Hi y’all! Happy Wednesday 🙂
I’m so excited for the chance to chat with author Heather Day Gilbert today! Her books are on my “MUST READ THESE SOON LIKERIGHTNOW” list lol. #bookbloggerlife #neverenoughtime
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, a Grace Award winner and bestselling author, writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather is a graduate of Bob Jones University, and she and her husband are raising their children in the same home in which Heather grew up. Heather is represented by Rebeca Seitz and Jonathan Clements of SON Studios in FL.
Heather’s Viking historical novel, God’s Daughter, is an Amazon Norse Bestseller. She is also the author of the bestselling A Murder in the Mountains mystery series and the Hemlock Creek Suspense series. Heather also authored the Indie Publishing Handbook: Four Key Elements for the Self-Publisher. Find out more at heatherdaygilbert.com.
Her latest release Forest Child (book 2 in the Vikings of the New World Saga) is already getting rave reviews!
Viking warrior. Dauntless leader. Protective mother.
Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate “forest child” of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland.
But nothing can prepare her for the horrors she must confront in Vinland…and nothing can stand in her way when her family is threatened.
In her race to outrun the truths that might destroy her, Freydis ultimately collides with the only enemy she cannot silence—her own heart.
Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life.
Welcome to the blog, Heather! I start all my guests out with a fast four –
Heather: Apples—especially the kind growing on the trees in my backyard, when they’re not fully ripe.
Carrie: Ahhhh I’m jealous!
Heather: Tough—I like spring and fall! Winters are lovely but I hate traveling across our West Virginia mountains in winter, which I have to do to get anywhere. Summer can get pretty hot and we don’t have central air. I think for sheer beauty, I would lean toward winter, because I love that clear, crisp winter sky full of stars. Although crickets and peepers and the lull of the summer twilight pull me in, too.
Carrie: All the seasons have their beauty, don’t they?
Heather: Definitely dogs. I love dogs and they seem to sense it. But we have had some really great cats over the years.
Carrie: Zuzu forgives you for the cat thing because you said “definitely dogs” 😉
Heather: Coffee wins every time. In fact, coffee just wins everything. LOL
Carrie: Ah you’re one of THOSE people, I see. lol.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Heather: What a great question! I’ve always loved superheroes. If I had to pick one superpower, I think I would want to fly.
Carrie: I’m terrified to fly in airplanes. I wonder if that would translate to flying like a superhero… hmm…
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Heather: I really loved Meg from A Wrinkle in Time. She was awkward and self-conscious and sensitive and all the things I was at that age. She learned to be brave because of her love for her family. To be honest, I don’t remember as much about the plotline of that book as I do the characters portrayed. I loved the others in that series, as well, especially A Wind in the Door—that one, I can remember the plot, too!
Carrie: YES! I have always loved Meg. Such fascinating books… A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door are still my faves from that series.
If I snuck a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Heather: That I always have lipstick, that I’m not super-tidy, and that I like to carry some kind of weapon. 😉
Carrie: hahaha! I love this answer so much!
Books about Vikings and Icelandic settings are so rare in Christian fiction! What inspired you to write the Vikings of the New World Saga series?
Heather: I became interested in Eirik the Red and Leif Eiriksson because my great-grandfather was allegedly related to them (my maiden name would’ve been Thorvaldsson if he hadn’t changed it to “Day” when they emigrated from Norway). I bought my own copy of The Sagas of Icelanders and read about Gudrid, who was Eirik’s ward, and Freydis, who was his daughter, and their bravery as they sailed to North America (Vinland). I wanted to share their unforgettable true stories with today’s readers in a way they could relate to.
Carrie: That is so interesting! I’m very intrigued about these Sagas now. I love how you have captured these real life people in characters that come alive for us as we read your books!
In your newest book, the second book in the series, Forest Child, you bring another historical figure to life in Freydis Eiriksdottir (I’m so glad this isn’t an audio interview! HAHA!). How, if at all, did she surprise you as her story unfolded?
Heather: Freydis was (and always has been) full of surprises. It took me years to understand why she might have taken the actions she historically took, but I feel like I related to her the more I wrote. I realized what her motivations were and I started to see that she, like many modern women, had a serious need for control and recognition. And—although she’d never admit it out loud—for love.
Carrie: This is one of the things I love most about historical fiction – how a person from so many years ago can feel like just me or one of my friends.
What do you most want readers to take away from Forest Child and the Vikings of the New World Saga?
Heather: I would love it if these characters and their stories become a part of the reader, almost like a movie they can’t forget or like people they feel they know. I’ve read some books like that—I might not remember all the beautiful prose or the specifics, but I remember those characters and situations because they seemed so real. Also, I feel great when I hear my books have stirred a fresh interest in Viking history for the reader. And finally, I pray that all my books show that there is always hope, even in the darkest of times.
Carrie: Beautifully said.
Heather, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Heather: Thanks so much for having me—it’s such an honor to visit your lovely blog today! And next up is The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, a five-novella collection which will release March 1 by Barbour Books. It features Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Jocelyn Green, Maureen Lang, and me! This is such a unique collection because it shows how a bottle traverses the centuries, its message of hope touching five couples. I can’t tell you how awestruck I am to be working with these outstanding historical authors and what a fun collection this has been to collaborate on!
Carrie: Yay! Some of my very fave authors! Looking so forward to this one 🙂
Connect with Heather online
Heather is giving away one PAPERBACK copy of God’s Daughter (US ONLY) and one ebook copy of Forest Child! So two of my readers will get to win – yay!
More Books by Heather Day Gilbert
What about you? Who is your favorite book character from childhood?