Heidi and I connected over our love for writing and reading. I’m so glad to share her latest release with you today. As an added special for you, her book “Desire of My Heart” will be on sale April 24 & 25, 2021. Get book one for only $0.99 for a limited time! Check out “With All My Heart” while you’re at it.
Hey Heidi! I’m so glad you are taking a little time out of your day to hang out with me. Let’s start with a few easy questions.
- What was the last book you read? The last “couldn’t put down” book I read was The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate. I keep several books going at a time (phone/kindle/audio). I listened to Lisa’s story on audiobook while I walked. I covered extra territory because I didn’t want to stop. Lisa shows a story rather than tells. It helped that the readers were exceptional and did an excellent job portraying the characters.
- What author(s) has/have really influenced you? Francine Rivers was influential in showing me the importance of making a book truly Christian, not just one with spiritual or religious undertones. Charles Martin’s writing is my go-to when I need inspiration. His attention to detail and ability to engage the reader is impressive. The authors of Mrs. Mike, Benedict and Nancy Freedman, as well as Gene Stratton-Porter, author of Freckles, were instrumental early on in proving to me that a good clean read can be exciting for all ages.
- How does your faith influence your writing? Writing is my ministry. I founded and was the Director of an English as a Second Language ministry where I invested in the lives of Internationals in our community for seven years. When we stopped meeting due to Covid19, I craved another way to share my heart for Christ. I learned that my voice for sharing the Gospel is stronger in writing than it ever was verbally, and I feel a new calling on my life to reach the world differently. If only one person draws closer to my Savior because of something I have written, it has been worth it. In my debut novel, “Desire of My Heart,” that person was me. I was working through my own deep heartache of vision loss. You can read more about that in my blog. Like the main character, Rachel, I have come out on the other side gloriously renewed in spirit. This book was healing for my soul, and I pray it helps others as well.
- How did you come up with the title for your book (and what is the title)? I first came up with the series name for my books, Discerning God’s Best. When making life decisions, there are usually several good options, but I always strive for God’s best. Figuring out God’s best takes time, trials, and often error. The scripture verse used in Desire of My Heart was Psalm 37:4, making that book title easy. In keeping with the theme, my current work, With All My Heart, came after Pete’s character was fully developed. I realized he was genuinely willing to give up everything to follow God’s best, doing it with all of his heart.
- Did any part of this story make you cry while you were writing it? I’m not one who cries easily, but I choked up several times. I realized how real-to-life my characters’ situations were and how I knew people going through similar situations. Singing Bird has a history of abandonment and shame, and struggles to trust. I have friends who, even as adults, deal with this. To overcome this thought process is complicated and challenging even when we understand we are daughters of the King. Psalm 27:10 “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.”
- What part of writing this book did you struggle with? I have two parallel stories going on in With All My Heart, which makes keeping the reader in the moment a challenge. I am amazed at authors such as Melanie Dobson and Michelle Shocklee, who write time-slip novels. In With All My Heart, I was only going back and forth between a few days. These ladies write between decades.
- When a reader reaches the end of your book, what do you hope you’ve left them with? What a great question! Through the twists and turns of the story line, I hope readers will realize how alike we all are in our pursuit of understanding God’s love for us and our longing to be loved.
- What is your dream writing space, and do you have it already? I recently started a Contemporary Fiction story which begins in Mexico. I was blessed to go to a small town near the coast for a week. I settled into a large screened-in porch with ceiling fans as I watched two iguanas play and listened to birds converse in their unique squawk. Being in the place where the story is unfolding is extremely helpful. I can adjust chairs, cushions, temperature, but there is nothing like being fully a part of my surroundings. For With All My Heart, I had to rely on the imagery of other writers who had taken me to the 1850’s frontier, as well as internet photos and recordings to help bring characters such as Singing Bird to life.
Heidi Gray McGill writes Christian Historical Fiction. Her stories are engaging, uplifting, clean, and full of adventure. Reviewers have commented that her books are page-turners, well-written, hard to put down, not predictable, spiritually uplifting, fast-paced with descriptive prose, and beautifully written.
When mishaps occur in Heidi’s stories, a slightly tweaked personal incident could be possible, although she will most likely deny all reference to reality. She enjoys living near Charlotte, NC, with her husband of nearly 30 years. When she isn’t writing, you most likely will find her playing outside with her grandson, scrapbooking, cooking, or reading.
Where can we find you online? The best ways to stay current with my book news are:
My mailing list: I am very protective of my loyal readers and do not share information with any other source. My mother always said I had a problem with sharing…I guess that is a good thing in this case. My newsletter offers insight into what I’m doing, and readers are the first to know what’s happening in my author’s world. I also have giveaways only available to subscribers.
BookBub: When readers “follow” me here, they receive a personal note when I have a book sale! It’s also a GREAT place to see what books I have personally read and recommend.
Goodreads is another great place to “follow” me and leave a review. They will send readers a monthly notice with author highlights.
However readers choose to connect, I am always honored and thankful they choose to do so.
Thank you for spending time with me today! It’s been a pleasure having you on the blog and getting to do this interview with you. Do you have any final words for our readers? The synopsis of the series says it best: “Sometimes, it’s the unexpected twists that make life an exciting adventure. At other times, fear, trouble, and deep heartache make it feel perilous. But in all times, accepting God’s will, even if it means losing the one you love, makes it worthwhile.”