To day our guest is one of our newest authors, Heather Greer. Heather’s book, Faith’s Journey released last month. I enjoyed reading this book very much, and I hope you will also.
Welcome Heather and tell us a little about yourself.
HG: I’m a pastor’s wife and a mother to four wonderful children. I’m also “Gigi” to my amazing four year old grandson. I’ve been heavily involved in youth ministry for the last twenty years through a local Christian camp. In my spare time, if something like that really exists, I enjoy reading and baking.
KC: Katie, your main character is a very sweet young woman with the ways of the world. Why did you choose to write a story about her?
HG: In some ways, Katie is all of us. We may not make some of the same choices that led her away from God, but we have our own sins to deal with. And there comes a time in each of our lives that we have to decide if the faith of our parents is also our faith. Katie’s is spurred on by a deeply painful experience. Sometimes that’s what it takes to make us examine what we believe and why.
KC: I really fell in love with Austin. He was so patient, especially with Katie. Was this planned, or did it fall into place?
HG: Can it be both? I started out with a picture of Austin, and I knew the purpose he would fill in the story. At the same time, I like to let my characters develop into who they are as the story unfolds. I get to meet them as I go, just like a reader gets to meet them as they read.
KC: Are you going to follow Katie and Austin as their life unfolds?
HG: That’s the plan. I’ve been working on a sequel called Grasping Hope. Their story ended on such a positive note, but we all know “happily ever after” is only in fairy tales. Life has ups and downs, fears and failures. It’s no different for Katie and Austin. They’ll have challenges ahead of them, and they’re have to figure out how to navigate their relationship in the face of them. Friends, old and new, and family will be there too, giving Katie and Austin encouragement, support, and sometimes a much needed tough love.
KC: I don’t think I’ve ever published a book where the heroine starts out so needing to change her life. That’s what they tell us we need to do, but most of the stories have good girls and bad boys. What made you want to tell this story this way?
HG: It’s something we can relate to. We may not sin in the same ways Katie does, but we sin. We struggle against, doubt, and fail God more times than any of us care to admit. I’ve always struggled with believers who don’t show the world where they’ve failed and preach only spiritual success in every area of life. I’ve never related to them. Honestly, the temptation is to feel like a poor example of a believer compared to them because I so often see my own failures. I can’t understand the “perfect” Christian. I understand the one who fails but relies on God’s grace to get back up and do better next time. This is Katie, though it takes time for her to get there. When I read her story, I, in some ways read my own.
KC: How much time do you spend writing?
HG: Writing or writing on Grasping Hope? With all the extras that go into marketing a book, like social media posts and things like that, I don’t dedicate as much time as I’d like specifically to writing. But as soon as I get home from my full-time job and have my posts done, I write. I blog three times a week about Christian books, writing, and faith. I try to be consistent in using the other four nights to work for at least a little while on the book.
KC: How long does it take you to write a book?
HG: When I began Faith’s Journey, I was already writing a fantasy book for youth. So, I didn’t give Faith’s Journey the time I needed to. About six months in, I joined a local Christian writers’ group. They encouraged me to focus on one story, and I felt Faith’s Journey was the one that needed my attention. Once I got serious, it took me about a year to get the story written, get feedback from the group, and edit it in order to prepare it for submission.
KC: What are your plans for the future with your writing career, say in five years?
HG: I hope to be at a place where I can write full time. I consider my writing, both blogging and book writing, as ministry. I choose to write faith based stories for a reason. I believe God has given me this passion, and I feel that when God blesses you with the opportunity to do something you love it’s only fitting to use it to encourage and challenge others through the truth of His word. To be able to devote the majority of my day to this ministry rather than trying to fit it in at the end of each day is one of my main goals to accomplish in the next five years.
KC: I’ve met Heather and her family. You have a very supportive family. Do you think it is important to have the support?
HG: My husband and the three teenage boys I have living at home have had to be very patient withame. If my laptop is open and my music is on, they know I’m writing and to give me my space. They’ve dealt with eating “whatever you can find in the kitchen” when deadlines approach, and I don’t have time to make dinner. And that’s not even taking into consideration how much worse my already sorely lacking housekeeping skills have gotten! All of them, including my adult daughter who isn’t at home anymore, have been my encouragers. They’ve cheered me on each step of the way, and I don’t think I can express how much that has meant to me.
KC: Are you writing another book?
HG: I’m actually writing two at the moment, though they’re in the same series. I’m concentrating on Grasping Hope. It’s my goal to have it done by August at the latest. (Maybe saying it outloud will give me the push I need!) But since I don’t always write in chronological order, I’ve already written a few scenes for a third book that I’m calling Loving Life.
KC: Did you always want to be a writer?
HG: I’ve always loved reading. That love turned into a love for writing as I realized I could tell stories just like those authors did. I was in grade school at that time. As I grew up and started reading more Christian fiction, I was inspired by my favorite authors to use that passion to touch others the way their writings touched me in my faith walk.
KC: Where can readers learn more about you?
HG: My website is www.heathergreer.com, and my blog, By the Book can be found there. You can find me on Facebook by searching @AuthorHeatherGreer or twitter using @Heather_Greer1. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.
Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?