
What’s your writing day like?
Because I’m a stay-at-home mom, my day is never the same. Just this past week, my children had two two-hour fog delays, which meant I didn’t start off my day writing. Today, Lowe’s came to my house to take measurements for flooring, so again, I didn’t start my day off writing. I don’t have a regular schedule. I make a list of things to do and try to get done as much as possible. I focus more on long-term goals versus a rigid, daily schedule.
How do you prepare to write your books: pantser, plotter, both, something completely different? Describe your strategy.
I’m 98% plotter and 2% pantser. I outline and then write in layers, similar to a method advocated by author Hallie Bridgeman. I find I focus better on individual elements of writing better in separate passes of a document.
What advice do you have for new authors?
My advice for new authors today differs from the advice I gave years ago, though some of it remains the same. I still recommend joining a professional writing organization. After that, I would tell new authors to decide if they are a pantser or a plotter. If one is a plotter, I recommend reading Save the Cat Writes a Novel. Conversely, if one is a pantser, then I recommend reading Story Trumps Structure by Steven James. Finally, I would recommend signing up for at least one writers conference.
What does your revision process look like?
I self-edit my manuscript, then sub it to a critique group. Afterward, I submit to beta readers. Sometimes, in between, I submit portions to a subject matter expert or sensitivity reader. I review the manuscript again after I have made all changes from others and then submit the final product to my publisher.
Heidi Glick has a B.A. in biology from Cedarville University, a Master of Technical Communication from Utah State University, and a passion for writing Christian fiction. Additionally, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers and has written two articles for Intercom. Before becoming a suspense writer, Heidi taught science to middle and high school students and edited science documents. Heidi resides in rural Northwest Ohio with her husband, two children, and six pets. Heidi’s first novel, Dog Tags, is available through Pelican Book Group, while her second novel, Hold for Release, is set for release from Pelican Book Group in 2023.