~ I’m thrilled to have inspirational historical romance author Heidi Chiavaroli with us today to discuss her writing journey and her new release, The Hidden Side! Heidi and I met during the 2014 Genesis Contest when we were both finalists. Heidi went on to win the contest and hasn’t stopped since!
Thanks so much for joining us today, Heidi!
Thanks for having me, Cynthia!
~ You live in an area rich in early American history. Is that why you enjoy writing about that time period?
Absolutely. I grew up in Massachusetts and remember the impression visiting Plimoth Plantation had on me. I remember thinking, “Wow. Real people were here all those years ago, living in a completely different kind of world. Yet they were people just like me, struggling with life and death, relationships and survival.” I always wondered about those who have come before us, and visiting places like Plimoth Plantation or Boston’s Freedom Trail fueled my imagination.
~ I share your fascination with history! But tell us, what led you to write split-time stories?
When I began my writing journey, I wrote straight historical stories. Then I began reading Susan Meissner’s time-slip books and I was completely inspired. I loved the literary feel of the books, how she tied together history with the present. So powerful! I remember thinking, “I wonder if I could try that…”
~ And you’ve done it very well! Which segment is more of a challenge to write, the contemporary or historical?
This varies with each story. The contemporary story in Freedom’s Ring was more of a struggle to write for me. In The Hidden Side, though the contemporary was more of an emotional struggle, I actually found the historical story more of a challenge to write as far as plot and the general flow of it. The historical part of the manuscript I’m currently on deadline for came easier than the contemporary.
~ Do you work outside the home? How do you balance your home-life and other obligations with your writing? (This is an area I struggle with!)
Good question! This is such a challenge for any writer, I’m sure! I do work part-time outside the home, at my local pharmacy. While sometimes I think it would be wonderful to simply write full-time, mostly I enjoy getting out of the house and interacting with real people! 😉
I am incredibly schedule-oriented, even down to the days of the week I clean, do laundry, groceries, etc. This helps me carve out specific time for writing, and when I’m on a deadline I figure out how many words I need to write a day, and I just make myself do it! Of course I have those occasional bad days, but thinking of writing as a career and a job (and taking myself seriously even before I landed that contract) helped me prioritize time for it.
~ That’s wonderful to be so disciplined! Do you have a favorite character you’ve created?
Oh, I have so many! In The Hidden Side though, my favorite character was Maelynn. I’ve never written in the point-of-view of a contemporary teenager and I can’t believe how much I enjoyed it. Sure, there was a lot to tackle in this book with Maelynn, but she came alive to me in a very unique way. I absolutely felt her. I was her. Though I craft many characters, they don’t all speak to me in the same way. To me, Maelynn’s character was especially powerful. She surprised me not only with her honesty, but how she grew throughout the story as well.
~ It’s so fun as a writer to watch your characters grow and become a part of you. What story are you currently working on?
I’m currently on deadline for my third book with Tyndale, scheduled to release in early 2020. We’ll be back in Revolutionary/Contemporary Boston for that, so I’m excited!
~ Sounds great, Heidi. We’ll look forward to it!
Thank you, Cynthia!
Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail. She writes Women’s Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Both her debut novel, “Freedom’s Ring” and her sophomore novel, “The Hidden Side” are Romantic Times Top Picks.
Read how God works in the lives of Cynthia’s characters in her Inspirational, Historical Romance (Prairie Sky) Series:
BOOK 1: UNDER THIS SAME SKY (April, 2017)
BOOK 2: UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES (April, 2018)
~ Watch for my review here in June!