Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Heather Day Gilbert

Posted November 2, 2016 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, Heather Day Gilbert, historical / 75 Comments

Author Interview RIMSP

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

Her latest release Forest Child (book 2 in the Vikings of the New World Saga) is already getting rave reviews!

forest-childViking 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.

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Welcome to the blog, Heather! I start all my guests out with a fast four –

apples or oranges

Heather: Apples—especially the kind growing on the trees in my backyard, when they’re not fully ripe. 

Carrie: Ahhhh I’m jealous!

winter or summer

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?

dogs or cats

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” 😉

coffee or tea

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…

image source: Pinterest
image source: Pinterest

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!

forest-child-memeIn 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

website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

giveaway RIMSP

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!

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More Books by Heather Day Gilbert

What about you? Who is your favorite book character from childhood?

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75 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Heather Day Gilbert

  1. Rebecca Maney

    This was such a great book, but I would love to win a print copy to put in my church library.

    I loved Laura Ingalls. Apparently my tendency to be a pioneer has waned with age, but I thought she had the best life ever!

  2. Winnie Thomas

    Fantastic interview, Carrie and Heather! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about your books, Heather. I must read them soon! Are you related to Bertel Thorvaldsen of Christus statue fame? Also, do you have a pronunciation guide in your books or are we on our own? LOL

    • Hi Winnie! You know, I do think I’d heard we were related to him, but I have no proof of that except the same last name. And no pronunciation guide in the books, sorry! But I find that Norse words are very similar in many ways to English, and many of our English words come from Norse words. The one I had the most trouble with was Gudrid’s mother in law’s name (in God’s Daughter)–her name was “Thjodhild” and it is pronounced “Chud-hild.” There are several YouTube videos of the proper way to pronounce the Norse words. But I do have glossaries in the back of both books. ;)And I shortened and changed a few names so they’re easier for readers to remember (Thorfinn is “Finn”, etc.). Also, I only intersperse occasional Norse words–the books are very much written for an English-speaking audience.

      • Winnie Thomas

        They sound wonderful, Heather! I’m in awe of the amount of research you must have done! Is the price for both books going to remain the same for a while–do you know? I really want to read them!

        • In softcover, they’ll stay that price, but in Kindle/ebook version, the God’s Daughter price will go up from 99c special to 4.99 (probably Forest Child will go up to 5.99). But there is an ebook bundle called The Vikings of the New World Saga with both e-books on all vendors (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks) and right now it’s at 5.99 and will probably stay priced below the cost of both books separately, if that makes sense. Here’s the link to that one on Kindle–it’s both the books in one ebook set: Hope that helps!

  3. Forest Child sounds amazing! I don’t have a favorite book character from childhood, but I remember as a child I loved reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott…

    • Carrie

      i read that in 8th grade, i think… and I just recently finished reading a book about the love story of Sir Walter Scott and his wife. And now I want to go back and read Ivanhoe again!

      • Heather, I read pretty much any book I could get into my hands those days, lol. Thankfully, most books around me were excellent. The movie version I saw was awesome, too. Carrie, now I want to read about the love story of Sir Walter Scott and his wife, too! 🙂

  4. Eilonwy from Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series was one of my childhood favorites.

    Great interview – I’m looking forward to reading Forest Child soon! And Heather, if my Norwegian great-great grandfather Knut hadn’t changed it when they arrived in the U.S., my last name would be Loe. 😀

  5. MH

    Great review and interview. I’ve never read her books and now I’m intrigued! As for my favorite character during childhood, can’t say I have one. Though if I could pick one character from children’s/young adult literature whom I admire, I’d pick Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird.

  6. Diana

    Love the interview! I would have to say my favorite book character from my childhood is Primrose Squarp from Everything on a Waffle. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  7. ~JJ

    I just received a copy of God’s Daughter. It looks like a great read and it’s up next on my TBR list. I was not a great reader as a child. In fact, I’ve read more children’s books as an adult than I ever did WAY back then. I loved Dr. Seuss books so my first response to the question was The Cat in the Hat. The only other childhood books I remember are The Boxcar Children series. My 3rd grade teacher read them to the class often. I have fond memories of that.

  8. Patty

    I think I would say Laura Ingalls Wilder too! Probably because she was a real person.
    I also remember reading the Happy Hollister books and the Box Car children books, but I don’t remember the specific characters.
    Of course we can’t forget about Nancy Drew!

  9. Connie Saunders

    Before Nancy Drew was my best friend, I fell in love with Trixie Beldon and I read all of her series. I was also a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    Thanks for a great interview.

    • Thanks so much, Caryl! You’re a sweetie! And ASLAN! None will ever compare. Which is your fave in the Chronicles of Narnia series? I loved The Silver Chair (very fond of Puddleglum, the marshwiggle), but I also loved The Last Battle although it seemed darker. And The Magician’s Nephew! And…okay, so I loved that whole series!

  10. Pam Lunsford

    Hey Ladies, I have always wanted to read God’s Daughter!!! I have always been interested in books about Vikings but not easy to find in Christian Fiction.
    i don’t have a favorite book character as a child. I was always looking for books about wagon trains in the library at school. My High School senior paper was about the Oregon Trail and to this day wagon train books are my favorite. As a kid if I couldn’t find wagon trains I would read anything about the west, Scotland or Vikings. So no favorite characters for me.

    Thanks for the great interview and thanks Heather for writing about Vikings.

  11. Sherry Moe

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I’ve never read any of your books before but I’m no following you and you books are now on my to be read list in Goodreads.

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