Writer, Actor, Professor
Author photograph by Oliver C. Young.
Holiday Essay on The Wild Rose Press Blog
Audiobook, Print, eBook.
It's 1944 in rural upstate New York. High school senior Meg lives with her grandparents above a small town saloon overlooking Seneca Lake. Born during the stock market crash of 1929, Meg was one too many pregnancies for her emotionally fragile mother. Meg aims to break free from her family's cycle of poverty by attending Cornell University in the fall. Her grandparents hope she'll nab a ring from wealthy Hank Wickham before he deploys for Europe. But Meg finds secret romance with handsome, enigmatic Arthur, a 19-year-old Seneca Indian farm worker who shares life lessons with Meg, telling her stories from Iroquois Indian lore. Locals look down on "injuns" and resent the fact that Arthur's farm job exempts him from fighting in the war. While the war rages in Europe, neither Meg nor Arthur sense the violence brewing in their own home town.
Raised in Buffalo, summering on Seneca Lake among her parents' extended families, Emily followed her mother's path to Cornell University. She was inspired by
the fertile history of the Finger Lakes as birthplace of the women's movement, as the spot where Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn, as a stop along the Underground Railroad. At Cornell she majored in English. A life-long diarist with a mom who provided summer reading lists, Emily dreamed of becoming a novelist. But an acting class at Cornell bit her with the acting bug. She went on to stand-by on Broadway, appear in television commercials and act with major regional companies including Berkeley Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville and A Noise Within. Then, when she became a parent herself, she rediscovered her first love, writing. She's published with The Christian Science Monitor and written documentary scripts for dvd special features for The Hours, Tuck Everlasting and The Passion. Currently she's a university professor, spending summers at her mountain home with her husband and their adopted dog and two cats. Her YA novel Seneca Lake, published this year by The Wild Rose Press, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Audiobook narrated by Ann Marie Lee.
"A Book That Reminds You Of Home."
"A poignant small town story with a bit of romance. The story is set during 2nd World War. It's a story that brings you into a wonderful world when life was much simpler, but same concerns about life, shadowed by bigotry, war, bullying, finding your place in life, and wondering about the future. Emily Heebner's descriptive words paint a picture of the scenery, actions and of days gone by. The characters are wonderfully developed. Meg finding love, seeing the effects of the war on her family, friends, and loves and wanting to make a change in her life... Ann Marie Lee narrates the story with a softness, emotion, and love. Her voices and personalities for each character were spot on! Her ability to transition from one character to the other is flawless."
“Emily Heebner’s Seneca Lake is delightful. It’s pleasurable and it’s poignant."
~Bill Thirdson, Amazon Review
Site of Seneca Indian village.
General Clinton and General Sullivan of the infamous Sullivan-Clinton campaign.
Sunset on Seneca Lake in Lodi, New York.
Seneca Union Cemetery. Valois, New York.
Cornell University Class Reunion, 2019. Arts Quad.
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"I’m welcoming Emily Heebner, author, to Around the Campfire"
"One year we were up on Black Mountain, very remote. We all gave my husband a hard time about the solar shower he'd brought along. It was a plastic bag that could hold five gallons of water and hang from a tree. After three days in the wilderness, that solar shower felt fabulous!"
Emily has been fortunate to work as a college professor for 11 years, teaching in both English and Theatre Arts departments. Currently she teaches at Chapman University, as well as in the Adult Conservatory at South Coast Repertory. Her teaching has taken her to diverse and amazing campuses; from Mt. San Jacinto Community College to University of Redlands, from Los Angeles Trade Technical College to California State University Northridge, and more.
For 8 years she worked for Sparkhill DVD as a writer of special feature documentaries on such projects as Tuck Everlasting, The Hours, The Passion, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Hemingway Collection, and more.
After earning her MFA in Acting, she worked as an actor on Broadway, in regional theatre and commercials. Major theatre companies she's worked with: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Huntington, South Coast Repertory, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company, A Noise Within. Member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA.
Having taught at community colleges and universities for 12 years, she currently teaches at Chapman University.
California State University Northridge, MA Creative Writing
Cornell University, BA English
American Conservatory Theatre, MFA Acting