Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Package?
A: The Package is based on a short story by the same title. It was inspired by two writing prompts. The first was about someone finding something in a pocket and the second was about someone discovering something while seated on a plane. In fact, the short story ended up the first chapter in the book, with a few edits in order to feed into the rest of the book.
Q: Why did you decide to write a novella as opposed to a novel or short story?
A: I think short fiction presents a unique challenge. In a novel, there is all the time in the world to develop scenes and characters, whereas in a novella, there’s a defined limit. As an author, it forces you to stretch yourself to create a complete story in fewer words. I really enjoyed it. And I hope readers will as well.
Q: Did you know how the novella would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?
A: I had a good idea of how the story was going to end but I really let this story evolve as I was writing. It was very character-driven. My outline was pretty much thrown out by the middle of the second chapter. It was really a fun way to develop a story.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
A: This is the type of story where all is not what it seems on the surface. And I hope there will be some things that will surprise the reader. Ultimately, though, I really just hope readers will spend an afternoon reading this story and enjoy the entertainment.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have a couple of projects in the works at the moment. The one I’m currently focused on is a humorous novel with something of a dark twist. The book is called Ruth Long, Age 88. Ruth Long is a wonderfully witty woman, who is reflecting on her life and family. The “dark twist” is that we met Mrs. Long on the day of her funeral.
It’s set for release in early 2021 and is planned to be the first book in a series where characters will interweave from one story to the next.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: The Package: A Novella is currently available for pre-order and will be released on Dec. 18. Readers can also learn more about my work on my website: https://heidislowinski.com. Finally, I’d like to thank Deborah for hosting me on her website!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb