We have a guest in the house today! The beautiful and amazing author, Heaven Liegh Eldeen will grace our pages over the next month to introduce herself, and her books. So, check in weekly as Heaven takes over the House.
Heaven grew up in a home with a workaholic father, alcoholic mother, and two older siblings, where violence was not only the norm, but condoned. Craving positive recognition from her mother, by age eleven, she built a ruthless reputation. Shortly after, she found herself living a dangerous, gang affiliated life.
At the age of twelve, Heaven started down a rough path, when she was introduced to drugs. The drugs masked the physical pain caused from bumps and bruises acquired from her home life and street life. Suspension after suspension for fighting, Heaven dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen. With a lack of education, she saw no other options than to fall deeper into her drug induced existence.
By nineteen, she tired of the life. Ready to call it quits, she began making her rounds to unknowing friends and family, saying her good byes. Having escaped death multiple times, she knew to get the job done right; she would have to take herself out. Saving her mother’s house for last, she sat in the garage, unaware that before she could complete her task, she would meet a man that would turn her world upside down and right side in. That day she met her future husband, who not only helped her quit drugs and the gang life, but taught her what she was worth.
At age twenty-one, Heaven accomplished a feat beyond her wildest dreams. With scores in the top five percentile, she received her general education diploma. Confidence skyrocketing, she knew she wanted to do more than work the register at a gas station. With a deep love for the innocence of animals, she assumed she had found her calling in a veterinary tech class. But the dry, monotone ramblings of text books failed to grasp her interest, and again, she found herself dropping out of school.
Feeling defeated, she turned her back from education completely and settled into her jobs as a mother, house wife and part-time cashier for the following eight years. During this time, she took up reading true crime novels during her free, time in between mopping floors, cooking dinner, and playing with Legos. Weekly trips to the library became small vacations from her duties, and soon she was reading six to seven novels a week.
Every holiday, Heaven would receive the gift of a new tale of terror, until on her twenty-ninth birthday, when she received a vampire novel from her sister-in- law. Far from her genre, she was reluctant to read the book. Six months and fifteen vampire stories later, Heaven was ready for something new than the barrage of fanged, supernatural tales. After expressing this to her agitated sister-in-law, a challenge was made. “Like you could do better?”
With her ‘Oh yes I can!’ attitude, determination not to fail again, and support from her family, the challenge was accepted. Drawing on the story telling skills she acquired during her troubled youth, Heaven sat down at her computer and began weaving a saga that would forever change her life.
A task began out of spite, swiftly turned into a deep passion, previously unknown. Writing became a drug with a high no drug or adrenaline rush could compare to. Spending every free moment at the computer typing away for two months, her first manuscript was completed. Believing her hard work would go no further than family, she distributed copies printed from her home for friends and relatives. The positive response and feedback became overwhelming.
With a push from her husband and parent-in-laws, Heaven began submitting her manuscript to various publishing companies. It didn’t take long before replies poured in. Pulling on her fighting spirit she wasn’t going to let the denials get to her, and decided to fight back by educating herself.
Once again, with library card in hand, Heaven took to reading. This time, she checked out technical books on topics ranging from ‘How to Write’ all the way to ‘Grammar and Punctuation’, shrugging off the embarrassment of starting in the children’s sections. Four months and one revised manuscript later, Heaven began her assault of inquiries and pitch letters. Seventy-eight rejection letters later, she received an acceptance letter from Decadent Publishing.
One year later, at the age of thirty one, she completed the editing stages of The Demon Side, which released in October 2011. The second in the series, The Human Side released November 2012. Having a future far beyond her past, Heaven continues her weekly trips to the library to further her self-education on the art of being a writer.
Eleven years later, still clean, sober, unaffiliated, and happily married, Heaven reflects on her past, using her experiences to inspire her writing. When she’s not kissing owies, climbing Mount Dishmore, or obsessing over her Facebook page, you can find her at the computer, revising or editing one of her five works in progress, or with her nose buried in a text book. On Saturdays you can find her on local talk radio co-hosting The Dirt with Lori Schulz. Having lived in many states, she has now settled down in California with her husband, her son, a betta fish named Barry, and Skunkers the guinea pig.