Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Heather Brainerd, author of MG and YA stories. Heather is a fellow MuseItUp author.
First, a bit about Heather:
Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers' compensation insurance adjuster. She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn't quite as bad as she remembered. Unfortunately, it was. Then, a few years later, she was swept off her feet by the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.
Why did you pick to write books for MG and YA?
When I started writing my first book, I happened to be reading a lot of YA paranormal and YA fantasy. I really loved both genres and wanted to try my hand at something along those lines. Later, when my kids started reaching the middle grade years, I co-wrote my first MG book with my brother, David Fraser. He also has kids in that age range, and we wanted to write something that they would enjoy.
What types of books do you like to read?
I’m most likely to pick up a mystery, fantasy, or sweet romance. However, I’ll give just about anything a try.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I LOVE Disney World and am constantly concocting some sort of excuse to try to get myself there. To tide me over between trips, I have a Disney blog.
Tell us about Shadows of New York and how the story came to be.
This book is MG paranormal, but more importantly, it’s a story about friendship, acceptance, and doing what is right. That makes the book sound kind of preachy. It’s not, though. There’s a lot of humor in it. As for how it came about… well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say I had a dream that set me on the path to this novel.
Here a peek at Shadows of New York:
What do you do when your view of the world gets turned on its head? Eleven-year-old Josh Cooper is surprised when his new nanny ends up being a dude, but that pales in comparison to how he feels when he learns the nanny, Aiden, is also a werewolf. Aiden teaches Josh about the Imaginary World, even introducing him to his friends Larry Fancypants (a suave-yet-goofy vampire) and Steve Lickerman (a tall-yet-meek leprechaun). This fascinating world seems harmless, until Josh learns of the shadowy wraith that’s stalking New York, attacking creatures and stealing their powers. As werewolves are ideally suited for fighting wraiths, Aiden is called upon to help capture the elusive Mr. Midnight, unintentionally drawing Josh even deeper into the strange and mysterious.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
My YA paranormal romance, Dream Shade, is the story of a teenaged girl who is being haunted. She has to figure out how to help the spirits in order to put them back to rest. Also, she’s crushing on the cutest guy in school, who actually seems to notice her. My José Picada, PI series, co-written with my brother Dave, is a paranormal mystery series with a somewhat slapdash female lead character, Josie Cates. She’s really fun to write!
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
Dave and I are working on the third and fourth installments of the José Picada, PI series. Big things are coming Josie’s way! After that, we’re planning a sequel for Shadows of New York.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Write what you know, what you love, and what intrigues you.
Where can readers find you and your books?
Facebook author page
Barnes & Noble