Heather Brewer is the New York Times bestselling author of the “Chronicles of Vladimir Tod” series and supreme ruler of her fans – aka, the Minion Horde. She doesn’t believe in happy endings, unless they involve blood. Ms. Brewer lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, two children, and three very spoiled cats.
For what age audience do you write?
I write for outcasts, for kids on the fringe, for people who have ever felt like they don’t fit in – no matter their age. Some classify my books as horror, some as paranormal, some as humor. I’m still not certain what label to put on them. Besides, I hate labels.
Henry: So, pretty much every person that has ever lived. Well played, sir.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book in the second installment in my “Slayer Chronicles” series (a spin-off from “The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod”), called “Second Chance”. This time around, Joss is sent to Manhattan for the summer, to hunt down a serial killer who the Slayer Society believes may be a vampire. But oh…the surprises that await him!
The follow-up to “Second Chance” (and also the third and final Slayer Chronicles book, wrapping up my ties to Elysia) is “Third Strike”, which will be in stores February 20, 2014.
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
I hope that readers will get some answers to some of the questions they’ve been asking throughout “The Slayer Chronicle”s and “The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod”. I also hope they come to understand Joss’s motives for (SPOILER ALERT!) attempting to take Vlad’s life. But mostly, I hope they enjoy the ride.
Henry: My co-author son is a big fan, and definitely enjoyed reading your books.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Focus, I think, is the biggest challenge for any writer. It can be so difficult to simply sit down and get words on the screen. Life gets in the way, and there are so many shiny things all around us, just waiting to distract us from writing. The key is to block out the world when you can, and just lose yourself in the make-believe.
Henry: Note to self: invent writer's blinders to improve literary focus.
What is a powerful lesson you've learned from being a writer?
I’ve learned that no matter who you are, there are other people like you out in the world – and that books can do amazing things: create connections, broaden views, save lives.
Henry: Indeed, you never know what impact your books will have. My book Nimpentoad got at least one young reader to try eating mushrooms. One small step for man...
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?
The opportunity to meet and interact with so many amazing teens and tweens. They are my favorite people on the planet, next to librarians.
Henry: Plus, librarians are so much better behaved than teens. :)
Read the rest of this interview at Henry Herz's blog on fantasy and science fiction books for kids.