Interview with Havelah McLat, author & artist
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Havelah: I was thirteen when I wanted to be a writer. From that on, I never stop writing and I've continued grow as a writer.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Havelah: Well, it depends on what project I’m doing. I usually write short stories when I first started as a newbie writer. Now, I’ve been writing novellas and a few novels in the past few years. I can say one novel I did took me nine months, which now I regret because I lost my motivation to continue the project. The previous novel project took me about two months for the first draft. Short stories, on the other hand, they don’t take too long to write. All stories I've done in the past are all different. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Havelah: I talk to myself, or hum when I’m writing.
How do your books get published?
Havelah: I've self-published three eBooks through Smash words. Aside from that, a couple short stories have been published in anthologies and one online magazine. This year, I'm hoping to get one novel traditionally publish. If it get accepted, this would be my first debut novel.
Where do you find inspiration?
Havelah: I find inspiration from watching movies, books, sometime music, and Pinterest. There are many ways to get inspiration.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Havelah: My first story would be Amaris and the Basilisk. A short story, barely a few thousands words. I was thirteen years old when I wrote that first story.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Havelah: I like to take a walk or ride a bike when it’s nice weather, watch YouTube videos, and draw pictures. I also read books, sometimes watch movies, and spend time with my family.
What does your family think of your writing? Who is your biggest supporter?
Havelah: There are a few stories my family did read, and they liked it. They told me I have good potential to write children's stories, and they encouraged me to keep up the good work. As I got older, I shifted my writing for more Middle Grade or Young Adult readers. My biggest supporters are probably my friends.
What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Havelah: Hmm, probably world building.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Havelah: I can tell you I’ve written more short stories than novels. I did some novellas and three novels. Now, out of my many short stories, Key to a Journey: A Retelling a Classic (a story about Anastasia) is my favorite, and a novel I’m working on is my second favorite.
Do you have any suggestions to help future/aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
Havelah: Anyone can learn to be a writer. Writing is easy but it comes with discipline and hard work. It always a learning process, but can be fun. Trust your storyteller, and let your imagination fly.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Havelah: I have few close friends that read my unpublished works. They give me positive, yet honest feedbacks.
What do you think makes a good story?
Havelah: From what I learned from other writers, you need characters with motivations, and conflict to make things difficult for them from reaching their goals, and the solid content. If you have those things, that is a journey to begin with. And I repeated from the previous question is trust your storyteller. You got this.
How did you get the idea for your last book?
I was surfing through Pinterest looking for inspiration. I saw some pictures like a pocket watch, a castle, and an actress. I was surfing through Pinterest looking for inspiration. I saw some pictures like an elegant pocket watch, a castle, and an actress. Looking at them, the story popped into my mind. That is how Transport of Troubles came to be.
Thanks to Havelah for the great insight into her writing! You can check out her writing here.