Each Monday I would like to take some time to get to know some of our favorite authors. My hope is that this will help readers connect with the authors.
Today I would like to introduce you to: Heidi Gray McGill!
Heidi is a new to me author. I really look forward to getting to know her through this post and to continue to get to know her after this! I’m also looking forward to checking out her books!
Heidi Gray McGill loves to travel, especially to foreign lands, even though she speaks no foreign language. She embraces the culture, the food, and even the inconveniences that come with adventure.
Her thirst for adventure plays out in her writing. If she can’t visit in person, especially in 2020 during the Covid-19 Crisis, why not visit in her mind, and eventually in writing? When mishaps are shared in her stories, a slightly tweaked personal incident could be possible, although she will most likely deny all reference to reality.
In addition to writing, Heidi is the founder and Director of an English as a Second Language Program in her hometown. She is an ESL certified teacher and enjoys providing opportunities for non-native speakers to learn English and of God’s love.
Heidi lives out daily her favorite Bible verse, 1 Samuel 1:18 “[Hannah] said, ‘May your servant find favor in your eyes.’ Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.” Heidi identifies with Hannah, believing we each choose to be joyful in our hearts, no matter our circumstances. She also agrees that eating something, especially chocolate, can solve myriad issues.
Heidi has been married for nearly 30 years and lives near Charlotte, NC where she spends her days having fun with her grandson. When she isn’t playing, you’ll find her cooking, scrapbooking, or writing. She recently released her first book “Desire of My Heart,” and is working on a sequel, “With All My Heart.”
To help us get to know her, I have given her some questions and here are her responses:
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I served as a Beta Reader for years but only started writing in 2019. My first attempt was not print-worthy, needing a tremendous amount of work. I put it on a shelf in the cloud and walked away. When Covid hit, I found myself with lots of extra time and had no excuses. I dusted it off and got busy. It took nine months to finish, review, format, and upload.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I have recently completed With All My Heart, book 2 in my Shumard Oak Bend novels. While it has been with Beta Readers and ARC readers, I have started the research on book 3 in the series. I am also working on a Contemporary Fiction novel. I needed to challenge my writing skills, and this book indeed has done that!
Q: What are some of your writing must haves? (Drink, snack, supplies, etc.)
A: When I write, I often forget to eat or drink because my fingers are so busy typing. Don’t worry…I make up for the lost calories and then some. When I edit, I’m a decaf green tea girl, mostly because my throat gets dry when I read aloud to catch errors.
Q: What is your favorite time period to write about? Or read about?
A: I’m all over the map when it comes to periods I enjoy immersing myself in. When an author writes well enough to help me see my surroundings, I’m hooked. As long as the stories are flinch-free, I enjoy them.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: Old school writing is still my favorite type of writing. Examples would be Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman, Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter, and Anne of Green Gables. I just read my first time-slip by Melanie Dobson…technically, I read all of her time-slip novels back to back. I’m amazed at how she can seamlessly go from one time period to another. I am currently reading Charles Martin’s Chasing Fireflies, and I just finished his book The Water Keeper. When I need the inspiration to make my books show a story rather than tell one, I listen to one of his audiobooks. My favorite Christian Fiction book for 2020 was Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee. Kate Breslin’s For Such a Time came in a close second.
I have saved my favorite question for last!
Q: What would you like readers to take away from your books?
A: One of my readers said it best: “[You] write books that not only “entertain” but have “life lessons” in them without being preachy!” Writing is my ministry. I desire that readers get a glimpse of God while connecting with a character and seeing, by allowing God the freedom to work in their heart, how God can do the same for them.
To connect with Heidi, please click on any of the following links: her newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, blog, and Amazon page. If you sign up for her newsletter you can get a free prequel! This link will let you read an excerpt of Desire of My Heart and you can purchase a copy here.
I’m also featuring her book Desire of My Heart. It released on Nov. 8th 2020. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf!
About the book:
All Rachel has ever wanted is a family. How could God grant her the desire of her heart, then do nothing to prevent it from being taken away? Can she wait for God’s perfect timing, or will she take matters into her own hands…again?
About to age out of a Missouri orphanage in 1858, shy Rachel listens with terror as the orphanage matron tells her she’s practically auctioning her off to the highest bidder for her hand in marriage. Rachel prays, asking God to help her and her younger brother Charlie escape, but how? When God provides what Rachel believes to be her liberator, the seed of an idea sets in motion an adventure that will bring happiness and heartbreak and nearly cost Rachel her health.
When trouble comes, it comes in a big way and those who care for Rachel wonder if she will ever recover. Rachel and Charlie face danger and sorrow, see new territory, and grow in their faith. They just might even find the desire of their hearts and realize God had bigger plans than they ever imagined.