C.J. Heigelmann is an emerging author of Contemporary and Historical Fiction who has published two novels, An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody, and Crooked Fences. C.J. learned to negotiate the changing fabric of race relations within the United States while experiencing different nuances of racial interconnection and social class ideologies from California to Connecticut, the Deep South, and during military service in the United States Air Force. CJ combines these unique experiences with his knowledge of the humanities, an empathetic heart, and a belief in world peace, to enlighten a reader’s perspective on self, the human family, and the world in which we live. He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Historical Novel Society, and the South Carolina Writers Association.
What do you write?
I am a multi-genre author who primarily writes Contemporary, Literary, and Historical Fiction. I explore paradigms of beliefs pertaining to morality, race, religion, social class, tradition, and spirituality. In keeping with my cross-genre aspirations, I am currently writing my first Murder/Mystery/Psychological Thriller.
Tell us about your featured book.
An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody is an epic American Civil War literary saga spanning multiple cultures, continents, and generations, exploring the intimate relationships between common folk of diverse backgrounds, destined to meet by fate. Written in the Antebellum tradition, the reader is invited to view the perspectives of each character and the decisions they make, leading to life, love, or loss. (Buy it here)
What's your favorite book that you didn't write and why?
I first read Lord of the Flies by William Golding in the sixth grade. In my opinion, it is a quintessential narrative that realistically describes the potential ills of any modern society in general, and honestly represents a comprehensive view of the human condition specifically.
How did you get started as a writer?
My introduction to writing professionally began in 2012 after an epiphany, triggered by an emotional catalyst. Specifically, the culmination of several life changing events, including a recent divorce and the deaths of four beloved family members and friends within a single year. It was a necessity, a need, and became a form of self-prescribed therapy. Truly, a Godsend. Authors who have influenced my style of writing would be Hemingway, Emerson, Whitman, Tolkien, Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and of course William Golding, to name a few.
Who is the ideal reader for your work?
My ideal reader is any free thinker who either has a capacity for empathy, an open mind, or both. This is irrespective of age, politics, race, religion, culture, or class. A reader who engages and enjoys a broad emotional range within various relatable topics and subject matter.
What advice would you give other authors?
I would advise other writers to tell their stories honestly, without pretense. Don’t imitate other writers, but rather find your own voice and speak. Don’t write to appease. Write your own truth. That is what makes you unique.