Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so happy to have Heather Norman Smith as my guest! I loved her interview, how she shows her heart for God and for the stories He’s given her. I also really love the sound of her new book! I am definitely adding it to my to be read pile. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy for yourself!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m so happy for the opportunity to be on Hallee’s blog. I am married, and I have a twelve-year-old daughter, a nine-year old daughter, a six-year-old son, an almost three-year-old foster son, two dogs, two cats, and some fish. Our home is in the foothills of North Carolina, where I’ve lived all my life. Writing has become my passion, and I appreciate the opportunity to use my writing, both fiction and nonfiction, to tell people about the love of God.
Tell us about your current release. Where I Was Planted released in July. It’s written in first person, and one of the key messages is that, while fathers may leave, our Heavenly Father is faithful and He has a plan for all of us.
From the back cover:
In the spring of 1961, ten-year-old Nate “Weenie” Dooley has a revelation—his father is not a good one.
Inspired by National Geographic, his favorite thing next to the Bible storybook his mother gave him before she died, Nate plans to leave his father and their home in the Smokies to set out on adventure.
When he discovers that his father has left him first, it will take the help of a stray dog, some kind neighbors, a one-man-band, letters from a long-lost-aunt, and a new understanding of God to figure out he isn’t really alone.
Will he find that Copper Creek is where he’s always belonged? Or will his wanderlust keep him from ever coming back?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes! And even if that one person was me. I’ve written three (and a half) novels so far, and each was completed because I was compelled to get the stories out of my head. I felt like I couldn’t not write them.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? So far, I’ve only written what I felt in my heart needed to be written. Not following a certain formula for my writing career means I’m off the logical path to success, or at least the common definition of it. But that’s okay. If I keep writing, and trying to learn the craft and the industry, God will make me “successful” if that’s His plan for me. Otherwise, I’m content with the audience He’s given me.
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? Some of the characters scream louder than others. I’ve completed the three novels that I felt the most sense of urgency to finish, and along the way, I’ve taken lots of notes about other stories that I hope to tell one day. I scribble on a notebook that I carry in my purse, and I use the notes app in my phone a lot.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? My characters inspired me to write. I loved to write when I was younger, but hadn’t written fiction in years, although I was blogging devotions. I was sitting on the beach one day, watching my children play, when the main character of my first book started talking to me. I knew I had to tell her story, and once I did, I didn’t stop writing. Since it happened that way, I also feel like God had a hand in it. For whatever purpose, I think He wants me to write these stories.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Colleen Hill from Grace & Lavender is very autobiographical in the sense that she places great value on kindness and is always searching for her purpose. She is always “busy” with a new project, trying to fill a need to do more and be more. She loves God but she often forgets that our identity should be found in Him and not what people think of us.
Here is where you can find Heather online:
Heather is giving away a paperback copy of her book to a reader! See below how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway