Sunday, December 1, 2013


Name: Heidi Boyd
Email Address: hr-boyd at hotmail dot com
Age Category: MG
Genre: Lower-fantasy
Other age categories and genres I like to write:  MG mystery, YA lower fantasy with a bit of romance thrown in for kicks and giggles.
Twitter Handle: @heidi_boyd
Chapter excerpt is from: Chapter Two

500 word excerpt:

Nicole watched him go. Her gaze skimmed past the fireplace in the great room below her as her brother walked by it. She stilled and the room tunneled into silence. There in the hearth, where she’d stood just minutes before, a cheery fire flickered and danced, warming the entire room.

“Wait!” Nicole yelled. A chill settled into her core and it had little to do with the temperature. She tore her focus away from the fire and blinked rapidly, trying to unsee what she knew she had just seen. “Wh—when did you have time to light a fire?”

“I didn’t light the fire. You did. Or Dad did. Or the fire king did. Not me.”


“See ya.” And off he ran.

Nicole stood completely still near the top of the stairs, trying her best not to breathe, for fear of what might happen. She bit her lip, reasoning through her confusion. Two fires in one day! Two unexplainable fires starting in one day. What was wrong with her?

There was a simple explanation. There had to be. Dad was here somewhere, right?

“Dad?” she called.

No answer.

Okay. So someone else had come in and started the fire. In the two minutes it took her to climb the stairs? Nicole shook her head.

“I’ve got to get out of here.”

 She rushed up the remaining stairs, choosing to ignore all thoughts of fires and concentrate instead on taking a nice hot shower. If she ever had another day like today, where unexplainable things happened all around her, she’d go crazy for sure. And then where would they all be? Maybe they’d be better off building their own private family wing at Heavenspot.

Just as she reached the bathroom at the top of the stairs, the front door slammed open again. “Nic!” Nathan yelled up to her. “Dad said we’re going to see Gran. Meet us by the truck. And don’t spend so much time on your girl stuff. Hurry up.”

            Nicole huffed out her held breath, shoulders sinking in defeat. Her shower would have to wait. But at least she’d warmed up a bit, and if she hurried she could put on some clothes that didn’t smell like the inside of a chimney.

Freshly clothed, Nicole bounded down the stairs five minutes later. She grabbed her sweater off the coat rack and turned toward the door. Summer had started the week before, but she was still waiting for someone to tell the weather. Stepping onto the back porch the frigid breeze hit her skin, and she rubbed away the goosebumps on her arms. June in Montana was never warm enough.

Nathan stood near the pond, and he waved her over as he belched out, “Over here.” A small laugh escaped before Nicole could remind herself that almost thirteen-year-old girls thought burping was gross, not funny. She covered her mouth, chased her smile off her face, and then ran toward her brother.

Standing in front of the pond, she pushed away the urge to shove Nathan in.

Bio: I write MG and YA and read as much of each genre as I can get my hands on. I’m lucky enough to live in Montana and love love love it here. Writing from home, while my three sons are at school, is one of the joys of my life. I feel lost without a book in my hands or a laptop at my fingertips, and I think Stranger Than Fiction and Crazy, Stupid, Love are two of the best movies ever made. If you cut me, I might bleed Diet Dr. Pepper, and a bag of Twizzlers Nibs fuels my word count every day. I’ve been a finalist in three separate online writing contests, including Pitch Wars. I smile ALL the time, seriously, you could bounce a quarter off my cheek muscles.

Critiquing Style: I prefer to do line edits and make general comments in the margins throughout the story via a word document. I think it’s important to point out the things I love, and what is working, along with what I think could use work. I like to give specific ideas and examples for fixes as well as ask questions that might spur creative thought. Character authenticity and voice are my biggest strengths, but I don’t fuss too much with punctuation.     


Amy said...

Hi! I also write MG, upper MG, and YA speculative fiction, mostly fantasy, but some others. I love the way you describe your critiquing style. If you're interested in trying out a swap, I'd be game. If not, no worries and the best of luck to you! Your story sounds great!

Mayken said...

I really like your excerpt. Never been to Montana, I'm afraid.
I write upper MG, fantasy and magical realism. (My MG magical realism excerpt is just below yours.) Would love to swap with you. Good luck with your story. The excerpt made me very curious!

Kaitlin Hundscheid said...

Ooooh, I love stories w/ siblings and enjoy the voice here.

Becky Fettig said...

I also write MG and like your writing style, similiar to mine :) I've critiqued other MGs and a YA so I think I could be a good match.

If you don't wish to send sample chapters to see, I'll understand. I'm at the top of the list, Rebecca Fettig

Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, I wanted to read more!

My entry is for a YA thriller (about a gender-swapped Bruce Wayne but if you don't think that is your cup of tea, I do have a MG fantasy adventure I'd be willing to send your way instead. That one is about a penniless princess who is desperate for gold to pay goblin healers to save her best friend's life and embarks on a treasure hunt.