Hezekiah (Author Interview)



Hezekiah looks like a great young adult fantasy book.  What can you tell us about it?

At its heart, Hezekiah is about family, friendship, and freewill. It’s written from Hez’s perspective and his style adjusts through the book based on what’s going on in his life at that time.

In the beginning the story details Hez’s difficult life. Some members of his family suffer from mental illness, Hez is mentally and physically abused, and he has absolutely no freewill. He’s raised in a cult like religion that does not permit independent thinking. In time, Hez realizes he has fantastic abilities that let him visit other realms inhabited by special beings that he can bring back for protection and friendship. He develops a special bond with one in particular who he names Vrail.

His life hits a turning point after an experimentation with his ability goes poorly and he ends up in the hands of Gods Own. He learns there are others with powers and he has to decide whether to trust them and join a war he did not know existed, or stay isolated and in hiding.


How long did it take you to write Hezekiah?

It took around 4 years to finish writing it. The first third of the book was difficult to write and once I completed that part, I paused the story. After taking a break for a few months I continued with the rest of the book which really took the story in an enjoyable direction and it let Hez have some happiness in his life. I made so many edits after that. I wanted to make sure I was portraying all of the characters and what they mean to me correctly.

The next book has been moving much quicker and I have the first part drafted and I’m well into the second part. I’ve found that I really like having three parts in my books.

That’s an amazing cover.  Can you tell us a little about it?

I am not at all a visually creative person so I sought help. I reviewed many design portfolios online and came across one for Luisa Galstyan. Immediately I knew she was the person I wanted to create the cover. Her style is very fairytale and that was what I had imagined for Hezekiah and his friends. I told Luisa a bit about the story and the characters who are most important to me and she fully executed two designs for me and I love them both. She found ways to bring in hints about the various characters abilities and that was an amazing surprise.

What motivated you to become a writer?

When I was in third grade I wrote a short story about a monkey who finds a magic banana that let him grow to the size of a skyscraper. He then wielded the banana like a sword to defend the city from giant monsters. After finishing that story, I knew I wanted to write stories and share them with others.


How did you come up with the story in Hezekiah?

Vrail and a handful of the characters in the book were my imaginary friends growing up. When I decided it was time to fulfill my dream and write and publish a book, I knew it had to be about them and this fantastical reality I’ve carried with me for much of my life. Vrail is by far the character that means the most to me, but my test readers all loved a character named Boone.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Hezekiah?

Writing about abuse, the reality of mental illness, and the impact of a destructive religion in the first part of the book. That’s a hard thing to do. A theme through Hez’s story is around when people are and are not responsible for their actions and who gets to make those decisions.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I’m always reading at least three books, I love to hike and wish I had more opportunities to do it, and over the past few years I’ve amped up my crocheting.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

So, I’ve never been a fan of social media/networking, but I’ve finally created some accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. I’ve really only started posting on Twitter. I did have a small website created too and I plan on posting updates and some more information there.