Wednesday, October 28, 2020

H.M. Gooden Interview - The Cursed Heart

Photo Content from H. M. Gooden

H. M. Gooden has always loved the world of books, but over the last few years a new story has begged to be told, and as a result, her first series was born. In between dealing with children and work, the majority of the actual writing happens between four and six am and involves multiple cups of coffee for inspiration.


Tell us your latest news.
Well, as 2020 hasn’t been crazy enough, my entire family and I will be moving in the next few days, back to the same small town I grew up in. Needless to say, this has interrupted my writing schedule a smidge!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I’ve always loved books about magic and those with strong, relatable main characters. Not perfect, but someone you would be able to hang out with, maybe watch a movie or enjoy talking with. For me, that meant authors like Piers Anthony, Mercedes Lackey, and Stephen King, as well as Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz. I read widely in multiple genres. Right now, I’m devoring Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I would say that my reading helps me gather ideas, as well as gives me the nudge to get the stories in my head out into the world.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Having friends and family read and enjoy my books, as well as hearing from people how much their kids love my books. But I have to admit the most amazing part was a few months ago—my 9 year old ran out of graphic novels and was left reading my book- and they loved it!

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want them to enjoy themselves, maybe even see themselves in the characters, but I really hope I’m adding to books people can enjoy that leave them feeling more positive about the world in general.

In your newest book; THE CURSED HEART (Born of Destiny #2), can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
This book grew out of an anthology I was supposed to write. Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t plot, so this is the second attempt to write Robin’s story.

The first attempt is now book 3 in the series, and books 1& 2 will introduce the main characters in prequel form where they come into their powers and figure out the world is not exactly what they thought it was.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Back to the silly plotting problem- my brain is the distraction!

What part of Robin did you enjoy writing the most?

I liked writing the backstory about her mother. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and legends, and I enjoyed exploring a lesser known (to me anyway!) legend from Scotland.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?

In this case, I would say Robin grows the most, really coming into her own and becoming more responsible.

It’s been a good year for reading. I’ve enjoyed a mix of ficiton and nonfiction, so I'll do both- 
  • 1) The Dresden files--- loving the series so much! Talk about a world!
  • 2) Akata witch- Really find the mythology here engaging. Based on African magic systems, I’ve never read anything like it!
  • 3) The Others- this series makes me want to hang out with werewolves in a way I’ve never thought of before!
  • 4) Lockwood and co series- fantastic steampunk/ghost story with a spin I was sorry to see end!
  • 5) Atomic habits- great way to get more productive
  • 6) Factfulness- a book with a lot of statistics that strangely made me feel the world is getting better- which was very beneficial right now!
  • 7) The miracle of Morning pages- super helpful and short, great way to look at journal writing for any creative.
  • 8) The Witches of London trilogy—I absolutely loved this series, and was sad to see the author started as trad pub and then indie published. I think there are more stories that could have been told here and it was a lot shorter than I’d hoped.
  • 9) Magic to the Bone- this UF series blew my mind and was gritty and realistic while having a huge bummer of a side effect to using magic—imagine losing memories every time.
  • 10) Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman- fantastic, as per usual. Loved how he weaves the norse mythology into a way that made sense (they are tricky stories!)
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
I’m kind of known for ridiculous facts- my brother and I used to compete over them, and my husband thinks I’m his own personal google lol

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Hot air ballooning, hands down. Totally crazy, and I’m terrified of heights!

Best date you've ever had?
Being on my first date with my husband. I can’t duplicate that!

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when?
Last year, I went as Elf on the shelf. (Because I’m lazy and had Christmas pj’s from the year before lol)

What event in your life would make a good movie?
My life is a series of events that resemble Bridget Jones Diary. The title would be “It seemed like a good idea at the time”

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Getting into Med school. That really shaped me as an adult more than any other thing I can point to, because my lens on life shifted dramatically after being surrounded by life and death.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
I’m terrified of millipedes. NASTY!! All those legs. Shudder!

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
Just writing in a coffee shop at 6 am, watching the sun come up and thinking that I was exactly where I was meant to be.

I started writing when I was a kid- technically, I was first published around age 6, with a short Santa story in the paper. It wasn’t until after my last child was born in 2015 that I seriously started writing during Nanowrimo. I’d tried a few times in high school and university, but no matter what I tried it ended up having magic in it. Once I finally allowed the magic to stay, I couldn’t stop myself.

My friends and family weren’t surprised- I’m the person who scared us silly making up witch stories as a kid, and I’m always off on a tangent somewhere. Writing allows me to follow my thoughts to interesting places and my loved ones have been nothing but supportive.

“Be careful what you are willing to trade away for dreams. Nothing is worth losing yourself for, no matter what."

When Robin loses the role she wanted in the school play to her biggest rival, her dreams are crushed.

Until an old family heirloom arrives unexpectedly in the mail.

Suddenly, she hears music in her dreams and her biggest rival may find they are the one in danger.

What is Robin willing to trade to get her deepest desire?

You can purchase The Cursed Heart at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you H.M. GOODEN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Cursed Heart (Born of Destiny #2) by H.M. Gooden.