The Writer’s Digest Podcast, Episode 9: Using Your Words for the Power of Good — Interview with Heather Graham

In this episode of the Writer's Digest Podcast, Heather Graham shares: Why writers need editors and editors need writers, tips to carve out time for your writing in your already busy life, the benefits of writing groups, and more.
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Welcome, welcome, writers! From fiction to nonfiction, whatever your genre persuasion— whether you write heartwarming bedtime stories about Jack the Ripper or historical romantic vampire fiction (Can you tell it’s our Halloween episode?)—the Writer’s Digest Podcast is for you.

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Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Heather Graham on the show!

Heather is an award-winning, New York Times and USA Today, bestselling author of over 200 novels and novellas. She has published works in a broad range of categories and genres including (but not limited to) suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction and Christmas family fare.

Her background is fascinating and varied, proving that there is no one pathway to publication. She started her career by majoring in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, doing backup vocals, and bartending, she decided after the birth of her third child to stay home and start writing.

Since that time she has been honored for her fabulous works with awards including, the Silver Bullet from International Thriller Writers, the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA and received ITW’s prestigious Thriller Master Award in 2016.

On top of all her excellent writing, Heather has hosted several charity events on a regular basis. She hosted the Vampire Ball and Dinner Theater at the Romance Times Convention, which raises money for the Pediatric Aids Society. And in 2006, she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region. This awesome annual event is actually happening right now as I record this intro!

Now listen in as Heather and I discuss the inner workings of the editorial process in publishing, and how all writers have the power to make a difference with their words.

This episode of the Writer’s Digest Podcast is brought to you by the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference, which is returning to Pasadena, CA on October 26-28, 2018. Come hone your craft, refine your characters, explore the future of publishing, and get the tools you need to advance your career as a successful novelist. For more info about this upcoming event check out

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In this episode Heather shares:

  • Why writers need editors, and why editors need writers.
  • Tips to carve out time for your writing in your already busy life.
  • The benefits of writing groups, and the pitfalls to watch out for.
  • When to listen to others’ critiques and when you need to trust your own intuition.
  • How we can all make a positive change in the world through our writing.

Listen in to hear Heather talk about all these things… and more!


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About Heather Graham

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, backup vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. She has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is also proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet Award from Thriller Writers and was also awarded the prestigious Thriller Master Award in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA. Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts the Vampire Ball and Dinner theater at the Romantic Times convention raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society, and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region. She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits.

Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family. But she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Links and resources

  • To connect with Heather check out her website at
  • And to learn more about Heather’s annual Writers for New Orleans Workshop check out
  • Need another example of how reading is important to crafting your own body of work? Learn how to really dive into an author’s work and take away some awesome writing techniques for your own from author Carolyn Mackler in her interview (mentioned in the episode) on DIY MFA Radio.
  • Want to gain an even deeper understanding of gaining your writing chops from reading as well as how to make positive change happen with your words? There are some DIY MFA interviews that will help. Listen to this episode featuring author Linda Fairstein (a favorite author of Heather’s mentioned in the interview) for an inside look on crafting a realistic setting by reading widely. And for tips on how to push yourself out of your reading comfort zone and help others do the same, check out this interview with America’s librarian Nancy Pearl.

Online Course:

Advanced Horror Workshop

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In this all-new, four-week workshop, The New York Times best-selling author and veteran editor Philip Athans, author of The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction (Adams Media 2010) and Writing Monsters (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014), moves forward from the Horror Intensive to a deeper, more detailed dive into the art and craft of scaring the life out of your readers.

Horror fiction is as old as storytelling itself, from ghost stories told around a fire to lasting classics and mega-best sellers by the likes of Edgar Alan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. Starting with what scares us and why, we’ll then add characters with whom your readers will share a terrifying experience, create monsters right out of the most disturbed nightmares, and end with hands-on writing tips to make your writing scarier. Learn more and register.


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