Thursday, February 3, 2011

Author Interview: Gwendolyn Heasley

I’m thrilled to welcome Gwendolyn Heasley to the blog today. Her debut novel, Where I Belong, releases on February 8th. 

TFE: I am absolutely in love with the cover for Where I Belong. I also know authors usually don't have much input when it comes to covers. Do you feel the cover is a good fit for your novel?

Gwendolyn: Yes. I love the cover because it reflects the city meets country feeling. Plus, the cover gives hints (but doesn't completely reveal) what the characters look like. It still leaves some of it up to your imagination.
TFE: What emotions can readers expect to feel while reading Where I Belong?
Gwendolyn: I think the story is both comical and poignant.  I want laughter and pangs of "I-have-felt-that-way.”
TFE: Describe Where I Belong’s main character, Corinne, in just three words
Gwendolyn: Full of potential.
TFE: What do you think makes the city girl meets country boy love story so appealing to readers?
Gwendolyn: I think everyone is attracted to the story of escaping where you are from to find out who you actually are. Meeting a guy who's different than your usual type is just an extension of the teenage process (and adult) of trying to find yourself and exploring different elements of yourself.
TFE: While visiting your website I discovered we share a love of Ann M. Martin's Baby-Sitter's Club series. Did you have a favorite club member? P.S I'm so jealous you still have your copies!
Gwendolyn: I am so happy to have my copies too! I didn’t save any dolls or toys, but I told my mom that I must save my Baby-Sitter’s Club novels.
My favorite character is Stacey McGill, the club Treasurer who had diabetes and hailed from NYC. I used to even pretend that I loved math like just because she did. (I don't actually like math). I grew up in Minnesota, and she was from the city. She embodied a lot of qualities that I wanted to have that I didn't. Basically, she was very cool and confident, and I admired that.
TFE: I also discovered you like mac and cheese (Me too!). Are you a homemade or Easy Mac kind of girl?
Gwendolyn: I love Amy's, which is frozen and organic. And I love  eating different types at restaurants.  If anyone visits NYC, I can recommend at least six different places to try great mac and cheese. As for Easy Mac, I could never get the proportions right. Maybe that goes back to not being very good at math.
TFE: How do you spend your time when not writing or teaching?
Gwendolyn: I love TV. And I love teen TV especially. I lament the cancellation of HUGE and I am a big supporter of LIFE UNEXPECTED, which I hope is renewed. But other than watching TV and reading, I am very social, and I love being around my friends and family.  Some people think of writers as solitary, and it can be a lonely profession. But I am not a loner by nature. In my free time, I love to be with people.
TFE: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, or your up and coming debut novel?
Gwendolyn: I would love to remind teenagers (and preteens) to remember their first dream job and write it down on a piece of paper. We all change and go through phases, but it is important to remember what you first wanted to do. When you are older and come to a crossroads, remember that dream and see if it's something you want to still pursue. And then do it even if it's on the side and for free. 
TFE: Fabulous advice! Thanks for stopping by Gwendolyn! Wishing you all the best with your debut novel!



  1. Great interview! Thank you for posting it! I LOVE the cover for Where I Belong and I can't wait to read it. It sounds like a great story. :-D

  2. Great interview! Where I Belong sounds like a fun read!

    Stacey was also my favourite in The Babysitter's Club! She was the coolest! ;)

  3. I cannot wait to read this debut novel. It sounds like a lot of fun.
    I love that the story is comical and poignant. I really like that in books.
    Great interview.

  4. What fun questions! *high five* to the Babysitters Club fans :D