JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Iris Bolling, author of The Heart of Him
Joey Pinkney: In the interview for Once You’ve Touched the Heart, you mentioned that you wrote both that novel and The Heart of Him at the same time. What was the amount of time between to two releases?
Iris Bolling: Once You’ve Touched The Heart was released in March 2008, and The Heart of Him was released in October 2008. They were about six months apart.
JP: What did you learn from the release of Once You’ve Touched the Heart, which made The Heart of Him a better book release for you as an independent publisher?
IB: Patience! When you are a new author, it takes a minute or two or three for word to spread about your work. As an independent author, your work is questioned before the first page is turned. Understand that going in.
When you couple being a new author with being an independent author, you have to depend on word-of-mouth for publicity. I was very fortunate to have a strong cast of readers that tried my first novel. Because of them, The Heart of Him sold twice as fast as Once You’ve Touched The Heart.
Then came the demand for the third novel, Look Into My Heart. Again I would say the lesson learned between Once You’ve Touched The Heart and The Heart of Him was patience. I know we want things to happen overnight, but that only happens in fairy tales. It will all happen when it should and when you are ready, not when you want it to.
JP: Politics really revs some people up like only one other subject – religion. What has been the response to the political angle of The Heart Series from your most loyal readers, and how do you keep that momentum going?
IB: The political back drop in The Heart Series did exactly what I wanted it to do. I wanted readers to become interested in the political process, and they have. Readers tell me they look a little closer at the political process and politicians because of the novels.
The interest in what happens behind-the-scenes in political campaigns can be very intriguing, as several readers have indicated. The momentum carries forward from book to book because readers are genuinely interested in what happens next with EVERY character.
They care about the characters. Each time a new character is introduced, I get emails wanting to know if they will have a book. LOL, I love it!
JP: What makes Attorney General hopeful J.D. Harrison tick in The Heart of Him?
IB: The Heart of Him centers on JD Harrison’s campaign manager James Brooks and JD’s sister, Ashley Harrison. However, this is the book where JD, with James Brooks’ help, firmly establishes himself as a serious politician.
JP: F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as saying, “Writers aren’t exactly people, they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.” How does this relate to the way you and the characters in The Heart of Him interacted to make this portion of the series come to fruition?
IB: Well, there were times I wished some of these other people inside of me stopped talking and allowed the person Iris to get some sleep. Each of the characters in The Heart Series is based on someone I’ve met or would like to meet.
I’m writing my characters the way “they” dictate themselves. Now, don’t think I’m crazy, but certain characters just will not leave me alone until I have put them down on paper or at least that particular part of the story that keeps playing over and over in my mind.
The characters are on my mind when I go to sleep. Sometimes, they wake me up in the middle of the night. Like the obedient writer I am, I get up, go to the computer and put the scene on paper. This is not fun when I have to get up at six the next morning to go to work .
F. Scott Fitzgerald may have something with this quote. Maybe all these characters are inside of me. Now , that’s scary!!!!
JP: What makes The Heart of Him unique to The Heart Series as a whole?
IB: Wow, great question. The Heart of Him introduces the Brooks family. This African-American family is old-school rich—generations of wealth and power. The main character, James Brooks, walks away from the family because of skeletons in the closet. (Doesn’t every family have them?) He keeps his family connections from others because it’s immortant to him that people accepts him for who he is, not who his family is.
Once he meets Ashley Brooks, this conservative, quiet giant is unable (as hard as he tries) to keep her from entering his heart. The family dynamics in The Heart of Him is heartwarming, tension filled and loving.
The Brooks are an All-American family, just like the Harrison’s. One is filled with trust funds, and the other is strictly blue-collar. I love the mixture of the families in this story. I can’t wait to put this one on film.
Thank you Joey for proving the opportunity to discuss my novels. When you read them, my goal is to entertain and open your mind to possibilities in life you may not have considered, be it professional or personal. If you would like to learn more about The Heart Series, please visit my website at http://www.irisbolling.net/ or my publishing company website at http://sirient.com/.