Author of the Week- Heather Blanton

3d Typewriter with blank paper Top View

I’d like to introduce everyone to this week’s Author of the Week, Heather Blanton! Heather writes Christian Fiction, and her current series takes place in the Rockies. Click on any of the links in this post to check her out! Without further ado, let’s get to know Heather.

hearts_promo1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.

Looking back over my life, two things have been constants: my awareness of, and eventually, service to my Lord Jesus, and Westerns! I try to put Jesus at the core of everything I do, but I also adore researching Western history, traveling out West, reading and watching Westerns. I’ve got a brand and I’ve been building it for a long, long time. Laugh…

2. When and why did you start writing books?

I’ve been writing since I was 5. Who knows why someone really starts writing. For me, it was a way to combat loneliness or boredom. Back when I was a kid, we didn’t have video games or satellite TV. In fact, because I lived in a fairly isolated mountain community with poor TV reception, we were lucky to get three channels. So I’d write. I usually continued some story I’d seen or read and didn’t want it to end. But by high school, I was coming up with my own stories.

3. What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?

When my sister passed in June of ’99, I started A Lady in Defiance, the story of three sisters stranded in the rowdy, godless mining town of Defiance. But my computer crashed and I lost it! Well, I had a new baby and thought maybe the timing wasn’t right, so I let the story simmer. Then, in’07, it was like God dropped a piano on me and said, “Write that story now.” I had the first draft done in 9 months. But it took a few more years for me to get where I was happy with A Lady. When I self-published it in 2012 as a fundraiser for my Relay for Life team and it went to number one on Amazon, I thought, “God, I’ll save my money and see where you lead.” In February of 2013 he led me to quit my job and dive in to writing full-time.

4. Which one of your books or characters is your favorite?

A Lady in Defiance will probably always be my favorite. The character of Hannah is based on my sister Susan and it’s the book that started it all for me.

5. Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
 
I knew nothing about current rules or trends in Christian fiction when I wrote my first book. To some extent, I’m glad. A Lady in Defiance is a real, honest story about flawed characters, but it has several point-of-views, is a little “gritty” for Christian fiction, and doesn’t necessarily follow the “formula” for a romance. Yet, readers responded like crazy to it! It has over 320 reviews on Amazon, if that tells you anything. But that success challenged me to become a more skilled writer so that I could better glorify God and give readers an even deeper experience. Hearts in Defiance, the second book, moves faster, has more twists, and deeper characters.

6. Who is your favorite author and book?
 
I’ll read almost anything by Tamara Leigh, Tamara Alexander, or Francine Rivers. My favorite book is an odd little supernatural story called The Mirror by Marlys Millheiser. It’s about a girl who becomes her grandmother because of a cursed mirror and lives life in turn-of-the-century Colorado. Weird but good!

7. What book are you reading right now?

I’ll read two and three books at a time. Right now, though, I’m reading The Scriptwriter’s Bible. One of the producers of AMC’s Western Hell on Wheels liked A Lady in Defiance enough to suggest I turn it into a script! Who knows, maybe one day you’ll see Naomi and her sisters on the Hallmark Channel.

8. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Usually, some little tidbit of history or a true story will spark an idea. While the character of Hannah in my books is based on my sister, the town of Defiance is based on a mix of ghost towns in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. And there really was a man named Charles McIntyre who owned a mine in one of those long-forgotten towns.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

My greatest joy is going home to Cashiers, NC. I grew up there, graduated from there, have family there. A beautiful community of awesome people who recharge my batteries every time I visit! Me time, though, is a rare commodity, and when I have it, I want to write. My work is my art. Thank the Lord!

I also love facebook! That darn social media site has allowed me to meet some of the most interesting people from all around the world.

10. Do you have any new books in the works?
I have the crazy idea of getting two novels out in the next 12 months. That’s pretty ambitious. One is Book 3 in the Defiance series, and the other is a Western romance, but a totally different story.
11. Is there anything that makes your books special or different from other authors?

Somewhere in all my stories, at least one of my main characters is a Believer and is struggling with something. A faith message is not an afterthought, not an add-on, not an oh-yea-by-the-way. A real person of faith is working out his salvation and struggling to understand how knowing God makes it all better. In Book 1, Naomi had to let go and trust that God knew what he was doing. In Book 2, Charles has to BELIEVE he’s forgiven and forgive himself. In Book 3—well, you’ll find out.

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Comments

  1. Wonderful interview! Loved getting to know you better, Heather. And thank you for the mention. You are so sweet.

    Blessings,

    Tamara

  2. I’ve read both of Heathers books and also her novella, and I LOVED them! She’s a very talented writer and I look forward to more of her books 🙂

  3. Patsey Dotson says

    I’ve read Heather’s books and absolutely love them and looking to the next!!

  4. Lisa Maria says

    Left comment in wrong place ! Coincidentally I just finished reading the first two books in the series. Looking forward to reading book 3. Thank you for sharing that wonderful interview…it was nice to learn more about the lady behind the writer.