Author Rina Heisel
Me, taking some pictures while working on the documentary about Badlands National Park.
Photo by Sieversma Photography
I've always loved to write. As a kid growing up in Minnesota, I wrote stories with my big brother, little sister, and my cousins to share with the family. In high school I took creative writing classes. And in college, I took a Writing for Mass Communications course, I and found myself interested in writing for television.
After an internship at a TV station, I discovered a love for writing scripts for educational programs- natural sciences in particular. I took a job with South Dakota Public Broadcasting and enjoyed writing about state and national parks, agriculture, and wildlife.
But I missed writing fiction.
A few years years back, my family moved to Florida. I had an opportunity to revisit my love of writing fiction. My favorite books have almost always been fantasy, many of them starring animals, aliens, or adventurous humans. Needing a bit of guidance, I went online and found the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) website.
Through the SCBWI, I joined a local writing group. We eventually called ourselves the "OWLs": the Osceola Writing League. I learned so much about the process from this group. We discussed what books to read. We shared ideas about outlining drafts and critiqued each others' chapters. We talked about the publishing process. For me, connecting with other writers has been hugely beneficial.
Once we moved back to Minnesota, I found online conferences like Write On Con very helpful.
These days I'm splitting my writing time between two manuscript drafts and a notebook of ideas that seems to be getting a bit sparse on blank pages...