Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tenner Tuesday with Heidi R. Kling!

Tenner Tuesday is a new feature, where almost every week there will be a new interview (10 questions) with a Tenner.

To start off Tenner Tuesday, I am going to interview Heidi R. Kling author of Sea.

1. Where did you get the inspiration for Sea?
My husband was a young psychiatrist straight out of residency and volunteered for two separate two-weeks trips to Indonesia after the tsunami. He came back totally altered by the experience. Went into solely non-profit work and is now an expert in cross-cultural trauma mental health and works with anti-torture organizations. So I thought, if this 30-something year old man was this inspired by an experience, what would happen to a 15 year old girl? So I imagined the characters and built the story around that first inspiration.

2. What was the writing process like for you? I'm a pretty fast first-drafter--getting the story down, --then I go back and fix my many, many mistakes. I also build story AS I write as opposed to thinking of everything before hand. I get some of my best AHA moments while I'm out walking or doing yoga, or lying in bed trying to fall asleep, then I go add them into the manuscript. I also smooth out the writing in later drafts. Getting story down is my first, main goal. I've never had writers block. Wood: knock, knock, knock. ;)

3. When did you start writing Sea? Three years before I sold it. I wrote three mornings a week while my son was in preschool. If I had eight hours a day to write it would have taken about a year me thinks.

4. How did you pick the main characters' names? Oh they picked me! Spider came out of nowhere. I was writing dialog and suddenly he was Spider. His real name is Jesse and I don't think that ever appears in the version of SEA now. There was this big back story about Spider and his twin sister Bev, which I had to cut, about how he got his nickname. Vera and Bev also came out of nowhere. Vera fits Vera perfectly (IMHO). Deni was from a list of Acehnese names my Acehnese friend Usul sent me. It was my favorite one and is pronounced like Denny (rhymes with Lenny). While I was writing the book, Denny was a beloved character on Grey's Anatomy, so that worked well. SEA is short for Sienna, which my main character's name.

5. Is there going to be a sequel or prequel? OOOH! I just got chills when I read that. I would love to do either or both! Knock on Putnam's door and say WANT! and see what happens. =) If there is demand, I would for sure write. SEA is a complete book in itself but I have fantasized about the futures of my characters and I would love to meet up with them again. (I really miss them when I'm not working on revision. Seriously.)

6. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I used to write songs when I was a little girl. And then plays. And finally screenplays and my first novel in high school. I would entertain my sisters with my chapters. I think I've always been writing in one way or another.

7. What is the most difficult thing about writing? Now, honestly, it's finding the time. I have two little kids and I stay home with them, which I love--but sometimes it's tough to balance everything. I guess the hardest part of writing is making my editor happy while staying true to my original vision of the story. Does that make sense?

8. What is your favorite thing about writing? Everything! I love it when I feel like my characters are speaking through my fingers as I type. I love writing something that makes me misty eyed. I love the idea that people want to read my words and hear my stories. I love it all!

9. Thinking ahead, if a movie studio was going to make a movie about Sea who would you want them to cast as the characters? Dude! You keep elevating my heart rate! Okay, oh boy. So, I really really like the cast of Friday Night Light's. I adore Tim Riggins in a major big way. I would love for him to play any
one, but he would be particularly cute as Spider. I would love Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to get on board as Sienna's parents (Angie would have to play a ghost, but that's cool.) I would like a real Indonesian boy to play Deni. I went to an Indonesian film festival and there was the hottest boy in one of the films. I want him. Sienna is pretty, but in a very natural way. Julie from Friday Night Lights would do a nice job portraying her. (Great question!)

10. Are you writing anything right now? Yes and no. I WAS writing. But now I'm finished! I wrote a whole manuscript called JADE this past year. It's in with my editor now. JADE is the first novel in a proposed contemporary fantasy series about teenaged witchez and warlox. It features swordfighting and surfing. Good combinations. I had so much fun writing it. Hope to hear good news soon!

Thanks for participating in Tenner Tuesday Heidi!
Thanks for having me! You're awesome. =))

-Senfaye :)

*Photo by Anne Knudsen.


  1. great interview! i have those walking AHA moments too. i can't wait to read SEA, and i love that you're doing something so different for a follow-up, heidi!

  2. Thanks, Mrs. Pilkington. You're so sweet to read.
    I'm so excited for your book too. =D

    Thanks for having me, Senfaye!

  3. What great answers. I can't wait to read SEA either! And I love the idea for JADE...keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  4. Interesting experience you must have had, Senfaye. Thanks for following my story and I hope you like it on some level/to some degree. I find your book blog quite appealing and plan on reading your reviews regularly in the near future.