Author Interview: Heather Norman Smith
One way to bless readers and introduce them to new authors and books is through Author interviews. What an honor it is to welcome Heather Norman Smith to The Introverted Believer Blog. I first met Heather at the North Carolina Christian Writers Conference and we became quick friends. We continued to talk and pray for each other and I couldn't be more proud of what she has accomplished. Take a look at what she had to say regarding her journey - please welcome her by leaving a comment and a follow on her social media.
Interview with Heather Norman Smith:
What is the name of your book? What is it about?
Where I Was Planted
In the spring of 1961, ten-year-old Nate Dooley, also known as Weenie, has a revelation—his father is not a good one. He feels like a weed growing in a crack in the road— like he doesn’t belong but is too insignificant to be moved elsewhere. 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. His course changes when he discovers his father has left him first, and 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 show him he isn’t really alone. He’ll also discover that he must leave Copper Creek after all. Will he ever be able to come back?
What surprised you when writing this book?
My first book was written in third person. This one is written in first person, and the mindset while writing was surprisingly different. In a lot of ways, I found it to be easier.
Also, some of the research surprised me. I learned about forced relocations that were part of the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the building of Fontana Dam. Families were forced out of 6,000 homes in the area, and that was surprising and sad to learn.
Are any of your characters introverts? Give us a sneak peek into their personality.
The main character is definitely an introvert, but as a neglected child, he’s been forced to rely on himself. Some of his introvert tendencies may be learned.
Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits while you write?
Not necessarily habits, but with this book, I became so wrapped up in the story and the characters that I started mistakenly calling my dog, Rico, by the name of the dog in the book--Samson. Rico was fairly young then, and I was afraid I was going to really confuse him as he was learning his name.
Tell us something interesting about yourself unrelated to writing.
I don’t know about “interesting”, but a few facts: I play the saxophone. I’ve never left the country or been west of the Mississippi. My dad has been my pastor all my life. I’m addicted to black coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper.
Do you have a word count goal each day or do you write for hours when you feel inspired?
It depends on the book and the season of life. At times, I’ve kept to a goal—usually 500 or 1,000 words per day. Right now, my writing time is hit or miss, between marketing tasks for the first two books and family, work, and ministry responsibilities.
Do you have an “author verse” – a truth that you cling to while writing?
Definitely! It was the key verse for my first book: Proverbs 3:6. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Can you share with readers how they can help you as an author?
Reviews and prayer. Prayer and reviews.
Have you thought about writing in a different genre? Which one?
I haven’t nailed down the whole genre thing anyway. But I actually have explored an idea for a speculative story, which is the most unexpected genre for me to write, I think. This story would involve a supernatural ability to time travel, in order to right a wrong from the past. I’m not sure I’ll ever finish it, but we’ll see.
Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character in Where I Was Planted, aside from the main character, Nate Dooley, is Opal. For anyone with a less-than-ideal family life, she would be the mother/grandmother figure they wish they had. She’s kind, understanding, warm, and gentle. And she was inspired by a real person. While I was developing the characters of Opal and her husband, Dell, I met a couple that resembled my fictional characters in amazing ways. From then on, Ms. Susan was my model for Opal, and her husband, Chester, was Dell. So, feeling like I know her in real life makes Opal even more special.
What else would you like to share with us?
I’d love to tell you about my first book, Grace & Lavender. It released in March of this year and is a light, feel-good read. Foster care and adoption is a major theme of the story, and I hope in some way it will incline people’s hearts toward orphans, and maybe encourage someone to consider fostering. My husband and I have been licensed foster parents since October 2018. Our foster son is two-and-a-half and is a wonderful addition to our family. Our three children adore him.
Heather Norman Smith is a Christian Fiction author and devotions writer. Her goal is to use the written word to entertain and encourage, while illuminating the redemptive love of God.
Heather is proud to be a life-long North Carolinian and aims to present the beauty of the Tar Heel State in her writing. Her home is just outside Winston-Salem, NC, where she lives with her husband, their three children, and several spoiled pets. Visit her website at: www.heathernormansmith.com
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You can purchase a copy of her book, Where I was Planted on Amazon.
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