I’m honored to have friend and fellow author, Heidi Chiavaroli as my guest today. Heidi and I got acquainted when we were finalists in the ACFW Genesis Contest back in 2014. Much has happened since then, especially for Heidi who has gone on to write several novels and receive other distinguished awards. Welcome, Heidi!

Thanks for having me, Cynthia!

It’s my pleasure, Heidi. What has surprised you most in your writing journey?

That there’s never a point of arrival! I used to think, “When I get a contract by my dream publisher, then I’ve reached my goal.” And while that was certainly a part of it, in many ways the journey was just beginning. I constantly have to remind myself of all that God has done and rest (and be content with) whatever plans He has for the future.

Sage advice, Heidi. Thank you. What would you say is your favorite part of the writing process?

The research and dreaming phase. At that time, anything seems possible. I love the prospect of a new story. Of course, I also really enjoy writing it and really, really enjoy writing THE END!

LOL! I agree on all counts. What do you feel is most challenging about writing split-time novels?

Getting the connection/ending to be truly satisfying. Ideally, both contemporary and historical characters should have grown, often in a similar manner, and there should be a link between the two time periods that serves the story and the readers in a way that they can close the book and feel complete.

With a split-time novel, I imagine that is twice as challenging. Name one of the first books or authors to inspire you and why.

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Wow. She wrote into some dark places with such light and truth and hope, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a long time. She completely inspired me to shine hope into a story that tackles the difficult.

I’ll have to look that one up. Thanks for sharing. How similar are you to your heroines?

That definitely varies with each book and with each character. Some have more of me in them than others! In The Edge of Mercy, I see myself a lot in Sarah but I actually wish I were more like Elizabeth.

Is there a theme verse that holds The Edge of Mercy together?

 2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

A wonderful verse. Share with us an interesting history fact you’ve uncovered during your research.

I learned that King Philip’s War actually began right in my hometown. We don’t hear much about this 17th century war, but it was brutal and heartbreaking on both the side of the colonists and the side of the Native Americans.

To what extent will you go to find answers to your historical questions?

Oh, pretty far! I’ve scoured the internet for hours searching for a tidbit of historical fact. I’ve gone to Medical Libraries to read letters and accounts, contacted other libraries to find out what kind of ships would have been in a certain harbor at a certain time. Of course, I’ve still made mistakes, but I strive to get facts as authentic as possible for the sake of my story, and my readers.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Heidi! It was a joy having you.

Heidi Chiavaroli writes women’s fiction, exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie Inspirational, Historical Romance by Cynthia Roemer (Prairie Sky Series)


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Now for our Giveaway! Heidi has graciously offered to give away a SIGNED PRINT COPY of The Edge of Mercy. Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below for your chance to win this celebrated split-time novel.

Two women, three hundred years apart, must face the devastation of all they hold dear.

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