Publisher: Alluvion Press
Publish Date: October 25, 2012
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Mae McBride and Heidi Foster were the very best of friends. Tied at the hip from early elementary school, their relationship was the stuff of storybooks, legendary even, in the minds of their high school classmates.
That is, until Mae's father died while saving Heidi's life. When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi’s side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger.
At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly; wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship she misses so dearly.
Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father’s motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother’s grief, loses more and more of herself.
What could possibly bring these two old friends back to each other? A miracle?
Hating Heidi Foster, is a young adult novel about the place of honor true friendships hold in our lives. It is about suffering and loss and the ethics of grief. It is about a deep and painful conflict, the bright light of selflessness and sacrifice and the love that rights the ship and carries us safely to port.
Author Bio: Jeffrey Blount is an Emmy award-winning television director and an award recipient for scriptwriting on multiple documentary projects. Born and raised in rural Virginia, he now lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Jeanne Meserve. They have two children, Julia and Jake.
Author Interview: Please tell us about your current release.
My latest work is the novel, Hating Heidi Foster. Simply put, it’s a story about the place of honor true friendships hold in our lives. It’s about two teenage girls, Mae McBride and Heidi Foster, who’ve been the very best of friends since early elementary school. They were so close they might as well have been sisters. By the time they’d arrived at high school, their friendship had reached legendary status in the minds of their classmates. No one would have believed that anything could hurt it, much less shake it to its core. But it happens when Mae’s father dies while saving Heidi’s life.
Mae blames Heidi and her father for, in her mind, choosing Heidi over her. She withdraws from her friends and actively displays a raw and destructive hatred towards her old friend.
Heidi is overcome with grief and guilt. She has problems eating and falls into a deep depression while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship she misses so dearly.
What could possibly bring these two girls back together?
Hating Heidi Foster explores the depth and impact of the connections between family and friends, all the while inspiring readers to consider the value of their own relationships.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The inspiration for Hating Heidi Foster came to me while observing a touching moment between my teenage daughter and her best friend.
Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?
It was actually quite a brief journey. My daughter, Julia and her best friend Emily, had been friends since second grade. The idea for the book came to me in the fall of their senior year of high school. I was watching them among a group of friends, the two of them sharing a moment, talking and laughing with the intimacy of old friends. While watching them, I thought about the fact that they would be graduating in a few months and going to college a thousand miles apart. Four years later, they could be half a country or half a world apart. When life intruded, would they even have time to remember that they’d shared this particular moment? Or all of the other moments over the years? It saddened me to think that one day they might forget what their friendship meant. I decided that I would write a novel as a tribute to that friendship and give it to them as a graduation present, a kind of memory box for the years to come.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?
No, I really wouldn’t. It says everything that I needed it to say.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time to write was definitely the most difficult part of completing the book. There was my job, normal family life with two kids, all of the stress of the college application process and the many ceremonies of senior year. It was a very busy time. So I wrote early in the morning and very late at night. But I did finish the book in time to hand it to Julia and Emily just before graduation.
Do you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?
I do sometimes listen to music when I write. Mostly, I use it to help create the mood I want for certain scenes. If I’m planning to write a sad part of the story then I might listen to something very moving before I start. And it can be anything from contemporary chart music to classical. Hating Heidi Foster was written while listening to the soundtrack from the movie Road to Perdition.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Maybe the fact that I often write in a dark room with only the light of the computer or the computer and one desk light. It helps me focus.
Do you plan any subsequent books?
Yes, I most certainly do.
Please tell us your latest news.
Well, I’m in the initial phase of presenting Hating Heidi Foster to the world, so the novel is my latest news. I’m happy to see it online and at bookstores and doing well.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d like to say how happy I am to hear how Hating Heidi Foster has touched people. I treasure the feedback and the contact with readers, so I would love for them to continue the conversation about the book by writing on my author Facebook page which can be accessed via my website. I truly appreciate the support for my novel.