Sunday, February 9, 2014

Best Selling Viking Author Heather Day Gilbert

Hello, Heather. Is there a story behind your book, God's Daughter?
Yes. I thought historical fiction would be an easy sell in Christian book circles, so I set about to research/write about a time period close to my heart. I'm allegedly related to Eirik the Red, so I bought The Sagas of Icelanders and loved reading about the women in the Viking culture--particularly the women connected with Eirik. When I realized Gudrid was a Christian Viking who sailed to North America with her husband, I wanted to tell her story and bring this piece of history to life. Turns out Christian publishers didn't feel Vikings were marketable, but I knew they were, so I chose to self-publish this novel after about a year and a half on submission.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Definitely the internet! Sometimes I feel my brain will only quiet down at night...which means I'm insomniac half the time.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Oh my lands, I have found several indie authors this year and I'll be buying all their books. I love that indies write a bit outside the box, just like I do. My critique partner, Becky Doughty, just released Elderberry Croft, which is the most charming, touching set of stories. I also fell in love with Karin Kaufman's Anna Denning mysteries (they touch on the supernatural). Wendy Paine Miller's debut, The Disappearing Key, was an excellent, thought-provoking novella.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
One theme that's wrapped into all my books so far is the importance of marriage. I tend to write married main characters, because I don't see enough books like that. So I'm writing true love stories, versus romance. Sticking to it for the long haul, learning to give and receive, basically, letting God shape you through marriage. It's something I believe in very strongly, and I love delving into the topics marrieds deal with on a daily basis.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.   
God has given me several verses to cling to in this writing journey. The one I really love is Romans 8:31, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" It takes so much courage to self-publish. You have to believe in your book enough to ask endorsers to read get it out there for readers. I would never have taken this step if I didn't know God was pushing me to do it.

Another verse I found while waiting in this publication journey was in 2 Chron. 25:9, where King Amaziah was worrying about paying the troops he'd hired to fight, when the prophet told him he didn't need them. He said, "'But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?' And the man of God answered, 'The LORD has much more to give you than this.'"

As an author, it was easy to ask God "But what about the money I paid for edits?" or "What about the money I paid for contests?", wondering if it would ever be repaid. This verse made me realize God had FAR more planned for me than anything I could come up with. I truly believed He would restore those years the locust had eaten in my writing journey. And guess what? He has repaid it and I believe He will continue to bless, because I obeyed Him when it looked counter-intuitive. I have an agent. Why would I self-publish? And yet, I knew it was right.

Our Readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Like, what makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
My husband and my children. I don't laugh a lot, being the reclusive author type, but my husband and kiddos can make me laugh any day of the week. And I often laugh at myself, which is something my hubby says he loves.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I was born and reared in West Virginia (and a little bit in South Carolina). I never thought I'd come back to my home state...but God had other plans. Now, I'm committed to bringing this wild and wonderful state to readers in my contemporary mystery novels (Miranda Warning will be the first in this series, releasing this year). When I was young, the mountains felt oppressive and limiting. Now, I realize what a comfort they are. It's not something I can put into words...but I do write poetry about West Virginia sometimes.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
As I mentioned above, it's a contemporary Appalachian mystery titled Miranda Warning. I'm excited to bring modern-day West Virginia to readers through the eyes of my main character, Tess Spencer. I plan to release it in spring or early summer, 2014. I will update readers on that on my Facebook author page (link above). I also have a newsletter, and plan to send subscribers sneak peeks like the cover art and sample chapters.

Thank you all so much for having me visit today!

The pleasure is all ours, Heather.

Heather's Viking novel, God's Daughter, is an Amazon bestseller. You can purchase the book on AmazonBarnes and Nobleand Smashwords.

Heather Day Gilbert is giving away a copy of God's Daughter. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. 

(It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


Sharon A Lavy said...

I read more of the book last night. I expect I will finish it tonight. Lots of tension and action going on. Vikings lived a hard life.

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jackie McNutt said...

I love that Heather's writings focus on marriage. I have not read her books but look forward to doing so.
The covers are beautiful.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Think I will take a chance and see what I think of a Viking story. Intrigues me that Heather decided to self publish because the publishers didn't think it would be popular and now being a bestseller on Amazon. Guess GOD did bless her writing. Put my name in please. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Thank you all for visiting today! What great interview questions, Sharon! And yes, Viking life wasn't easy...but then again, in some ways, it was similar to what we experience today. Hoping people will learn more about it through the book!

Susan P said...

I don't understand what publishers think we all want. The only thing out there seems to be Amish and I know many people, me included, who aren't into it and would love viking stories! Thank you Heather for self publishing to give us this story!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Heather, Thanks so much for your comment about The Disappearing Key & I'm with you on moving back "home". I had no idea we'd end up back in the same state I grew up.

Lisa Lickel said...

I love this time period! And thank you for finding indie writers...we love you. Lisalickel-hotmail.

Anonymous said...

Sounds awesome! mandn(at)wisper(dash)wireless(dot)com

Patty said...

Love the cover, and look forward to reading this book!


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