Thursday, August 1, 2019

Guest post: Seneca Lake by Emily Heebner

Today my guest is Emily Heebner and she's is talking about her newest release Seneca Lake

Tell us a little about yourself.

Emily Heebner is a fiction writer, university lecturer and theatre professional. A graduate of  Cornell University, she worked extensively as an actor for many years, then wrote documentary scripts for such dvds as "The Hours," "Tuck Everlasting," "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Passion of the Christ." Her YA novel Seneca Lake was inspired by her mother's growing up in the rural Finger Lakes during WWII. When they aren't teaching, she and her film professor husband live on top of a mountain with their adopted dog and two cats.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

What I love about writing is the research process as well as the creativity that happens as I type. Once in the zone, writing appears that I didn't anticipate! I love revising, too. After getting a scene going on the page, I enjoy taking a walk, making a cup o' tea, then sitting back down to fiddle around with the text. Computers make that so easy! I remember the days of typewriters and carbon paper, so I appreciate the freedom to move text around, to park early drafts until I really trust that the new writing is better, such a luxury. I often check early drafts and discover a few gems that are worth slipping back in. Sharing the development of work with other writers, especially in a trusted critique group, is so helpful and fun because it's social!

The down side of writing is sitting in a chair for too long. Also, it can get to be quite solitary.

Give us a peek into your latest published work? 

It's 1944, and high school senior Meg Michaels has always obeyed her grandparents' wishes, till now. They're urging her to give up her dream of Cornell University and accept a ring from wealthy Hank Wickham before he deploys overseas. But Meg has studied hard and yearns for something better than life in the rural Finger Lakes. Plus Meg's suddenly fascinated with her childhood friend, Arthur Young, a handsome Seneca Indian farm worker. When Meg and Arthur nurse a sick puppy to health, their friendship transforms into love. But locals look down on "injuns" and resent the fact that Arthur's farm job exempts him from military duty. While the war rages in Europe, Meg and Arthur must fight their own battles at home…

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I'm finishing a new adult novella. And I'd like to write the sequel to Seneca Lake.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

The story is fiction but takes place in real locations that will seem familiar to those who know the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. As I said, I based the heroine on my mother who died early so writing the book was a way for me to spend time with her in my imagination.  The hero is a Seneca Indian farm worker and readers may be interested to learn about the prejudice against Native Americans during WWII. Seneca Lake itself is named after the people who were the keepers of the Iroquois nation's "Western Door" before Washington's army forced them to relocate. The area was also the birthplace of the women's movement and a stop on the Underground Railroad. There are numerous colleges and universities in the area, including Cornell University where my mom was a student. The Finger Lakes region is a scenic vacation spot with wineries, restaurants and historic homes, now bed and breakfasts. We recently stayed at one called The Fox and Grapes - fabulous!
Please include an excerpt to your book here:

When she looked up, Arthur stood close by, watching her, buttoning his shirt over his overalls. She blushed. Neither of them spoke.

They wandered among the trees toward home. White butterflies danced above the wild strawberries where the bees had been and the scent of skunk still lingered.

“You shouldn’t come out here alone,” Arthur said. “You can’t be sure what you might see.”

“Maybe you ought to wear a bathing suit.” She glanced at him but he watched the path ahead. He didn’t care that she’d seen him without his clothes on, she knew that.

“Where’d you get the welts?”

“Fell. Wrestling Ol’ Pete.”

He gently took her hand. Crickets chirruped.

Sunlight brightened the woods’ canopy as they neared the Lees’ property line. He paused.

“I’ll wait a while,” he said, letting go of her hand. “You leave first.”

She looked up. Why after so many years of thinking of him as a brother, as a pesky brother even, why suddenly did she feel so differently standing near him? She knew Gram was waiting. But she suddenly loathed the Wickhams and she couldn’t tell anyone why.

She touched a top button on his shirt. His chest rose and fell with soft breaths. She tucked a strand of wet hair behind his ear. Their foreheads pressed together, his hair falling forward around their faces. Their noses touched. Then their lips. She dangled her arms at her sides so she wouldn’t bump his sores.

Buy Links:

Amazon link:

Barnes & Nobel:

Social media links:



"Meet the Author" video:




Nice getting to know you better!

Petie McCarty said...

Enjoyed the interview!
All best, Petie

M. S. Spencer said...

Love upstate NY! I went to college in the Hudson Valley, but when in graduate school one of my best friends had gone to Cornell, and we did a road trip through NY and Canada to Chicago, stopping at Cornell. Lovely area.
btw, Marie, there's no way to share this post that I can find?

Cadence said...

Nice interview. I've been to upstate NY many times growing up. Love the area.

CB Clark said...

Interesting post. It's always nice to learn more about fellow authors. Good luck with this new release.

Sadira Stone said...

What a lovely first kiss!

Christine said...

Nice getting to know you- my likes and dislikes of writing are the same as yours- except add 'social media marketing' to dislikes -- a necessary evil! Good luck with your book!
Christine Samuelson

Emily Heebner said...

Thank you All for your comments! This is my first writer's blog and I so appreciate Marie's generosity! You are all so dear!

Happy Writing (: