Heather O’Brien is a novelist and no stranger to the creative arts. The great-great-granddaughter of world-renowned cellist Bruno Steindel of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she can trace back her creative roots to five generations of notable musicians, artists, and toy makers. Her family tree contains the branches of many disciplines of the finer arts.
A seeker of what motivates the heart, she has a certain knack for drawing complex characters who explore the sometimes painful dynamics of life and love, choice and consequence, regret and reconciliation. Though many of her stories take place in the entertainment industry, she infuses intense humanity into an industry perceived as lacking the very things that connect us. She describes her writing style primarily as that of a “reformed pantser,” explaining that the intricacies of the saga forced her to become a hybrid, and then eventually a plotter, for the remainder of its telling.
Heather grew up in Plumas County, mostly in the small town of Quincy, in Northern California. She claims she started writing “by accident” at the age of eleven. One such story later became the completed first draft of Lockhardt Sound (formerly The Ties That Bind), hand-written on spiral notebooks when she was in the 6th grade. She insists this first draft will be cremated with her when she dies.
Like all human drama, the overarching plotline for the Music is Murder saga is multiplex and surpasses the confines of a single novel. Over time, the story grew from a sequel (A Fate Worse Than Fame) to a trilogy (Ballad of Someday), and eventually into to a 7-book series. The overall foundation remains the story that found her at age eleven.
In 1999, Heather formed Word Rites Literary Group. Along with her then-editor, a talented science-fiction writer and enthusiast, she assisted other budding authors with the benefits of her talents and experiences. This is where Heather found her literary voice and began honing her writing skills.
Over her career, she has dabbled in other areas of entertainment, including music and film. Most notably, she worked as a documentary film producer with an indie director from the Bay Area from 2002-2004. Her contributions included the investigation of a gruesome, multiple homicide that took place in the mid-’80s, in the small town she had lived in as a child.
Heather is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Association of Professional Women and the Alliance of Independent Authors. When hanging out with friends, she loves to talk story, writing, music, and movies. She is a wife, a mother/step-mother of six, and a grandmother of nine. Some of her hobbies include music, amateur video editing, travel, and research. She spends most her spare time with family.