Heather, welcome to Overcoming With God. We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.
Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
The most difficult thing I have done so far in my life is watch my sister Susan die of cancer. She was a young, amazingly Godly woman who had overcome some incredible circumstances in her life. When she fought this battle, and then lost it, it affected me deeply. After a long absence from the keyboard, I started writing again to deal with the loss, and what happened next is nothing short of a miracle.
I wanted to tell the story of my sister’s life, but in a very cloaked way. You see, Suzy was an unwed teenage mother. But what most people would call a mistake, my God called the first link in a chain of miracles.
My sister got pregnant at the age of fifteen. Both families pushed her to have an abortion and she agreed. In the doctor’s office, however, she changed her mind and said she couldn’t go through with it. The phone rang and it was the father of the child; he didn’t want Suzy to go through with it, either, but he still couldn’t marry her.
So, Suzy went to a half-way house to have the baby and give him up for adoption. A month before she was due to deliver, the father of the baby finally stood up to his own father and told him he loved Suzy and was going to bring her home. She and her new husband gave their hearts to the Lord and went on to have two more children. Suzy matured into a mighty, spirit-filled woman of God, finished her GED, earned a degree as an R.N., and became a licensed minister in the Church of God, all while raising children and helping her husband farm. She was a popular speaker at women’s conferences, and worked as a Hospice nurse for over two years, leading patients to Jesus on their death beds. And the “unwanted” baby that was almost aborted grew into a Godly man who boldly preaches the gospel.
When I lost my sister to breast cancer I struggled with my grief and turned to fiction to “write it out.” Initially, I had no big plans for the book. I just needed to write. A Lady in Defiance tells the story of three, good Christian sisters who get stranded in a pretty wild mining town. Suzy was the inspiration for my character of Hannah, the young, unwed, teenage sister.
God opened doors for me to get an editor and then an agent, both totally unexpected. Last February I asked my literary agent, David Shepherd, if I could self-publish the book and use it as a fundraiser for an American Cancer Society event. My goal was to sell 200 copies. I wound up selling nearly 9000 copies in 2012 and actually made some bestsellers lists at Amazon. No publisher, no PR, no marketing. Just God. All God.
I’m writing fulltime now and working on the sequel to finish Suzy’s story. Praise the Lord for an amazing journey!
(CFP: What an amazing witness, Heather!)
Disability friendliness: Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print?
I hope to have the audio version available by Christmas!
A Lady in Defiance is full of bibliotherapy uses. Can you comment? How to deal with grief, and anger at God. Naomi is widowed along the trail to California, which is how the sisters wind up in the mining town. Her struggle to trust God and accept his plan has resonated with so many of my readers, especially since her grief manifests itself as anger.
Also, this is a rough town with rough characters. Hannah shows us how to love and not judge, because no one among us can cast that first stone.
Thank you, Heather, for agreeing to answer these questions. Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Giveaway: One copy is being given by Heather and one by OWG. Please answer the following question to enter (also leave your email address): Do you have a loved one who had had breast cancer? How does Breast Cancer Awareness month affect you?