Meet Author Heidi M. Thomas
I was born with ink running through my veins. Or so I like to say. Even before I could read and write, I wove many tall tales, and when I learned to print my letters, I’m sure I drove my parents to distraction asking, “How do you spell …?” Later, I remember a teacher reading one of my short stories, commenting, “You sure have a wild imagination.”
I've been a voracious reader since my youth. My first visit to the small-town public library 35 miles from our Montana ranch was awe-inspiring. I sat on the floor to read, surrounded by wonderful, fascinating books, and secretly hoped my folks would go home and leave me there overnight. In elementary school, the Bookmobile would come to our school once a month, and I’d come home with at least 30 books—one for each day until it came back again. When my mom needed my help for chores, she knew she’d find me in my room, hunched over a book. I finished my schoolwork quickly so I could read the latest Zane Gray or Nancy Drew, I read in the car on the 150-mile shopping trips to Billings, I read by the yard light shining through the window at night. (No wonder I wear glasses!)
I joined the newspaper staff (an extracurricular activity) in high school and soon became the editor. Often I was the last person out of the school building at night, slipping into the dorm just before curfew. I experienced censorship for an editorial I wrote, and my senior English teacher encouraged me to look into journalism as a career.
I graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Montana, and moved from writing campus news to the Daily Missoulian newspaper. There, I wrote society, religion, business news, and many feature stories over the next seven years. I enjoyed the features best, because I could get into the personality of my subjects. When I “retired” from the newspaper, I went on to freelance magazine articles.
Next came a break in my creative world. I took a job as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, and was there for 13 years. But, even though I continued to read every moment I could, I yearned for a creative outlet. I took a writing class and discovered I still knew how. This re-awakened my interest in fiction, and I began writing again.
In 1996 my husband and I moved to Skagit County in Washington State, where I began writing my first novel. I’m now working on the fourth in a series about strong, independent Montana women.
I’ve always had a love affair with the written word. I’ve taken many writing classes, studied many books on the craft, and been published more times than I can recount. I love helping other writers develop and hone their skills.