Friday, November 23, 2012

Tragic Romance. Meet Van Heerling

Today it’s great to welcome the highly talented author, Van Heerling. First, I believe you’ve just published a new book, Dreams of Eli. Congratulations! Could you tell us a bit about it?

Yes, in fact it was released on November 14. This is the story of a young man named Eli West. It is a coming of age story. Present day is 1863 but the story reaches back to 1840, when he was a little boy. This is not a war story. Although, there are elements of violence, make no mistake this is a love story through and through. I like to call it my “tragic” historical romance.

Synopsis:“Southern soldier Eli West wakes in a cave and discovers he is held captive by a soldier of the Union. Shot, drugged, and tortured, he descends into the darkness and the beauty of his unconscious, uncovering a time when he was still in love, a time before war, a time before everything fell away.” (Excerpt here).
You have also published the hugely successful book, Malaika, about a man's friendship with a lioness. Where did you get the idea for this story?

This story has been really moving. It has been downloaded well over 45,000 times. I am grateful indeed. The story of Malaika came to me in a dream. I remember the dream being vivid beyond anything I had ever experienced. So much so that even after two days, I couldn’t seem to shake it from my mind. I fell into a slight depression and found myself sort of moping around. (If you have read the story, possibly you will understand. It isn’t light reading). Anyway, my wife suggested that I note down what had transpired, and well, that was the beginning of her story. So I have my wife to thank. Nothing new on that front. Thanks honey.

I love your book covers, who designed them?

I’m really glad you asked. Travis Pennington ( is my cover designer. He created the cover for Dreams of Eli. I didn’t know him when Malaika was released. The cover for Malaika was through Outskirts Press. They did a good job but are too expensive for my taste.

What do you think is the best and the worst thing about being a writer?

By far the best thing about writing next to writing itself, is hearing from the readers. Few things in life beat a happy fan. The worst thing… nothing. Not even the bad reviews. They have their place too.

What are your plans for the future?

Starting next year, I will be writing fulltime. Whoa that feels weird to say.

That’s great! Do you have any final comments?

I am a big fan of the “artist” in our society. That said, if you are a closet artist: painter, sculptor, writer, what have you, I say, “come out.” It is time to rise. Set aside your doubts and fears about making mistakes. I make mistakes all the time. Don’t believe me, ask my editor.

Finally, where can readers find out more about you?


Twitter: @VanHeerling

Author Bio:

Van lives in Burbank, California with the lingering spirit of Redford—his adopted morbidly obese cat, which was more of a paperweight than a feisty feline, his wife and boy and their very alive kitty—Abigail.
Van always enjoys hearing from his readers. If you wish to send your comments you may do so at


  1. I loved this interview Van and totally agree with you on "Artists" come out the closet and make those mistakes you fear! I did that too... And boy did I make some incredible mistakes. Lovely interview, well done Katheryn and Van :)

    1. I beleive the more art in our lives the better off all of us will be. It is a higher band of existence. Joy, beauty, love, this is what I am talking about.

    2. Thank you D.G. I think we all make mistakes - it's how we learn!

  2. I'm reading Dreams of Eli now and it is no less than riveting! If you have not picked up a copy yet I would highly recommend it!

  3. Great interview Katheryn & Van! Very fun to learn more about you! Congrats on beginning writing full time! Awesome. Best of luck, I can't wait to read Dreams of Eli.

    Paul R. Hewlett

    1. Hi Paul, Yes I am looking forward to writing a ton in 2013.

    2. Thank you Paul. I must admit to being a tiny winy bit jealous of Van being able to write full time!

  4. I'm very excited to read Dreams of Eli! I'm glad that you are following your dream and it's becoming reality. That's the best feeling in the world!