“I’ve always loved stories about kids who find out they have magic,” said Heckenbach. “There are many, many books with that premise, and they’ve always been my favorite type of story.”
In the Toch Island Chronicles, Angel leaves her foster family on a quest to find her true home and finds herself in a world where science and magic collide. But there is an evil that believes science and magic should be separate and will tear apart the world to achieve his goal.
With a degree in biology, Heckenbach knew that if magic and science were connected, she would have to make it work. It bugs her when magic breaks the physical laws of our world.
“I started writing and the whole story ended up centered around the idea that magic and science are connected,” said Heckenbach. “Angel is a lot like me at her age. My love of reading and the artist part of me definitely went into her. Even Angel’s feeling of not quite belonging and dreaming of other worlds with magic—I used to pretend my backyard was an enchanted forest.”
Heckenbach’s love of reading grew into a love of writing. Though Heckenbach was traditionally published with a small press called Splashdown Books, she’s leaping into the ever expanding world of self-publishing.
“Self-publishing is completely accessible to just about anyone, and it’s gained a whole lot of respect, so authors who normally turn to small presses are just doing it themselves,” said Heckenbach.
Heckenbach believes that some smaller presses can’t offer anything other than the initial costs of publishing. If authors have to do all the marketing, then they should keep all the profit for themselves. She plans on receiving the rights to her books back from Splashdown Books to self-publish, while Splashdown plans on shifting focus to help people self-publish their books.
“It’s a win-win for us. I get my work and get to keep it under the label of Splashdown Books, but I get all the profit from now on. My publisher gets to focus on and earn money doing the part she really enjoys and is very good at,” said Heckenbach.
Heckenback’s Toch Island Chronicles are available digitally now. For more, visit Heckenbach’s website.