Born in VA; married; children: Wren. Education: Wellesley College, B.A.; University of Pennsylvania, M.B.A.
Writer. Has also worked as a bicycle courier, a construction worker in West Africa, and a rock-climbing instructor; Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, currently a film archivist.
Mean Season (novel), Harlequin/Red Dress Ink (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
The Return of Jonah Gray (novel), Mira (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 2007.
Heather Cochran debuted as a novelist with her 2004 title, Mean Season, a "a warm, engaging, often funny" work, according to Booklist reviewer Kristine Huntley. The novel features Leanne Gitlin, a woman in the crux of change. A native of Pinecob, West Virginia, she has never left home and begins to wonder if her homespun ways are doing her any good. Part of the inspiration for these thoughts is the arrival of movie star Joshua Reed, who is filming a movie in Pinecob. Leanne happens to be the head of his fan club, and when he is sentenced to house arrest after a drunk-driving incident, it is Leanne's house where he is forced to stay. Reed is a noxious house guest, however, completely disabusing Leanne of any of the glamour of actors. She begins to think it is time for a real relationship with the local man she has been interested in for years. Further praise for this first novel came from a Publishers Weekly reviewer, who termed Mean Season a "poignant, gently comic story about growing up and moving on." Similarly, in People, Andrea L. Sachs commented on the "considerable emotional heft that works seamlessly with the comic relief" in this novel.
Cochran's second novel, The Return of Jonah Gray, explores love amid the ruins of an IRS audit. Sasha Gardner, a thirty-something auditor, becomes romanti- cally involved with the man she is charged with auditing, a gardening journalist named Jonah Gray. The more she examines his financial history, the more she feels drawn to him. She discovers, in fact, that he left his prestigious job at a national newspaper and returned to his hometown newspaper in order to be able to care for his aging father. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commended this second book, remarking that "Cochran's novel is better written than most in the genre, and her take on the divergent lives of arborists and accountants is both poignant and humorous." Huntley, again writing in Booklist, also had a positive assessment, calling it "both quirky and highly original."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Mean Season, p. 218; March 15, 2007, Kristine Huntley, review of The Return of Jonah Gray, p. 32.
People, September 27, 2004, Andrea L. Sachs, review of Mean Season, p. 56.
Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2004, review of Mean Season, p. 142; January 8, 2007, review of The Return of Jonah Gray, p. 35.
Heather Cochran Home Page,http://www.heathercochran.com (September 14, 2007).