Tell us a little about your books.
I’m in the middle of an exciting season because I have some vastly different projects coming up. In a general sense, I’m a Christian Fiction author, so all of my books carry a message for the soul from the Christian perspective. But each novel carries its own theme and setting … as well as a touch of clean romance.
I debuted with a Civil War series. The Ancient Words Series follows the Harper family and their close friends from the viewpoint of a small southern town during the war. I chose a real regiment from my hometown as the center of the novel and was able to weave in a lot of historical facts. The first two books cover the four years of war and the various obstacles commonly experienced by those on the home front as well as the solider. The third book takes place in the year following the war and focuses on the difficult time of transition. We watch the Harpers struggle with real-life issues where they learn that God is their Savior, a place of refuge in the midst of their greatest fears, and a source of healing.
I’m in the process of starting two new series. The first one is called A Season Passed and is loosely inspired by my favorite Disney movies.
The first book, If Only It Were Yesterday, released last month and was inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Liz Cooke longs to experience a simpler lifestyle like those that she reads about in historical novels. But when she dreams she time-travels, she may not find life in 1885 to be as ideal as she once had thought. You can read the first chapter for free here: https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/preview-if-only-it-were-yesterday-by-a-m-heath/
Yesterday’s Christmas releases on November 5th and was inspired by Beauty and the Beast. It’s a dual-time novel following Betty and Glenn during their first Christmas together in 1954, where they fell in love, and thirty years later when the couple is on the brink of divorce but stranded together. This is such a powerful story on bitterness, and I can’t wait to launch it out into the world.
And then there’s the Art of Love novels. These novels are set in the 1950s and feature a different type of artist. Dance With Me releases in April of 2019. It’s a stunning story about facades, the pain that causes them, and the healing we find only in Christ.
Anita, why are you writing historical fiction?
Simple: I LOVE history! I do have some contemporary stories in the works but it’s safe to say that I’m primarily a historical author. I’ve really enjoyed delving into various eras of history. Each new era is a new opportunity to research and I enjoy learning about life in the past.
When did you first realize you wanted to write books?
I think it’s been something that I’ve attempted to do since I was a young child. But writing as a serious venture, started for me nearly 10 years ago. I just felt the urge to write for fun and discovered a hidden talent. In time, the Lord made it clear that this was a talent with a purpose, and I began writing for the public. I was very uncertain of myself when I understood that the Lord was leading me to publication. I knew I didn’t have what it takes to write and write well, but the Lord reminded me that anything He leads us to do, He’ll also enable us to do it. And He’s never failed me yet!
What advice would you give others to accomplish their goals and dreams and balance daily life?
This can really be tough. I feel like I’m better at this in certain seasons of my life than at others. There’s a lot of helpful advice out there about how to manage your time, and prioritize your life, etc. But my biggest advice is this: Understand that you’re not the only one who struggles. I feel like so many people, women, in particular, put additional pressure on themselves to measure up to the standards they see around them, but they don’t realize these standards are fake. By nature, we tend to show off our good side. We only post our best pictures. We only talk about our accomplishments. We only chime in when we’ve done something spectacular. And because of that, we fail to see in others, or allow others to see from us, the struggles. For the things I get “right,” I get as many “wrong.” I may have one great day but four rough ones. And when we fixate on trying to reach perfection 7 days a week, we find ourselves disappointed and then we’re hard on ourselves.
Instead, give yourself some slack. Look for ways to cut time. Celebrate the small accomplishments. And understand that you’re not the only one who fails. You’re not alone. So keep trying.
What advice and motivation do you have to offer other entrepreneurs?
Understand that anything you’re attempting to do WILL take time. Lots of time. You’re going to have to be ready and willing to put in the hard labor. But ALWAYS celebrate the small accomplishments. If you wait until you get to the end to rejoice, you’ll dry up along the way. And keep healthy reminders. I keep inspirational quotes on my desk. (I cut scrap paper into index cards and wrote a variety of quotes on them and display them on a mini easel.)
Here are a few of my favorites:
“Do the hard stuff; it’s going to be great.” Christy Gragg
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
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