Friday, April 3, 2009

Guest Author - Scott Heydt

Scott Heydt is a published Young Adult Author, "O.Y.L."- Helm Publishing and Honorable Mention, "CROSS", P.M. Moon Publishing, March 2009.
Fifth grade teacher and Green Team Environmental Club Chairman- Groveland Elementary; Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Guild; Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; and Marathon runner
Scott is all about getting things done, staying healthy, and doing whatever he can to help others. He does his best to hold true to his personal mantra, "Live, Learn, Teach."

DMc: When did you decide you wanted to become an author? Do you have another job besides writing?

While I’ve read voraciously and toyed with words since childhood, my decision to officially transition to author status came during a low point in my life. For years I was a competitive marathon runner, but four years ago, I suffered a series of injuries that put me through three separate operations on my feet. Weeks confined to a couch gives you time to think. It also gives you time to write. From the disappointing loss of my competitive running career came the satisfying opportunity to share my work with young readers.

In addition to writing, I am a 5th grade classroom teacher in Central Bucks School District, Doylestown, PA. My daily interactions with students are often the foundations of my stories.

DMc: What inspires you to write?

Every aspect of the world around us is complex and unique. I’m inspired by how writing opens my eyes further to that complexity, helping me to understand.

DMc: What has been the most memorable experience in your writing career?

My most memorable experience actually hasn’t happened yet. My second novel, Cross, currently under consideration for publication, is an homage to my sixth-grade teacher. The most memorable experience of my young writing career will be when I hand him a copy of this published novel and say, “Thank you.”

DMc: What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

Recently, at the Columbia University Reading and Writing Project, I attended a session led by Lester Laminack, author of such picture books as Saturdays and Teacakes and Snow Day. He emphasized the writer’s craft as “the artful placement of technique with intention.” Whenever he struggles to artfully express himself, he leans on authors he admires (like Mem Fox, Cynthia Rylant, etc.) for inspiration and assistance with placement of technique with intention.

DMc: What kind of obstacles or challenges have you experienced as a children's writer?

My biggest challenge has been learning the ins and outs of self-promotion and marketing, on top of the other commitments in my life. Staying active with social networking, web pages, book signings, and the like can be mentally and physically draining.

DMc: Please share with us your latest project?

O.Y.L (Helm Publishing, 2008), my first young adult novel, is available now. To download sample chapters, read reviews, and purchase a copy visit Also, $1.00 from every purchase of O.Y.L. is donated to American Forests charities. The donation plants one tree in the continental United States. One book, one dollar, one tree.

My second manuscript, a middle-grade fiction novel entitled CROSS, recently won Honorable Mention in PM Moon Publishers, LLC’s Writing Contest. Aside from my traditional blog, I’ve created a special blog to track the journey of this novel from concept development through possible publication. For more information on CROSS, visit


  1. Thanks for a great post! It sounds like Scott you give a lot to children with both your writing and teaching. I think being a teacher really helped me discover the approach to take with writing for young adults. I'm looking forward to reading your book!

  2. Excellent post and great interview. It sounds like he has so much to give young adults. Thanks for introducing me to another talented author.


  3. Thanks for bringing Scott to my attention, Donna. He's an interesting person.

    Scott, I taught for nearly 30 years, but grade school students takes a much different type patience than I have. Hurray for your being able to teach that age and do well.

  4. I was really touched by the homage to your teacher, Scott. Let us know when it's out.

  5. Thank you to all who have left such kind comments so far.

    My apologies for the book cover not coming through the way it should have. Not sure why the JPEG isn't producing the colors that are supposed to show. For a true reflection of the cover of O.Y.L., please visit

    Thank again to Donna for hosting me! I'll be hosting Donna as well on my blog, so hop on over :)

    ~Scott Heydt
    "Live, Learn, Teach"

  6. Sorry about your injuries, Scott, but good things came from it. Congratulations on your book.

    Great interview, Donna.


  7. Great interview, Donna. The book sounds interesting. I'll look out for it. Dorothy


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