QUINN HEDER credits his love for storytelling to his beloved mother who read to him throughout his childhood years. The more adventure-filled books he consumed, the more his imagination flourished. Despite his family having meager financial resources, Quinn viewed his life as rich. Intrigued by the uniqueness of people and compelled to explore the seemingly limitless adventure in his surroundings, Quinn saw the world as a stage, ready to be filled. As his passion grew, his need for artistic expression soared, leaving him with an unquenchable thirst to create. From craftsman hands, to pencil, and finally to pen, his art has always found its voice. Faith, family, friends and beauty, wherever they abound, have and will ever be at the heart of Quinn’s writing.
About the Author
Quinn Heder’s love of art stems from parents who, through active involvement in music, visual and literary arts, instilled in him a passion for creating, early on in life. For a little boy living on a farm in southern Utah, scenes from books such as Black Beauty, Tom Sawyer and Old Yeller fit perfectly with Quinn’s simple country life, inspiring imagination and endless possibility in everything around him.
The boy version of Quinn lived to be outdoors, climbing every accessible tree, squeezing beneath debris piles and into places not intended for his amusement. Everything was a prop in Quinn’s larger-than-life stage, including country lanes, old buildings, a granary and an underground potato pit with giant, gaping doors. Countless birds, lizards, snakes and other creeping things all played important roles in Quinn’s early intrigue and love affair with nature.
At age five, his fascination for birds of prey became a reality when, in miraculous fashion, an American kestrel winged out of the sky to land on a fence post only a dozen feet from where he stood. For reasons only God and a little boy would understand, rather than fly away, the normally flighty and fierce animal remained still, making no attempt to escape or fight when Quinn scrambled up the rickety, barbed-wire fence and snatched it from its perch. For a full day, this miniature falcon stayed, untethered, on Quinn’s shoulder. Then, when the sun was disappearing behind the western skyline, it lifted and flew away. Over the span of his life, Quinn has raised and trained two other hawks—an American kestrel and a red-tail. In addition, he has rescued and doctored a variety of more than a dozen others, including a bald eagle.
At age eight, despite suffering from an eye tracking condition known as Oculomotor Dysfunction, Quinn read the entire series of Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion. Serving to nourish his mind and zest for adventure-filled stories even further, his 4th grade teacher read Where the Red Fern Grows to her class. To this day, it remains Quinn’s favorite book. He even lived out his own version of Billy Colman’s story as an adult, purchasing and training two coonhounds: a redbone, “Sadie,” and a black and tan, “Sammie,” with which he hunted raccoons along the rivers of northern Utah. The inclusion of a black stallion, a red-tailed hawk and a coonhound in his first novel is Quinn’s homage to their collective impact, real or fictional, on his life.
Nothing seemed impossible to Quinn during his growing-up years. With limited financial resources, he and his siblings made believe, innovating and constructing with anything at their disposal to bring their imaginations to life. While other children watched
The Lone Ranger on television, the Heder children acted out their own elaborate scenes, constructing horses out of tree branches, and bows and arrows from river willows. Quinn has hiked and free-climbed the red cliffs of the Pahvant mountains and rafted both the Colorado and Green Rivers. He has fished and hunted the Rocky Mountains from the northern tip of Montana through Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. No stranger to farming and ranch life, Quinn has owned horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese. When he was young, his family even had a jackass they named “Sassafrass.” High mountain peaks, rocky crags and cliffs towering over lush valleys are the places which offer Quinn inspiration and his most sacred solitude, while the rhythmic roll of waves on any ocean beach is his place of healing.
Although advanced English courses provided the majority of Quinn’s academic training in writing, the original idea for his first novel came as a 17-year-old student at Richfield High in central Utah. Between then and his early college years, he attempted several times to write his story longhand, but lacking the life and writing experience needed to develop such a story, he never reached past forty pages. Thirty years later, Quinn’s final attempt to write that same story began on Thanksgiving of 2008, and on his 47th birthday the following month, he closed his laptop having written 460 single-spaced pages of what would be published as Search For Yesterday.
The most challenging and most gratifying of Quinn’s college writing courses was an expository writing class, led by a tall, slender-built and extraordinarily hairy professor at the University of Utah. Quinn’s late admission to the university left him technically ineligible for the course, but despite being denied by both administration and the professor, Quinn was persistent, and begged permission to challenge for a spot, even if it meant bringing in a folding chair. The professor relented, and a successful challenge got Quinn just that: a folding chair in the back of the room, which is where he spent the entire quarter. In the end, Quinn received the only ‘A’ grade in the class. This pivotal experience not only taught him indispensable intricacies of the literary world; it also changed the way Quinn viewed himself. Above all other pursuits, he was first a writer.
In 1984, Quinn met the love of his life and two years later was married to Marianne Gonzalez-Chavez. In the interest of providing for his family, he put his writing aspirations on hold, pursuing work in land surveying, home construction, custom picture framing and art galleries, and land- and water-scaping. Quinn and Marianne are parents to seven children and continue to perpetuate the exceptional examples of their own parents in rearing their family. Family time has always been spent working and serving together, along with involvement in neighbor and community efforts. Perpetuating rich family traditions, as well as establishing new ones, has remained an intentional pursuit in the Heder family, not just on holidays, but with family outings, vacations, hunting, fishing and camping trips. At present, Quinn and Marianne are blessed to have four daughters and son-in-laws who have brought 10 beautiful grandchildren into the family.
Over the course of his adult life, during spare time, Quinn honed his skill as a pencil artist, teaching young artists, as well as producing dozens of portraits and thematic scenes, including two large elaborate pieces, each consuming in excess of two hundred hours to complete. One of Quinn’s later novels,
Without Goodbyes, was written around the imagery featured in these two pieces. For a time, drawing served to satisfy Quinn’s creative urges, but when his eye condition worsened to the point where he could no longer focus on the intricacies of his work for long periods of time, he was forced to give it up. Fortunately, however, the recession of 2007, with all of its challenges, provided Quinn with a lot of extra time. With that time, he began writing again. At first he wrote reflection pieces on memories from his past, but as time went on, his desire to do something bigger grew and he wrote his first novel. Since publishing Search For Yesterday, Quinn has written seven additional manuscripts and has storylines for several more.
Quinn’s publishing aspirations are alive and moving forward at a rapid pace. In addition to Search For Yesterday, which is available on Amazon, readers can look forward to,
Deacon Wells I: Refuse, Deacon Wells II: Into A Fickle Wind, Deacon Wells III: Trail Of The Damned, Lost But Not Forgotten, Footsteps Of Legends, Brennon and Without Goodbyes.