Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Author Interview ~ Haley Whitehall

I’m so happy Haley said yes to an interview! Let’s get it rolling…

Haley, where in the world is your home?

I am from Wenatchee, Washington.

When did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside, back then?

I began telling stories when I was four. My parents would write them down for me. Sometimes I woke them in the middle of the night with a creative idea that couldn’t wait till morning.

I wrote my first story in the first grade. It was a tall tale about my historical hero Davy Crockett. I was very proud of myself. I loved the feeling of creating something. My teacher typed up the story and I shared it with the class. I felt “published” right then and there. I was a shy child and writing made me feel powerful and allowed me to create friends with the stroke of my pencil.

I love that you’d wake your parents :-) Speaks of your sense of “author-ity”.

Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a “writer”?

I started to think of myself as a writer in the first grade. My teacher told me that I was talented with words and was going to be a writer someday. Now that I have a growing portfolio of pieces I’ve written, some nearly ready to be submitted to agents, I also call myself a writer.

What are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?

I want to write novels and children’s books. I have so many ideas I hope I get the time to write them all down. I’d like to earn enough to support myself by doing what I love–writing. As a historical fiction writer, I want to share/teach history through my work.

Noble goal

How did you decide to write historical fiction?

When I was younger I experimented with other genres. Some writers are versatile and some find their niche. I spent much of my childhood on my grandparents’ ranch which made me day dream about pioneer times. I was also strongly influenced by John Wayne movies and other westerns which is popular entertainment in my family. I wrote my first novel, when I was 12, about a pioneer family. The research I did for that book led me to explore the Civil War and I instantly fell in love with that tumultuous time. Historical fiction inspires my creativity. It just fits me.

Have you had any “formal” training in the art of writing?

I’ve taken a few creative writing classes in college and have been to a few writing workshops but that is all.

What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?

Reading books like crazy to find out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve also written daily for years. It took me a while but I discovered my genre, historical fiction, and my voice/style. Getting involved in my local writer’s organization, Write on the River, being involved in writers groups [including starting my own online group] where I acquire numerous critique partners, attending workshops and conferences, and networking with other writers.

So, who are your favorite writers and why are they favorites?

I have many favorite writers. Mark Twain and Ann Rinaldi are among my favorite historical fiction writers. My writing style/voice has been influenced by them. I also like the prolific writers Gary Paulson and Avi. Their books are well-written, creative, easy reads which help me escape the present when I need a break. However, my favorite book of all time is the Civil War YA novel, Rifles for Watie, by Harold Kieth, winner of the 1958 Newbery Medal.

Where and/or how do you get your ideas for your writing?

That is a question that is nearly impossible to answer but I will try anyway. My overactive imagination even surprises me sometimes. Sometimes ideas just pop into my head and I have no idea where they came from. Other ideas are inspired by something I’ve seen on TV, something I’ve read or a dream I’ve had. I believe that my Muse, Clio, is always busy getting me ideas.

I’ve also found out the name of my Muse

Are you published?

I have published a magazine article. However, I’ve realized that my true passion is novel writing. I will be submitting query letters for several of my W.I.P’s soon. If all goes well I hope to be published again in the not too distant future.

Tell us about your blog: its purpose, how you go about deciding what to post, and what you want to do with it in the future?

My blog is dedicated to writing. I share my thoughts, experiences and what I have learned as I soldier through the writing world and this is not going to change. I write to help/inspire other writers, get help from others, and to network with the global writing community. I am part of the post a day challenge. I seldom plan out what I am going to write. I wake up and wait for my muse to give me an idea. Often it is related to what I am currently working on in my W.I.P.

Haley, thank you for this interview!

O.K., dear readers, time to ask Haley a few questions :-)
Be sure to check out Haley’s Second Interview—after she published her Debut Novel :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book

11 responses to “Author Interview ~ Haley Whitehall

  1. Pingback: Want to know more about me? « Soldiering through the Writing World  

  2. wovenstrands March 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I learned so much about you today in this 5 min read than I did all yesterday ;)
    Again, a pleasure <3


  3. Selena March 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your work, Haley!

    Alexander — thanks for sharing this conversation with Haley..


  4. Karla Telega March 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    My daughter wrote “Haggy in the Closet” when she was four. I loved that book. I love to read historical fiction. I’m always surprised by some everyday reality of early days that I never even considered.


    • HaleyWhitehall March 10, 2011 at 12:41 am

      Hi Karla,
      Yay for another historical fiction lover! There needs to more of those people in the world. When I reflect on my childhood I am often surprised at how certain moments have impact who I have become. So is your daughter going to be a writer too? Writing stories at four is a good sign!


  5. Pingback: Author Interview ~ Haley Whitehall Debuts First Novel « Notes from An Alien

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