I’m delighted to be welcoming Tessa to JJ today.
Heaven Has No Regrets has gained international attention from the London Book Festival Awards as well as received the honor of a Bronze Award from the Non-Fiction Authors Association.
The true story of Faith and Makenzie, who weren’t just cousins, they were best friends. And no matter what life threw at them, no matter what they lost, they would always have each other . . . until sickness set in, and time became its own disease. Hear each girl’s struggle and survival from their own point of view as flashbacks alternate chapters to tell their own story of life, love, and letting go. Walk with the Narrator as she moves through an unwanted end, to a new beginning and meet characters such as “the boy with the motorcycle,” “the girl with the dimples,” and “the boy with the mohawk” in the Narrator’s heartbreaking five-day storyline as well as in the flashback scenes of Faith and Makenzie’s own stories. Prepare for a collision as the joy-of-the-past and the pain-of-the-present timelines quicken pace and converge and Faith, Makenzie, and the Narrator’s stories all meet to reveal hope, healing, and why Heaven has no regrets.
Welcome to JJ!
Please summarise Heaven Has No Regrets in 20 words or less.
Heaven Has No Regrets is a true story about teenage best friends who learn to live life with “no regrets”
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I started writing this book when I was 18 after my cousin, and best friend, had passed away. The book is based on a series of my journals before and after she left. This story is about our lives together, told from each girl’s point of view, alternating chapters of flashbacks to tell our stories of life, love, and letting go as the narrator of the book begins her own journey in grief and navigates how to survive the loss of a close loved one without regrets.
Please tell us about the characters in your book.
The two main characters in the book are Faith and Makenzie (one of whom I am- but I won’t tell you which one!) and the story takes place in flashbacks from the time they were fifteen to when they were eighteen. Faith and Makenzie are best friends and cousins and would always have each other to lean on, until sickness set in and time became its own disease. The narrator of the book is one of the girls, but again, you won’t know which one. There are also a few special background characters to the story like “the boy with the mohawk,” “the girl with the dimples,” and the “boy with the motorcycle,” who I think will each remind everyone who reads it of someone they know in their own group of friends.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?
I actually get asked this question a lot! It’s hard to pick, but I think I would have to say Dakota Fanning for Faith and Emma Watson for Makenzie. I think they would be able to pull off the characters personalities well.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
7pm-2am is actually my most creative time of the day/night. It makes for an interesting schedule!
Who designed your book cover?
The cover art designer of Heaven Has No Regrets is actually a real life character from the book! Jemma Church, “the girl with the tattoos,” designed the cover art and she did an awesome job of branding the story. I really love it so much. And it meant the world to me that we could work together to bring the story to life on the cover design.
Do you have a book trailer?
What do you think book trailers achieve?
I do! I love creating new trailers for the book for every season- here is the link to the videos on my book website currently: http://www.heavenhasnoregrets.com/videos.html
I love how book trailers can bring a part of the story to life visually and are so much more fun than 40-60 flat words of a blurb are on a piece of paper. (I am visual and have to agree Tessa!)
Are there any tips you could share with new writers that have worked well for you?
Since publishing my book, I’ve met a lot of people who say that they have been secretly working on a novel, a short story, a memoir, a coffee table book, or a screen play and they tell me why they’ve stopped writing or sometimes they don’t even know why they stopped. And I tell them all the same thing- write it! No one is going to write the story in your head for you, if you’ve got the urge to do it and the idea keeps knocking and you feel guilty for not writing, then you’ve got to write. Get it out and down on paper. So my best advice to any writer is… to just write.
Finally Tessa, what has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
The best part of my writing journey has been embracing who I am and finding those people who are truly supportive of myself and my journey. It’s been overwhelmingly freeing.
Thank you for sharing with us Tessa.
Wishing you every success.
TESSA SHAFFER, Award Winning Author of Heaven Has No Regrets, is an avid writer and Entrepreneur, operating her self-owned business Moonstone Creations where she creates jewelry and accessories ‘For All of Life’s New Beginnings’. Her jewelry has attended red carpet events via The Artisan Group and her “Infinite Peace” necklace has been featured on several episodes of Hallmark Channel’s Cedar Cove.
Shaffer is also a Reiki Master on a continued journey of healing and looks forward to helping others on their path of self-discovery and self-healing to limit stress and gain balance emotionally, psychically, mentally, and spiritually.
Shaffer’s personal brand is the overlapping of inspiration and motivation.