I was born in Rochester, New York as the youngest in a family of four. My parents, my older brother, and I moved to Winona, Minnesota right before I turned 6 years old. My father was now following his dream of being a college soccer coach. From there, we moved to Lake Wales, Florida at the age of 9 when he moved on to a different college. I was always a dramatic and opinionated child. I have memories of being small and constantly putting on plays for my family. I created my characters, costumes, and props. Sometimes, when we had to sit around waiting for awhile, I would create plays out of nothing, acting out all of the characters myself. These memories are probably my first ones that make me realize that I was always meant to create something out of nothing. To create characters to entertain. To create worlds that never existed before.
In so many ways, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. My first memories of writing poetry and short stories is from middle school in central Florida. I even encouraged my group of friends to write. I would buy cute notebooks to write stories in. One friend would write a chapter and then would pass it on for another person to write the next chapter. I still have a tube full of my old notebooks in my basement. Sure, the quality of the writing wasn’t that great and the subject matter was basically centered around boy drama, celebrity and school boy crushes. I still cherish them as if they are artifacts of the beginning of my love of writing.
In high school, I began my typical over dramatic teen phase which was filled with deep poetry. I wrote less stories and more poetry about how I was feeling. I even earned some college scholarship to St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now St. Andrews University) of Laurinburg, North Carolina. I started out with a Creative Writing major but soon felt like writing as a career would be too difficult. So, I switched to being an English major with no idea what I would do after college.
I married my college sweetheart, my first love, at the age of 21. We went on to have four children and move to Arkansas. I worked in education for 10 years working my way from a preschool assistant all the way to a director of a facility and then a slight change in career halfway through when I became a middle school English teacher.
Being a middle school teacher taught me to love writing again. I had gone along time without writing. My students encouraged me to write and genuinely enjoyed what I wrote. Poetry, Plays, and Narratives were always my favorite things to teach. I would give a writing prompt to my students and then I would take the allotted time to write along with them. This is how I ended up writing a young adult novel. Well, I started the novel at least. After writing what would be the first chapter and sharing it with my students, I was encouraged to keep writing. By the time I left my teaching career to move to South Dakota for my husband’s career, I had written about a third of the novel. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and without the constant encouragement, I have left that novel to gather dust.
While in South Dakota, I decided to stay at home and focus on writing. I also stopped working because my health was declining. I had already dealt with this some in Arkansas with no results from doctors. Fortunately, I was finally able to find a doctor who worked hard to figure out what was wrong with me. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It hit me hard and found it hard to write for awhile while I let it fully process that I had a incurable chronic illness.
Two years later, my husband was transferred to Wisconsin. I found myself living in paradise. 40 acres of forest and a lake. Within a few months, the pandemic had made its way to our country. I was feeling beyond grateful to have such an amazing place to live while we had to stay at home. I once again began to write. Now at the age of 36, I am focusing on my family, my health, and my writing again.
Update: We moved back to northwest Arkansas in 2022.
4 responses to “About the Author – Heather Gonzalez”
Hello my beautiful souldork I have missed you over the past few months I hope all is well. If you want reach out to me . My name was connected to me from 19791998 at that General mail site
Hey. A lot has happened since we talked. I hope you are doing well.