Biography

I have always told stories.

Heather Davis at two years old with her brother

Two year-old me with my brother

My dad says that when I was in Kindergarten, I would tell him scintillating tales of crayon snatchers and mean lunch ladies.  Long-winded tales that lasted all the way from the school parking lot to our driveway.  Sometimes at dinner during those years, my spaghetti would go ice cold because I’d be spinning a narrative instead of eating.
Some might say I was a little kid who never stopped talking, but I think it was the beginning of my love of story.  And, well, maybe I just had had a lot of them.

The storytelling continued throughout my scholastic career, including my penning a play for the fourth grade about chickens going on strike right before Easter, writing stories condemning vandalism for the middle school newspaper, and contributing enigmatic poems about emotional nakedness to my high school’s literary magazine.  Yeah.  I know, right?

As a young adult, I thought I was going to tell my stories as a documentary filmmaker, but somehow in between my undergraduate film degree and my acceptance to an MFA program at a California film school, my life took a turn.  A big one.  I met a boy. With him, I ended up living a very different life that included cooking professionally in Alaska during the summer and wintering in a tiny town in the North Cascade Mountains.  It was not what I, the consummate city girl, had ever pictured for myself, but it was an adventure.  I mean, can you picture me on a moose hunt?  It was all very Hemmingway-esque.

Heather Davis with her father at her college graduation

Me and my dad at my college graduation

All along that detour, I drew comics and wrote fiction, and in 1999 I sold a short story to Cricket Magazine.  It was about a girl fly-fishing for the first time.   After that sale, I figured I’d go for it and write a novel, which I completed in 2000.  It was about a woman living in a fishing town, go figure.  During that time, I joined a wonderful creative writing group in my town – and ended up meeting with them every Monday night for the next six years.  More unpublished books followed, but it wasn’t until several years later, when I had taken a gig substitute teaching elementary school, that I found my writing’s niche – Young Adult.

I really enjoyed teaching and working with the students.  Soon though, I realized that many of the older girls had a hard time finding good books.  They had already read all the great ones and needed more. There was no Twilight then, no Hunger Games.  So, I set out to write a book my students could read.  One of the students, Emily H., got me really motivated.  She read a few chapters of my first YA manuscript and encouraged me to keep going.  She actually stopped me at the crosswalk she was guarding and said, “Hey!  Did you finish chapter 5 yet?  I have to know what happened to Amber’s dad.”  It was awesome to have a teen reader like Emily.  I’ll always be grateful for her help.

Heather Davis accepts The Golden Heart Award

Me accepting the Golden Heart Award

That first YA manuscript, AMBER HICKENBOTTOM, went on to final in this contest called the Golden Heart in the summer of 2005.  It didn’t win, but it made the finals again in 2006, along with a new YA I’d finished, HAUNT ME.   It must have been YA destiny, because HAUNT ME won the Golden Heart award for Best Young Adult Romance Manuscript.   I was on my way!

A few months later, my dream agent sold my very next novel, Never Cry Werewolf, to HarperCollins.  Things had changed in my life, and that sale came along just in time because the next morning, I was moving from the cocoon of my small town.  I left my mountain home with my head up, finally an author with a real-life book contract.

Never Cry Werewolf debuted in hardcover in the fall of 2009 and was even published in Romanian!  My second book, The Clearing, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in spring 2010 and was on the short-list for the coveted Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award.  Harcourt will be publishing my third book, Wherever You Go, in November 2011.

At this point in my writer’s journey, I still can’t believe that I get to do what I love: tell stories that encourage teens to be who they are and to believe in themselves.  I’m writing the books I wish I could have read when I was a teen — I couldn’t have plotted this literary happily-ever-after any better.

I hope you have the courage to go after your dreams, too.  And remember, say what you have to say… and never worry about the cold spaghetti.

Love and Light,

Heather

Comments
14 Responses to “Biography”
  1. shawna13 says:

    i cant find a way 2 get the 2 book in the never cry werewolf seres how do i get it:}
    :}

  2. Sophie says:

    Heather-
    I got your info from the Evergreen Career Development office. I’m a fellow greener grad and also an aspiring YA writer. I was wondering if you would mind me contacting you about your journey writing and getting published?

    • Hi Sophie — If you have specific questions you can email me at heather(at)heatherdavisbooks.com. The best advice I can give you is to join SCBWI and get involved in a critique group, etc. Good luck!

  3. Cherokee says:

    Heather,
    I’m a big fan but I have a question for a book report I am doing on Never Cry Werewolf. Did you have a purpose for writing this book?
    Thank You for your time
    Cherokee 5th grade

    • Hi Cherokee — I hope you got a good grade on your report! My only purpose for writing Never Cry Werewolf was to entertain myself (and readers) with a story that is fun, heartfelt, and had a “be who you are, trust yourself” kind of message. Shelby learns to believe in herself and what kind of person she is during the book, and I think that’s always a good thing to remember. Thanks for reading!

  4. Cullen says:

    I just read your book, Never Cry Werewolf! I LOVED IT!!! In my opinion, it was way BETTER than THE ENTIRE TWILIGHT SERIES combined! Great job Ms. Davis!

  5. Amy says:

    My daughter and I just finished reading your series for Never Cry Werewolf and can’t wait for the next one. Can you tell me when it’s due out and what the title is so I can find it. Thank you! Great writing!

    • Hi Amy,

      Thanks for the note. Books two and three are e-book only. Book two is out now, and I hope book three will be up this week sometime. Glad you like the series!

      Heather

  6. Diana says:

    Hey Heather! My name is Diana and im romanian! I love your books you are inccredible!

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