Welcome to the blog, Heidi. I’m so honored to have you here today. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your debut novel. I am so excited to read it. 🙂
Thanks for having me, Savanna!
So tell us a little about your book. 🙂 Which character are you most excited for readers to meet and why?
Freedom’s Ring begins when an antique ring reunites a Boston Marathon bombing survivor with the man who saved her. Together they unearth the two-hundred-year-old history of a woman who suffered tremendous loss in the Boston Massacre, a woman torn between the love of two men—one a Patriot and one a Redcoat.
I am so excited for you to meet all the characters in Freedom’s Ring, but I think if I had to pick one it would be Liberty. She definitely has some spunk to bring to colonial Boston and I loved getting to know her—and learn from her—as I wrote!
It sounds soooo good! I’m so excited to read it soon.
When did you first start writing this book and how long did it take you to finish it?
Although this is my debut novel, this was the sixth manuscript I wrote. I’ve gotten faster at writing with each manuscript. (I think my first manuscript took two to three years—and that one isn’t fit to ever see the light of day!) The actual writing on this book took about four months, which didn’t include research—that was at least another three. 🙂
Who is one of your favorite authors? It’s okay if you want to name more than one. 😉
My all-time favorite is definitely Francine Rivers. Her Mark of the Lion series totally changed how I viewed fiction and inspired me in so many ways. Other favorites include Cathy Gohlke, Katie Ganshert, Melanie Dobson, Susan Meissner, Kristin Hannah and Christa Parrish. I could keep going, but I’ll stop myself!
That’s a great group of authors right there! 🙂
When did you first start speaking? Do you have a personal favorite subject among the topics you offer?
Speaking is definitely a newer thing for me. I’ve done many Bible studies at my church, but only recently began branching out. I recently spoke to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, and that was tons of fun. I think eventually I would really enjoy speaking encouragement to other writers as well. We’ll see where God leads on that.
I was there in 2014 at ACFW when you won the Genesis Award. 🙂 What a special moment! Can you share with us something you’ve learned along the way as you’ve entered in writing contests?
That was a special moment I will always treasure. Contests though, are a funny thing. The first time I received feedback from the Genesis (about ten years ago) I stopped writing for months. I was devastated over my scores and feedback. But after I finished moping and chose to learn from the judges’s comments, my writing did improve. No one has this writing thing perfected. We can all learn something, so it really is best if we humble ourselves and try to view our writing as a piece of art that can always be bettered. Not always an easy task, I know!
The strange fact is, no agent or editor was interested in the manuscript that won the Genesis in 2014. Tears of the Outcast is still one of my favorites, and hopefully I will be able to share it one day. But while the contest was useful in helping me secure an agent, and while it definitely got the attention of the publishing community, it didn’t magically propel me to publication.
I would definitely encourage writers to enter contests, but don’t hang your entire career on them. Learn from them and use them as a tool to persevere in the industry. 🙂
Wonderful advice, thank you. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
My next novel also has a dual contemporary/historical storyline and will be releasing with Tyndale in the summer of ’18. The story explores what happens when a family is torn apart by the unspeakable actions of one of its members—and how a woman from the past helps them to heal. The historical story will take readers back to the Revolutionary War and will focus on a real historical character—a woman who served as a spy for the Patriots. I’m eager to share it with you!
Awww, I’m adding this to my TBR list already! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Heidi. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing your book soon. 😉
Heidi has graciously offered to give away a copy of Freedom’s Ring. Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest ends July 4, 2017. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!