Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Heidi Chiavaroli {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Heidi...


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. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.

Connect with Heidi...

Website: www.heidichiavaroli.com
Blog: http://www.heidichiavaroli.com/blog/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16080793.Heidi_Chiavaroli
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiChiavaroli.Author/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiChiavaroli
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hchiavaroli/
Purchase: Freedom's Ring

Get to know Heidi...

You and Writing 


How did you start writing?
I started writing in third grade. My first book was called I’d Cross the Desert for Milk. 😀 I wrote on and off growing up, but after I had my two boys and began reading Christian fiction, I knew I needed to write. I wanted to do what these authors were doing: sharing their faith with the power of story.

Why do you write?
I write because I can’t imagine not writing. I love creating through words. There’s something special about story, something magical. And when God shows up and walks with me as I create, it really is an awesome act of worship.

Your writing

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
That being weak, being inadequate, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, as soon as we think we’ve “gotten it right,” then we often stumble on our pride. We often think we can look to ourselves for strength. Or if not ourselves, then our great faith. But maybe it’s not how together we have it, or even how big our faith is. Maybe it’s who we put our faith in. Jesus is strong enough to take all our regrets and mess and make them into something beautiful.

What was a challenge you faced while writing your book?
It was so much fun to explore the same themes within the same story but along two different storylines. But it wasn’t an easy task, either. I wasn’t always confident the stories would merge together nicely. I was having one of those rough writing days when my husband came home and said, “Hey, did you see that they uncovered a time capsule in the State House buried by Sam Adams and Paul Revere?”

What?!

It was those times—when real life handed the inspiration to me, when the timing between reality and story just absolutely fit together so perfectly, that it seemed God was affirming the novel.

Then, all the headaches were totally worth it. 😁

What made you choose the setting for the book?
I’ve always been fascinated by Boston’s Revolutionary history and knew a story was waiting there for me. When the Boston Marathon bombing hit so close to home, it really shook me up. I realized around that time how much I was living in fear. So what does a writer do to work out her problems? She writes a book about them! I combined my love for a good historical story, grounded in another Boston tragedy almost 250 years earlier, and dove in with my characters, exploring the answer to my question, “How can I conquer fear?”

Writing

How long did you write before you got published?
It took me about eleven years from when I seriously began pursuing publication to get to the point of signing that beautiful contract. There were six manuscripts during that time, along with a lot of rejections, a lot of bad contest scores, a lot of, “God, are you sure this is what you want me to do?” But now that I’m here I can say every minute invested, every headache and rejection, were all worth it.

What does your writing process look like?
First, there is A LOT of brainstorming ideas, usually around tons of historical research. While I used to be a Pantser, plotting has definitely become more of my friend as deadlines loom. I never plot scene-by-scene because often my characters surprise me and I like to leave room for that. But it does help to hit the major plot points and have an idea where I’m going.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part is the very beginning, when those ideas are just coming and the possibilities are endless. I love the research, and even that sometimes scary first blank page. My least favorite is probably the very beginning of edits. Sometimes the changes needed seem so insurmountable, I wonder if I can get it all done! But I do, mostly by reminding myself that I’ve put in so much work already and I want the book to be all it can be for my readers.

You 

Have you ever attended a writer’s conference? If so, which one(s) and what were most helpful about it?
Oh yes! I love conferences! Though I’m not able to go every year, I love the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. I’ve met some wonderful friends there (so great to meet those who have a passion for both Jesus and writing!). I also attend a retreat closer to my home, the reNew retreat for New England Writing, being held in October in Connecticut this year.

While I love all I learn at conferences, I think the most helpful thing (and what I appreciate most) is connecting with other writers and with those in the industry. Writing can be lonely, and at conferences you realize you are not alone. In fact, there are tons of people out there just like you—desiring to create with words, desiring to make a difference through story. It’s also wonderful to talk to those farther along on the journey, those who have the gift of encouragement.😊

Apparently August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day (who knew). What is your favorite dessert?
I do love Lemon Meringue Pie, but my absolute favorite is ice cream—either mint chocolate chip or some sort of coffee flavor depending on the day. 😀

What are you currently reading?
A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti. She is such a masterful storyteller—I’d highly recommend any of her books!


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