Heidi Nicole Bird has been writing for as long as she can remember and it is her favorite thing in the world. Heidi is a regular NaNoWriMo participant and is mostly a young adult fantasy writer, but also likes to write juvenile fiction and other genres. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Brigham Young University and she looks forward to exploring the genre of historical fiction. Heidi lives in Utah with her family and three dogs, and loves working from home as a full time writer. Heidi’s favorite author is Lisa Mangum and one of her goals in life is to be able to write books that are as gripping as hers are.
Heidi’s advice for other writers: Never, ever, give up! That’s always the first thing I tell people. I always dreamed of this happening, but I don’t know that I ever thought it actually would until a couple years ago. You never know what will happen, and the only way to find out is to keep going.
Heidi has just released a story called ‘Through the Paper Wall’ and is currently working on publishing ‘Ontario’, which will probably be released in May. She’s also finishing up a young adult fantasy, that she’s particularly fond of, which is entitled ‘Lorn’.
Through the Paper Wall is about Jesse, a lonely thirteen-year old boy who has been drug across the country by his father, who is pursuing his old high school love after the death of his wife. In Jesse’s search of his new house he finds a tunnel leading from his basement, and he recruits a new friends to help him explore. The two of them find themselves in a city completely run by teenagers who control everyone using microchips. Jesse and his new friend Jake have to work to overthrow the ones in control in order to free themselves and everyone else. The idea of the story just sort of hit her. The first part, about a kid finding the tunnel in the wall, came to her a long, long time ago, and she just decided to run with it this past November. She got stuck for a really long time, and then all of a sudden the fantasy stuff just appeared and she ended up writing an insane amount, writing half the book in only three days, if she remembers correctly.
Heidi writes in a specific style that is family friendly. She likes romance, but she doesn’t go overboard, and she never gets overly violent either. In ‘Through the Paper Wall’ there is a message, and that’s to realize the good in what you have. You can’t spend your life comparing it to what could have been, or what someone else has. The people in your life are doing their best and you choose if you are going to be happy or not.
Jesse entered the storage room and Jake followed, his eyes never leaving the picture, which he had to duck under so he wouldn’t hit his head. Jesse closed the door behind them and sighed. … As the tunnel came into view, Jake stopped.
“Whoa!” he said. “That’s crazy!” He pointed at the tunnel and looked at Jesse.
“I know!” Jesse said, nodding excitedly. “And you won’t believe how far it goes. I didn’t even go very far, but it goes way farther than our property, that’s for sure, and I still couldn’t see the end. It just seems to go on forever!”
“Does it go down at all?” Jake asked, coming over and running his hand along the edge of the tunnel, as if he was convincing himself that it was actually there.
“Not that I remember,” Jesse said, watching him. “As far as I could tell it just kept going on straight forever.”
“Weird,” Jake said, standing back up and dusting his hands off on his pants. “That would go straight under the highway.”
“That’s what I thought,” Jesse said.
“There did used to be miners who lived here for a while I think, but that might only be one of those rumors that flies around. People say all sorts of things about the people who used to live here ‘way back when.’”
“What sort of rumors?” Jesse asked, intrigued.
“Well, the old folks around here say that weird things used to happen around these parts fairly often,” Jake said shrugging. “In fact, I think a lot of what people have to say is about your house. That’s why I was surprised that you’d moved in here. Nobody has lived here for as long as most of us can remember. Of course that isn’t saying much in my case, but others who’ve lived here for a long time . . .”
“What weird things were going on?” Jesse asked. “And what do they have to do with my house?”
“Well,” Jake said, shifting the things in his belt. “If I remember right, it seems like a lot of things would go missing,” he said. “Things like food, and tools, and clothes and such, and they always turned up here, either in the house or just outside it.”
“So somebody was stealing things?” Jesse asked.
“That’s the weird thing,” Jake said. “It continued even as different people moved in. People would get tired of being accused of taking people’s stuff, so they’d leave, but then it would just keep going on. Finally the town stopped persecuting people because they decided it just had something to do with the house, like it was haunted or something. People must have mostly forgotten about it now, or they probably wouldn’t be so nice to you guys. Or they don’t know where you live yet.”
“Some people know where we live,” Jesse said. “My Dad’s met people and told them, and he always said they were nice. And you were nice to me when you found out,” he pointed out.
“Well,” Jake said, running one hand through his hair. “I don’t have anything against this place. Nothing weird has happened here since I’ve been here, so why should I? Plus,” he added after a few seconds, “I liked you. I didn’t want to come up with some dumb reason not to be friends with you. I didn’t believe in those legends at all anyway. Well, until maybe today.”
Jesse looked back at the tunnel, where Jake’s gaze had shifted to. He wondered if something did live in there, and if it had been stealing things from people. But why had things always ended up in the house, or outside it? Did that mean that for some reason the thing that was taking things couldn’t bring the things into the tunnel with it?
Jesse put his hands on his ears and shook his head. None of this was making sense. He felt like he had been plunged into some sort of science fiction movie and he didn’t really like it.
“Well,” Jake said after the two of them had just stood there for a few minutes. “Are we going, or what?”
Jesse looked back at the tunnel with a rekindled fear. The rumors, the fact that the adults couldn’t see the door, and the fact that the door had gone right through the picture were starting to make him think that there really was something super weird going on.
“You aren’t backing out are you?” Jake asked. Clearly the older boy had only been pulled in more by the idea of exploring, and his fear had diminished if anything.
“Of course I’m not backing out,” Jesse said, color rising in his cheeks. “Let’s go.”
Jake nodded and the two of them fell to their knees. Instead of proceeding down the tunnel, or even leaning in closer to it, they simply stayed there, rigidly poised in a half kneeling down half kneeling up sort of way.
“Alright, man,” Jake said after a few seconds of this. “We’ve just got to do it. Come on.”
And with that, the two of them checked that they had all their gear, then looked over at each other and nodded.
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