I’m interviewing Heidi Safkas, author of non-fiction / inspirational / memoir “When All Balls Drop”. Enjoy the interview.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
I find that being an author is my true calling. It allows me to do what I love: write, inspire, travel, and learn. However, that doesn’t mean that it is easy. I would say since I have been focusing of non-fiction, memoir writing over the past years, I feel that the hardest part of being an author for me is that I relive those parts of my life, all the joy and pain together. I believe even for fiction writers, there is a deep personal connection to what one writes. I also know there is a lot of hidden truth and non-fiction in fiction.
As a side note, I do want to warn other writers that today you have to do more than write to be a successful author. You are your marketing and PR team too. You need to be an expert in social media, savvy with imaging and video, and basically a Jack or Jill of all trades.
Can you give us a short synopsis of When All Balls Drop? What inspired you to write this book?
In fall of 2009, I was visiting New York’s Hudson River Valley when in a split second, a thousand pound tree limb struck me, breaking my neck and leaving me unconscious for days. After neurosurgery and release from the hospital for a multiple month recovery far away from where home was at the time, South Florida, I also discovered my husband had been living a double life. If that wasn’t enough, I received a call from my employer forcing me to resign, thus losing my professional identity. It was a triple whammy of loss. During I was writing in a journal. It was my therapy as well as walking. Through both my writing and walking, I gradually reframed my circumstances. I decided that I had lost everything, but I had the opportunity redesign my life, having it all: health, love, and career. It was nearly a year and half after the accident while on a multiple week walkabout in South America when I decided to write When All Balls Drop, using those same journal entries as foundation.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
As a goal, I try to concentrate for only two hours by setting an alarm on my phone. However, I find that the majority of time, I pause the alarm to continue a thought or until it feels that I’m not making any good progress. There are days where I’m on a roll and I forget to eat, go to the gym much later than usual, and work all-day. Also, remember that I spend a good portion of each day aside from writing on building my audience, marketing, and PR.
Name your top five favorite books.
Kiss My Tiara by Susan J Gilman
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections Nora Ephron
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing a sequel. It will pick up where I left off in When All Balls Drop. It will begin with revisiting my roots in small-town Wisconsin. It will continue on in South Florida where I started to rebuild my life: finding a job, dating again, and changing my home. It includes a crucial therapeutic walkabout to South America. Its main theme describes the healing components of travel whether to a foreign place or somewhere as familiar as your hometown. The perspective gained from getting away completed my life change sparked by the tree in 2009.
I plan on releasing my next book in the fall of 2015. Until then, I will be promoting When All Balls Drop in Florida, Wisconsin, Kauai, and Massachusetts. You can check out my events on www.heidisiefkas.com and my Facebook page. Don’t worry! If you are in remote area, you can attend one of my virtual events.
About The Book
Title: When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything
Author: Heidi Siefkas
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Memoir
The true story of a survivor
who through losing everything,
redefined having it all
Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.
She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.
Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir–rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.
Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently crafting a sequel to this memoir, embracing both her wanderlust and love of writing by documenting her many travels. You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com, Facebook, and Twitter.