An Interview with Heather Christie, Author of What the Valley Knows - Giveaway

What The Valley Knows
Heather Christie
Publication date: January 25th 2018
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.

When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.

The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.




An Interview with Author Heather Christie


About Heather Christie

Heather Christie grew up in rural Pennsylvania and, at age seventeen, took off for New York City in hopes of becoming a movie star. Flash forward several decades, a couple degrees, a bunch of cats, two kids and one husband later, she's back in Pennsylvania writing her heart out and chasing dreams again. She loves to read, run, drink tea, and make Sunday dinner. Follow her blog at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com and say “hello” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Welcome to Character Madness and Musings.

Tell us a little bit about why you write in your chosen genre, and if you have books in other genres as well.


I fell into the YA genre by accident. Initially, What The Valley Knows was told from six points of view: four adults, and two teenagers. The novel was my creative thesis in my MFA program and as I worked through revisions, the points of view whittled to three: two high school seniors (Molly Hanover and her boyfriend Wade Thornton) and one adult (Molly’s mother Ann Hanover). The book straddles the line between YA and adult fiction, but ultimately if it must be put in a box, I’d stick it in the YA container. My hope is that it appeals to both audiences. However, I’ve learned that it’s harder to sell a book to a big traditional publishing house if it blurs the genre line.


What was the title of your first book, and what was/is it about?
What The Valley Knows is my first book. Millington Valley is a quintessential small Pennsylvania town: families go back generations. Football rules. Kids drink while adults look the other way. High school is a whirlwind of aspiration and rivalry, friendship and jealousy.

When smart and pretty Molly Hanover moves to town and attracts the attention of the football team’s hero, Wade Thornton—a nice guy with a bad drinking habit—longtime friendships are threatened and a popular cheerleader tries to turn the school against Molly.

The young couple’s future is shattered when Wade, drunk, wrecks his truck and Molly is thrown through the windshield. She wakes from a coma to find her beauty marred and her memory full of holes. As she struggles to heal, she becomes sure that something terrible happened before the accident. And there is somebody in the valley who doesn’t want her to remember.

Was it a series?

Yes, What The Valley Knows is the first in a series of three books. Each novel is set in Millington Valley and the secondary characters travel throughout subsequent stories while the main characters change, though most have cameos in their sister books.

The first book seems to be the most difficult to get off the ground. What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired to write What The Valley Knows when I became disillusioned with the corporate world. I longed for a creative outlet and started writing. At first, I had a single scene: an accident by the side of a dark, rural road and an injured girl who was terrified because she had a secret that was quickly disappearing as she lost consciousness. 


What is your most current book? 

At present, I am working on book two in the Millington Valley series: And The Valley Wept.

Is it a series? 

Yes.


Can you share a little bit about your main character and what drives them? 

Molly Hanover is the new girl in town. She’s smart, pretty, and shy. Her father died when she was a little girl and she feels it was her fault. She carries the weight of his death and it shadows every aspect of her life.

Some stories have strong themes. How important are themes in your writing? Is your theme based on the story, or are your stories birthed from a theme/or themes? 

What The Valley Knows has several important themes: first love, bullying, teen alcoholism, self-image, and sexual assault. The themes became more evident the more I got to know my characters and the more the story evolved. I’d say the characters beget the themes. My hope is the #metoo movement makes my book a timely read.

Is the theme personal for you, or simply an important issue? 

Just important issues.


What other stories have you written? 

What The Valley Knows is my first book.


I love to bounce around websites because I’ve found I can learn so much about an Author there. Do you have a website, blog, or other place where you showcase your work?
Yes, I blog the first Sunday of the month at www.HeatherChristieBooks.com


So many Authors are artists by nature. Do you have any other artwork or hobbies you do on a consistent basis?

I love to knit, but I find my fiber arts take a back seat when I am focused on crafting a novel as the writing process consumes all of my creative energy. I also enjoy running, which allows me to clear my mind and think about my manuscript without the pressure of the keyboard and a blank screen.. 


What were your passions growing up? 

As a teenager, I wanted to be an actress. In fact, I was on a work-study program with my high school and spent half of the day in class and half of the day in New York City going on auditions. 


What are your passions now? 

Writing, reading, running, cooking, and sometimes knitting.


Thank you for joining us today. We’re looking forward to seeing the books you’ll be showcasing in the future.

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