Friday, November 27, 2009

I Need Friends Friday: Heather Justesen

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is Heather Justesen, an author with Cedar Fort. Her romance, The Ball's In Her Court (click here to watch the trailer), was released earlier this year. She can be found on the web at, and at her blog.

SME: Welcome to INFF.

Heather: Thanks, Sarah, I'm happy to be here!

SME: I'm going to skip right to the first question on my mind...
Your blogger profile says you have "two dogs, two cats, four geese, a bunch of ducks, a slew of chickens, two turkeys, five guineas and three fish." Um... on purpose?

Heather: Yeah...I know, I'm crazy. My poultry obsession started with me thinking I just wanted a few hens....and totally expanded from there.

SME: I wondered if maybe you had a Noah thing going on and animals just kept showing up.

Heather: Nope, it was all intentional.

SME: Okay.. standard question: What's your favorite continent?

Heather: I've been thinking about this because I knew you were going to ask. After much debate, I decided it must be Europe because it's where I most want to visit.

SME: Me, too! Which country would you pick first?

Heather: England, without question!

SME: See, I knew you and I were meant to be friends. Aubrey Mace and I are plotting an author trip to England (purely fantasy, of course, because going would require having a life and neither of us do). You should come

Heather: I would love to come! A fantasy trip is probably the only kind in my future, immediate or otherwise.

SME: Done!
Your book "The Ball's in Her Court" came out very, very recently. Tell us a little bit about it.

My main character, Denise, grew up with a single mom who neglected and abused her, so Denise entered foster care when she was 9. At age 12 she was adopted by a great family and after some struggles managed to make a pretty good life for herself.
The book starts when she's 26 and decides she needs to find a few more answers to her past, so she sets out to find her birth father, and extended family she never met. And it's a romance because what good is a book if there isn't at least a tiny bit of romance in it? Well, okay, so there are plenty of romance-void stories out there that are well worth a read, but I like me a bit of kissing.

SME: I have a thing for romances, in case you didn't guess.
I noticed you've been doing some book signings and blog tours. How is all that going?

Heather: So far it's going great! I have a lot of friends and family who are being so supportive of me and buying my book as Christmas gifts (something I highly recommend).

SME: Books make great holiday gifts. *cough* Stolen Christmas *cough, cough* hint, hint
Your main character plays basketball. What inspired that?

Heather: I just wanted her to do something out of the ordinary. In her case she's a computer programmer, a job almost strictly reserved for guys. And she beats the guys in one-on-one at the gym at night. I had a friend in school who used to beat guys in basketball, so I guess you could say it's her fault I gave Denise that trait.

SME: At a whopping 4'11" I never really had a future in basketball.

Heather: I'm nine inches taller than you, but I have no athletic genes whatsoever, so I never had much of a future there either.

SME: Then I think you will appreciate the game I have crafted for you!

Heather: Yay! I love your games!

SME: I have entitled this game: Making Sarah Feel Highly Qualified to Someday Play Basketball. Perhaps you could substitute your name in there, as well.

Heather: Yes! I'm ready!

SME: I have three trivia questions for you that will, I hope, make me feel like that long-shot dream of being a basketball play-uh are within my exceptionally short reach. Get the questions right and you will be the champion of INFF, which comes with no perks, recognition or clout, but brings with it a heap of bragging rights.

Heather: Bragging rights are always an acceptable reward in my book.

SME: Awesome. Let's begin.
Question #1: According to Michael Jordan, how many shots did he miss over the course of his career?
a.) 1
b.) hundreds
c.) more than 9000

Heather: Definitely C. The man played for a long time and even the amazing Michael Jordan would have to miss a fair few. Besides, it makes me feel better if that's the answer!

SME: Ding, ding, ding! Correct! The way I figure it, I could miss 9000 shots. In a row. Probably more. That makes me better at one aspect of basketball than Michael Jordan.
Question #2: How tall was the shortest basketball player to play in the NBA?
a.) Mugsy Bogues at 5'3"
b.) John Harvell at 5'8"

c.) Pete Campbell at 5'11"

Heather: I'm going to guess 1) Mugsy Bogues. With a name like that, he was probably playing way back when they first invented the game, and people were much shorter then. Right?

SME: Another correct answer, Heather! And 5'3" is only 4 inches taller than I am. See, I could totally play (if I were remotely coordinated).
Question #3: What was the score of the lowest scoring game in NBA history?
a.) 19-18
b.) 58-47
c.) 85-75

Heather: You have no idea how tempted I am to Google the answer to that one, but I'm going to be good. I'm going to say b), even though I'm totally tempted to say a) because that's more like the score of any game I played against someone as athletic as I am.

SME: Hee hee. T
he answer is A!!! Fort Wayne Pistons over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Now that is a game in which I would seem like an asset to either team.

Heather: I should have known!

SME: Now on to the part of the interview w
here I draw a portrait of my new friend. You!

Heather: I can't wait!

*sharpies fly at an astounding speed as another work of genius comes into being*

SME: What do you think?

Heather: Cute sneakers--I wear them all the time, and my hair looks good the way you drew it!

SME: I always put effort into the hair. And I pretty much live in my sneakers, too. I figured with the whole basketball theme going on, sneakers would be a good fit.

Heather: Even better, you spelled my name right, which can be tricky.

SME: I double checked the name. I am not a speller.
Alright, the traditional final question. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Heather: 1) Because I've never had such a cool picture drawn of me (and so slimming!).
2) Because I didn't know before that I've missed fewer baskets than Michael Jordan.
3) I can't wait for this fantasy trip to England you, Aubrey and I are going to take some day. We rock!
4) I got to talk about my strange bird obsession, and no one gave me a funny look (to my face).
5) Because we all need friends, and your INFF interviews are totally fun!

SME: They are fun, aren't they. Thanks so much for stopping by and being my friend!
Best of luck with "The Ball's in Her Court."

Heather: Thanks for having me! It was great being here!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

PS--A big ol' enormous, huge, exciting, wonderful, amazing, awesome giveaway coming next week!!!

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Miss Mae said...

What a fun interview, Heather! :)

Aubrey said...

We really need to get that fantasy England trip scheduled. I've heard there are some very good fantasy airfare deals right now.


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