by Heidi Loeb Hegerich
Crystal: Today Heidi Loeb Hegerich has stopped by to visit. Welcome Heidi! I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Heidi: I am a native of Munich, Germany. But I have lived in America most of my life, and been conversant in English since age 15, and fluent since approximately age 22. I love the richness of the English language! Of course, I love my native German, as well. But as a writer, English provides a great many more synonyms or figures of speech than probably any other language. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that some authors for whom English was not their first language nevertheless embraced English, fell in love with it, and penned their first books in English.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Heidi: Well, one of the shortest chapters in LOVE TARGET concerns the main character, Ingrid Liebschreiber’s, first airplane ride. The chapter — as is nearly the entire book — is drawn from my own experiences. When I was 15, newly arrived in America, I flew from New York to Los Angeles, where my father had taken an apartment, and where he, my mother and I would live as immigrants. Not only was this my first experience with plane travel — it gave me a perspective on America: an enormously large country full of contrasts, as viewed from an airplane window. I — and Ingrid in the book — also received a harsh lesson about America, thanks to the passenger I/she sat next to on the flight. That’s all I will share! I don’t want to spoil the surprise in the chapter.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for LOVE TARGET?
Heidi: The novel is a memoir novel. It is drawn from my experiences. Since my mid-20s, people had been telling me I needed to write the story of my life. Well, so I have — in fictionalized form. (Hopefully, the people who encouraged me to write the book, and who find themselves portrayed in the book, won’t regret their encouragement!)
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Heidi: I have a draft of the sequel finished; it is in the editing stages. It will be even wilder than LOVE TARGET.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Heidi: I work on a manuscript in the daytime, and I write or edit or research until my mind is too tired to continue. I never work at night; I have enough trouble falling asleep, thanks to frequent insomnia. At night I try to rest my mind, recharge the batteries for the next day.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Heidi: Since LOVE TARGET is partly a historical novel, I did perform a great deal of research. Fortunately, we are living in the Internet Age, and most of the research could be conducted on the web — using reputable sites and sources. Some research, though, had to be done with resource books. And a bit had to be done through interviews of people who lived through the era, and events, depicted in the book. I am gratified that my memory is so good — that is, when I dig deep enough into the memory banks. But I did discover some dates were errant in my memory. Also, I had some events remembered falsely. For example, the first Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston fight ended with Clay (later changing his name to Muhammad Ali) winning after six rounds, when Liston gave up on his stool. For some reason I thought for many years that Clay had one by a knockout in the first round. It turns out that he’d prevailed that way in the rematch. Obviously, I had to have the correct version in my book!
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Heidi: I read a great deal, on a wide variety of subjects. When it comes to fiction, I adore James Patterson’s international suspense thrillers. I also admire Alice Munro’s short stories, with their utterly believable characters and conflicts.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Heidi: Well, LOVE TARGET is a romance, as well as a historical novel. The sequel I’m working on also will be a romance and historical novel — however, there will be some of the supernatural woven in. So, whatever I write following the sequel could very well be a supernatural romance or thriller. We’ll see!
Teenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor's offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.
Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle - where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.
Life's twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s - where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in "construction." Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid's hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.
Will she find true romance - a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is "happily ever after" just a crazy fairytale?
The witch stared past me, lost in thought. Then she shook her head.
“I don’t know,” she began, haltingly. “There will be a man, a husband. Somebody that you’ve known. Somebody” — her voice rose — “with dark hair! And . . . eyes that are lighter. Maybe blue.”
“I don’t know who this man could be,” I said to the witch.
“Trust me,” she said confidently. “Do you have any photographs in your wallet of who this man could be?”
I didn’t have a photo of David. But it didn’t matter, since he was married.
I fished out a photograph of Armand.
The witch held it up in her crooked fingers in front of her hooked nose. She twisted her neck, turning her head this way and that, peering curiously at the photo from different angles.
She handed it back.
“You should have never been with this man!”
I shrugged. “I wish I knew who this mystery man could be.”
“It is not important,” the witch said. “You will know in good time. You can bring him into your life. And I want you to do something.”
She rummaged on a shelf and removed several objects.
“Take these two candles. Write an affirmation on a slip of paper saying that you will be with this man with dark hair that you’ve known. Then put the paper between the candles, and melt the candles together. Light each one, and when they’re soft, mold them together.”
I took the candles. Well, it couldn’t hurt to try. Might even be fun.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Heidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits.
A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4E9UULoZNU
Robin Leach book review in Las Vegas Sun newspaper: http://www.lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2015/jan/13/love-target-showgirl-reveals-elvis-pregnancy-swing/?utm_source=mostpopular&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=mostRead