An Interview with the July Word Weaver Writing Contest Winner, HEATHER KINDT

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As we get ready to announce the newest winner of our Word Weaver Writing Contest, I thought it’d be fun to talk with the winner of our prior contest.

Heather Kindt did what you wanna do.She took a deep breath and entered my contest after sitting on her story forever. She took 1st place in the July Word Weaver contest, and like the winner before her,

that was the push she needed to publish her book, Ruby Slips and Poker Chips.

Now she’s living the dream – and learning the ins and outs of being a published author.

Pull up a chair. There’s stuff you wanna know here.


DAN: What inspired Ruby Slips?

Heather Kindt: The most terrible principal I ever had. She had spiky blonde hair and rode a Harley.

I liked the main character a lot. Ruby Slips and Poker Chips was a fun surprise – and when I caught on to the parody element, I was completely hooked.

Why did you decide to do a parody-tribute to the Wizard of Oz?

author Heather Kindt

I’m don’t really remember how it went the Wizard of Oz route. I think in my mind at the time she really seemed like the wicked witch to me. And I left a lot of her wickedness out of the book. She had an obsession with a different singer, but I changed it to protect the innocent. There are two other minor characters in the book that are based off real people, but their names are changed.

I ran into “Mr. Pellitier” the art teacher at the grocery store the other day. I told him he was in the book. He definitely wants a copy. He was one of my sounding boards that year and has a real caring and compassionate way about him.

There are a lot of ways to take the “bad boss” story; what obstacles did you encounter along the way? Like, did you find yourself at times trying to force something to fit the Oz framework?

It was fun to try to fit the story to the Wizard of Oz. I think the most difficulty I had was learning about writing. From the beginning, I wanted to backstory all the board members (who have really interesting lives), but they were minor characters. In the end, you as the reader only know Corbin and a little bit about Percy.

The most fun I had was developing the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion.

What does it look like if someone doesn’t have a brain, a heart, or courage?

How do they act?

– Heather Kindt

I also enjoyed finding ways to mimic the book. I love the part when Westward comes in and steals Toto from Dottie’s cassette player. Just like in the movie, the witch takes Toto from Dorothy at the beginning of the story. I also love the rescue scene, but I won’t go too far into that because you need to read the book.

Dottie’s my favorite character in the story, no doubt. I love the funny, snarky attitude. Do you have a favorite character in it?

I think other than Dottie, Shay’s my favorite character. I love that he stands up to Dottie and gives her a run for her money. I think this is what draws her to him.

What was the big difference in getting you to take your story from “polishing forever” to making the leap to decide to publish it?

The reason I decided to stop polishing my story forever was taking the leap to enter Dan’s contest.

– Heather Kindt

I’d sent another book of mine to multiple agents, but received lots of rejection letters. Life got in the way and I wasn’t writing as much. After all, I have a full time job, a twelve and a fourteen year old, and a husband. Life can get a little hectic.

Last Christmas my husband said he wanted to redo an “office” room in our house for me. I got to have creative license. The first thing to go was the dark brown paint – now it’s a pale blue/gray and a lot lighter in there. Much more welcoming.

When I won Dan’s contest, I started writing again. Dan critiqued my writing and helped me clean up my manuscript. With the help of Moyhill Publishing, my book went from a file on the computer to something for the world to read. It’s pretty exciting.

I think the other thing that helped was I didn’t know how to self-publish. I didn’t know how to create a blog or an author’s page on Facebook. The other person who has been extremely helpful with this is Allison Maruska She’s given me a lot of insight into what’s working and what’s not on my blog site.

And here’s a weird fun fact. In my brain, I’ve pictured Ruby Slips as a rock opera set to Bon Jovi music.

– Heather Kindt

I’ve even toyed with writing it into a script. Think about Dottie singing “It’s My Life” at the beginning and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” at the end. That’s just my warped mind.

Hey, writing with a soundtrack is like the latest rage. Or it was a year ago. John Winston does it all the time and recently Allison Maruska mentioned she has certain music that she thinks of for certain scenes in her books.

So, the NEW series:

How far along is it and what is it about?

The Weaver is about a girl who learns that her characters are coming out of the book she is writing. She discovers a whole new world because being a Weaver doesn’t just affect her. There are others. One of her characters has the sole purpose of changing the ending of her book. I’ve written one and a half books out of the three book series.

Ha. Awesome. A menacing  muse.

But there are other roles like Watchers, Gate Keepers, and people gone rogue like the Wanderer.

A whole world. Rogue! That’s the word I was looking for. A rogue muse.

Definitely. And Laney’s book takes place in Revolutionary War times, so there’s that backdrop as well. She is going to college in Massachusetts.

The new series consists of: The Weaver, The Watcher, and The Ender. And The Weaver is done.


What would your estimated completion be for the trilogy?

I hope by May or June.

That’s not bad. How long did it take to write the 1 1/2 that you have?

Huh!! 8 years, but that’s with not working on them. I wrote The Weaver before I wrote Ruby Slips.

Okay, so I should have asked May or June of what year. Got it.

This year. I’m writing a lot more now.

NEXT year. June has passed for 2017.

The Weaver is more YA paranormal romance…

That’s fine. Those are hot right now. Can’t say they will be in 8 years…


Do you know how it ends?

Roughly, I know how it ends. I love the ending of the Weaver because Laney has to make a difficult choice to save somebody. I am anticipating another cliffhanger.

That’s probably a good place to end a story.

And a good place to end part 1 of our interview with Heather Kindt!

Come back tomorrow to see the rest! Heather talks about the challenges of being an author and the new world it has opened up for her.

And check out Ruby Slips and Poker Chips right now on Amazon! (Makes a great stocking stuffer.)

Heather can be found at

See you tomorrow for Part 2 of our interview!

13 thoughts on “An Interview with the July Word Weaver Writing Contest Winner, HEATHER KINDT

  1. Doh! I did not pick up that Ruby Slips was based on The Wizard of Oz. Maybe because it’s half a century since I saw the movie and have never read the book. My bad! I’m thinking I ought to re-evaulate my decision not to post a review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can always update review. Especially if you’re going to give it more stars!

      The beauty of ruby slips is, you don’t have to be a big fan of Wizard of Oz to really enjoy it. I am not hugely familiar with the Wizard of Oz story but of course I know it; reading ruby slippers, I was delighted to see all the different ways she worked it into the story. It was brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I admit until you had the line about a house fell on her, then I was like what! What what what what what? What happened here? And I was like no! Oh my god this is brilliant.

      Something like that. That was my honest reaction. I was totally smitten at that point.


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