Heather Primm

Heather Primm graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Dramatic Art and English Literature. She turned to writing middle-grade fiction as a response to her ten-year-old daughter’s voracious reading habits and frustration with the lack of female protagonists in the adventure and fantasy stories she loved.  Heather lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, her children, a dog, three cats, a rat, and eight chickens.

How have animals inspired you?

I was an only child until I was almost eight years old. My family moved every few years due to my father’s job. I spent a lot of time engaging in imaginary play on my own. We always had pets and they frequently found themselves conscripted into elaborate stories (and costumes, I’m afraid to say). They were my constant companions on every new adventure I created in my head. When I began writing books, I included some of these animals in my stories. Hopefully, my fictional characters are more comfortable in their costumes and the roles they play than my ancient basset hound was!

Do you have tips and words of encouragement for the Taradiddle writers?

To the budding authors participating in the contests, I would say – the most important thing you can do is just write. Don’t worry too much about how the words sound at first when you get them down on paper. Just write them down. Then, read them out loud. Listen for the things that don’t make sense, or that don’t sound the way you want them to. But most importantly, make sure you are telling a story that means something to you. It doesn’t have to be your own story, but some part of it must come from inside. If you don’t feel it, no one else will.