Today, I am thrilled to have my good friend Heather Greer with me, talking about her new book, Relentless Love. This is the third book in her series, and we're chatting about all of it. Read on.
Okay, Heather. Tell us. This book concludes the series you've been writing for the last few years. How does it feel to wrap up the story of these characters?
It’s bittersweet for sure. There are more stories in the pages. Erin and Paul have a story to tell, but I’m not sure I’m supposed to tell it for them. There is a new character and her son in this book that also have a great story, but I don’t know if I’ll be following up with that one either. But for Katie, I think this book gives her the ending she needs. I think readers will be satisfied with the outcome and happy for her even if they don’t know exactly where life takes her after the story ends.
What was the hardest part of writing this story? I know it has some very emotional parts in it.
Dealing with scenes involving Katie’s father were both easy and difficult. Some of what he goes through with his dementia/Alzheimer’s may seem outrageous for people who haven’t lived through it. When I started planting the seeds to go this direction with him in Grasping Hope, my grandmother had been dealing with some of these things for years. Her condition began to deteriorate rapidly, and as I wrote Relentless Love, I found myself in position as a full-time caregiver to her until she passed away in November. Now, nothing relating to dementia care seems outrageous or surprising. There were times of complete clarity after weeks of total confusion. She was herself, but not, at the same time. As difficult as it is to watch and care for someone you love during these times, the decisions to look outside of the family for care are probably the most difficult of all. Katie’s struggle to make that choice is very real to a lot of people, myself included. Knowing these things first hand is what made those scenes both the easiest and hardest to write.
Now that you've finished this series, what is next? Anything fun coming up?
I’ve got lots of fun things in the works. I finished a book in November called Cake That. I’m looking for a publishing home for it now. After writing Katie’s story, which is really the stuff of life, I enjoyed working on something that was simply fun. Faith, struggles, fears, and hope are all there, but the setting is a little less common and a lot more light-hearted. Some of the characters are larger than life, but considering the story’s setting is a baking competition show, you have to expect that.
I’m currently writing a historical fiction set in the 1920s in Harrisburg, Illinois. It will stand alone, but it’s also part of a series of novels that spans several generations. There will be a historical, contemporary, and dystopian book in the set. Each book is tied together through a family and through a stained glass window. Writing this one is equal parts fun and torture. I’m not a history buff so every little detail makes me pause to do research. But I’m also learning some fun facts about the time period.
Pretty sure I'm familiar with your 1920s one, since I'm the lucky gal who got to do the contemporary story for that series. ;-) I'm so excited about it, and I know you'll do great with all that research.
Switching up, if you had your way, what would your dream day look like? Lots of writing? Reading? Something else?
If I could spend my days how I want, I would spend time on my deck writing and reading. I’d probably take a break every now and then to do some crafting or baking. I like all kinds of crafts, but I tend toward stamping and making cards. And I love to bake everything from decorated cakes and cupcakes to cookies and cake balls. Like crafting, baking is a great creative outlet. Sometimes, to be my best writing self I have to express my creativity in a different way. Of course, the evening would end with watching a favorite tv show or movie. It could be anything from a comic book movie to a sci-fi show with a healthy dose of Hallmark and rom-coms thrown in for good measure.
Is there anything you've included in your character that very much comes from who you are in real life? Any pieces of your own life included in your story?
We’ve already discussed Katie’s experience with her father mirroring mine with my grandmother. Other than that, I’m not sure how like Katie I am. Through the series there are glimpses into me through her. I tend to have issues with trusting people as she has through the series. I understand her panic attacks in book two because I’ve dealt with them. And I understand her desire in book three to love from sense of duty but without passion due to having been hurt. The events surrounding her lessons may be different than mine, but they have brought us to similar lessons. I think that’s part of why I felt like I needed to tell her story. In reality, it’s her story, my story, and the story of countless others who may need encouragement.
And finally, the question all my authors are coming to hate: Can you please leave us with one thing about yourself that very few people know?
Not only am a scared of spiders, which everyone knows, I’m also one of those people who have to have windows covered at night. There are evenings when I can’t write in my office at night without closing the curtains because I have a completely irrational fear of looking out the window and someone looking in. There’s no reason for it. It’s been that way for as long as I remember.
That's interesting. I don't like uncovered windows at night, either. Thanks for stopping by, and we're looking forward to your book releasing tomorrow!
Living with limits protects a heart from hurt. After unexpectedly losing her husband, it’s a lesson Katie Blake has learned well. From moving in with her elderly father to staying at home with her son, Sammy, Katie’s life has been arranged to avoid further pain.
After three years, life feels stagnant. It’s time to carefully venture into the world once again. Sammy needs friends his age, and Katie needs a project to focus on.
As Sammy adjusts to preschool, Katie finds her perfect job. Her position even allows her to befriend Anna, a young mother who needs encouragement. Events also bring Nathan Phillips, a childhood friend, back into her life. Each successful step forward encourages Katie to continue opening her heart. By the time her friendship with Nathan begins to deepen, Katie is ready to pursue the relationship.
Nathan’s encouragement gives Katie strength to make tough decisions regarding her father’s care as his dementia progresses. But when Sammy is injured while in Nathan’s care, Katie knows she’s made a mistake. It won’t happen again. Abandoning their relationship in favor of safety is only the beginning. Katie has felt God calling her to help change Anna’s situation, but the risk is too great. God will have to find another way to help.
It takes a strange message from her father for Katie to understand God’s relentless love and desire for her life to reflect His love. But will Katie take the risk or continue limiting love in favor of a life without hurt?
Interested? Find it here.
Heather Greer loves growing in her relationship with God and helping others do the same. While she's served in ministries dealing with toddlers through adults, her focus is on encouraging and challenging teen and adult believers to go further in their faith. She is blessed to be able to use her God-given passion for writing to do this, both in her books and blog.
Heather is a pastor's kid from southern Illinois. While she never intended to marry a pastor, she became a pastor's wife when her husband answered the call to preach five years into their marriage. Now that three of her four kids have flown the nest, Heather enjoys more time for reading and writing and writing about reading. And when she's not doing any of those things, you'll probably find her in the kitchen baking for her friends and family.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)