You all know that I love anything having to do with Witches or Salem (A town I lived in for many years and has a special place in my heart)
I am so happy to have Jack Heath here today to talk about the book he co-wrote with John Thompson called Salem IV.
- Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I guess I’m a media guy at heart. I have worked as a TV News reporter at stations in New England and host an afternoon talk radio show. I live in New Hampshire and grew up North of Boston. I have been fortunate to have covered some big stories in New England and done a lot of national reporting for the Presidential election cycles.
- When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business?
My wife reminds me that when we first met when I worked at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine, my first TV job, that I talked about one day wanting to be an author. I think it is good that my first book, Salem VI comes now, more in my head to tell. I guess it comes down to story-telling for me.
- Can you tell me a little bit about your book and what inspired it?
Salem VI: Rebecca’s Rising came to me on a family vacation a few years ago. But it came to me really because of my growing up in the next town to Salem, Massachusetts. Ever since I was a boy, I remember my father or grandparents telling me I was a direct descendant or Rebecca Nurse who was hanged in the Salem witch trials 320 years ago, and I was descended also from her accusers. So, my media mind always thought it would be a cool novel if I used some real history and came up with my big twist, what if the Salem witch trials were not really what we know them to be? What if the Judges were the witches and the accused were really God’s true children and what if it still going on today in Salem?
- What do you hope that readers take way with them after reading your book?
Some new thoughts and appreciation for the great, rich history of Salem and maybe, a new take on what really happened 320 years ago. But most of all, I hope they enjoy it and find it to be an entertaining and suspenseful read.
- I find it interesting to know what environment authors find most productive…Do you use a pen and paper or laptop? Quiet room at home or bustling café? Basically, what gets your creative juices flowing?
For me it starts with a long walk or some exercise and mentally I chew on what I want to tell. I do like to put some pen to paper before I get on my desktop. I like the quiet office at our home and I am a creature of habit so I like to work first half of the day vs. at night.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Okay, I know this will sound strange, but what scares me if people from day one of hearing about this book and the twist, and after reading it and the early reviews, most all seem to like it and lock in at the cemetery scene when the main character notices the Pentagram shape with some Putnam family grave stones. Critics have said it flows well and is a fast read…so I’m hoping this holds but I knew when it first wrote it, that the story was creative and out there.
- What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
I have a bunch, James Patterson, some old Robert Ludlum. I like suspense and I also have some life books. Oh, yeah, I dug up an old story on Bobby Orr, from 1970 when he was one of my early sports idols.
- What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like doing my radio show, it is a daily 3-6pm live show and that is a true zone for me. I like hanging with my family and playing golf. I also like the White Mountains of NH, so anytime I can run up there, I do.
- Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes, know that writing your book, as best you can, is really the first step in a long hike. Think out of the box and believe in your book. Then do all you can to sell it so the right publisher and marketing folks buy into it and love it as much if not more than you do. Then cross your fingers that the real critics dig it and most importantly, buy it. Like anything worth having, this climb is not for the timid or thin-skinned.
- What can we expect from you next?
John Thompson and I have a 3-book contract with our publisher, so I am already starting to write Book 2 in the Salem Witch Trilogy. John Andrews lives on to fight the spiritual forces at work from his ancestors and that is all I can tell you without spoiling it.
- Do any animals share your life? Please tell us about them.
Tow Boston Terriers run the house. Dutchess is an older one, kind of spoiled and quiet whereas Bruin (named after my Stanley Cup Boston Bruins) is crazy and loves to play non-stop. If I am writing at my computer and ignoring her, she will find a ball of baseball hat of mine and come throw at me with her mouth or try to jump into my lap to get between me and the keyboard. I don’t think she’s a big fan of the book yet.
And now for a little bit of fun:) This or That?
Coffee or Tea? Coffee, 1-1/2 cup per morning. No more caffeine.
Sweet or Salty? Salty.
Beach or Lake? Beach.
Winter or Summer? Winter for skiing.
Cats or Dogs? Definitely dogs.
Zombies or Vampires? Zombies.
Country or City? Country.
Shower or Bath? Showers.
Morning or Evening? Morning.
M&Ms or Skittles? M&M’s.
Trains or Planes? Planes.
Comedy or Drama? Drama.
Title: Author of Salem IV: Rebecca's Rising
Series: Salem VI Trilogy #1
Series: Salem VI Trilogy #1
Author: Jack Heath and John Thompson
Reading level: Adult
Size: 336 pages
E-Book Release Date: July 19th 2012Hardcover Release Date: September 28th 2012
Publisher: Pressque Publishing
Having stepped off the fast track of primetime network television news, John Andrews has chosen a quieter life as editor of Salem News, a small paper in a quiet New England town. Life is perfect until Andrews’ wife is killed in a tragic accident. After several years of trying to numb the pain with alcohol, Andrews is visited by the spirit of a long dead ancestor who opens a door to a shocking family history. After he experiences a surreal glimpse into the past, Andrews must confront the question of whether he is losing his mind or whether for several hundred years his ancestors have been engaged in a secret battle with a coven that worships Satan. Fueled by the need to understand whether his wife's death was really an accident or something far more sinister, Andrews, along with his beautiful assistant editor, risk everything to discover a truth so horrifying it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he knows and loves.
Jack Heath is the host of NH Today, New Hampshire’s only live afternoon radio talk show, and cohost of Sport Legends of New England with Bob Lobel, which can be seen throughout New England on Comcast Spotlight. A direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse, the last person to be tried and hanged during the Salem Witch Trials, and Ann R. Putnam, one of her accusers, his first novel, Salem VI, is an altogether modern take on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Jack's Website: http://www.jackheathradio.com
John Thompson spent twenty-five years as an investment banker in New York before retiring to write full time. He is the author of the Brent Lucas trilogy, The Girl from Felony Bay, and coauthor of Salem VI. He lives with his wife and daughter and divides his time between Charleston, South Carolina and Hawley, Pennsylvania.
John's Website: http://www.booksbyjohnthompson.com/