Thursday, April 11, 2019

Welcome Heidi Chiavaroli + GIVEAWAY

Ashley here! We are so honored to have Heidi at the Alley today. I had the privilege of reading her newest release a little early, and it's both stunning and challenging. Be sure to read the whole interview and comment for a chance to win your own copy! 

Welcome, Heidi!

Thank you so much for having me, Ashley!

 1) Tell us the inspiration behind The Edge of Mercy and what you learned through writing it.

This novel was inspired by two things: my parents’ marriage, and a hike in the woods.
Growing up, I watched my parents go through a lot of marital tribulation. I can still remember pacing my dorm room in college shortly after 9/11, listening to my mother’s voice telling me she was coming home, that she and my dad wanted to work things out.
I’d thought there was no hope for them, honestly. But God had a different plan. This summer, my parents will celebrate thirty-nine years of marriage. Theirs isn’t an easy story, and it isn’t the same as Sarah and Matt’s story (the characters in The Edge of Mercy), but my desire to explore a failing marriage was definitely inspired by watching my parents wade through theirs.
Being married, I’m of course familiar with the many ups and downs of a marital relationship. I wanted to sink deep into a story that faces some of these tough nuances of marriage, what it means to truly love when we don’t feel like it, what it means for love to change and grow as we sink deeper into our marriages.
The historical portion of the story was inspired while planning a hike for my youngest son’s Tiger Cub den. We stumbled upon a massive boulder in the woods with a cave on its west side…along with a rather haunting legend to go with it.
I couldn’t get the legend out of my head, and so I imagined the circumstances behind it. From this local legend, my first time-slip story was born. It would be six years until it would see the light of publication.
I think this story taught me that love is more complicated—and more beautiful—than I previously thought. My historical heroine, Elizabeth writes, “Even as love is an object of but two people, it is shaped and formed by others, by the circumstances that surround it. It can grow, or it can shrivel.”
I’d never really thought about that before, but I think it’s true. How much did having children change my marriage? It certainly made it harder, but it also made my marriage stronger.

2) What was it like to become a hybrid author with this novel and experience the indie side of things?

It was a bit scary, and it also made me immensely grateful for my publisher! J

In all seriousness, I am glad to have put this novel out myself. It made me more confident in the world of publishing, and it’s fun to see what promotion efforts make a direct impact on sales. But it also made me aware of how much a publishing house works as a team with their authors, how each person/group has strengths to support each other. There’s definitely a place for both, and I can see myself continuing down both roads in the future.

3) What might readers be surprised to know about your writing process?

I don’t spend an awful lot of time writing!

It’s not that I deliberately plan it this way, it just always seems as if deadlines come quick. ;) I like to really settle my brain into the story, do a lot of research, visit the sites I’m writing about, etc. Usually I write a book in three months or so (not including editing).

4) I am always amazed by your gripping characterization. What process do you use to develop your characters’ POV?

Thank you so much! I used to do interviews, but I don’t do them anymore. If I can have a good handle on a story, and it’s a story of my heart, the characters usually seem to make themselves appear pretty naturally.

This certainly was not always the case, and even now I often struggle making sure my heroines will be liked by readers. On both The Edge of Mercy and my next Tyndale release, I’ve had to completely rewrite heroines to make them more relatable.

5) I’m always fascinated by how unique your historical threads are — what’s your secret for finding these little historical gems that feel so fresh to readers?

Awww, thanks, Ashley! When I have an idea for a time period I want to write in, I do A LOT of research, and I don’t stop until some nugget of historical fact grabs me. I always know when that is, because my heart beats fast and the story starts coming alive…and I’m excited to tell it!

So that's it, friends! Thank you for stopping by today, and a huge thank you to Heidi for the chance to chat about her writing. 

Heidi is giving away a copy of her newest release to one of our readers! For a chance to win, simply comment below and help me welcome her.

About Heidi Chiavaroli:

Bio: Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. She is an ACFW Carol Award winner and a Christy finalist. Both her debut novel, "Freedom's Ring" and her sophomore novel, "The Hidden Side" are Romantic Times Top Picks. "Freedom's Ring" was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Visit her at


Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and teaches literature courses at her local university. She's an active member of ACFW, and when she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals or finding charming new towns. 
You can find Ashley on her website, - she would LOVE to have you as a newsletter subscriber so you can get her weekly devotionals. You can sign up on her website.


Darlene said...

This sounds like a good love story alone with a little history involved, sound like a good book to read.

kaybee said...

Good morning Ashley! Heidi, good morning from your fellow New Englander!
I enjoy Heidi's books and am impressed with her mastery of the time-slip format. Her contemporary characters sound contemporary, and her historical ones do not lose their voice and slide into modern language or world views. I also agree with Ashley about the characterization.
Good for you Heidi for going indie. I think about it but will probably wait till I've got a following, and a couple of books under my belt. Nice that we have so many options!
Kathy Bailey

Angie Quantrell said...

This sounds like a fun story! Ok, a little eerie with the cave! Now I'm wondering what happens. Congratulations!

Beth K. Vogt said...

I enjoyed getting a glimpse of Heidi's writing process and finding out what sparked the idea for this book. I love the cover.

Heidi Chiavaroli said...

Thank you so much for having me here today, Ashley!

Heidi Chiavaroli said...

Thank you so much, Darlene!

Heidi Chiavaroli said...

Hi Kathy!! Thank you so much for your kind words. It certainly is nice that we have options! Wishing you the best on your own writing journey. :)

Heidi Chiavaroli said...

LOL Angie! Yes, I don't think anyone has described it as "fun" yet, but I like that you think so. Thanks so much for stopping in!

Heidi Chiavaroli said...

Awww, thanks so much, Beth! <3

Angie Dicken said...

Yay! Thanks for being here, Heidi! Love hearing about your process, and the way you came up with this story! Can't wait to read it. :)

Heidi Chiavaroli said...

Awww, thanks so much, Angie!

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy Heidi Chiavaroli’s books, so I’m sure The Edge of Mercy will be fantastic. I really enjoyed the interview and am putting it on my TBR wish list.
Perrianne Askew

Caryl Kane said...

The Edge of Mercy sounds fascinating! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Norma Jean Crise said...

I am always anxious to read this kind of story. I published one book and about to put the 2nd one out but my author sister Linda bell Meyer has cancer on her brain and can't help me yet. I hope to be able to find this book and read it. I love reading when there are no spelling errors and wrong punctuations.
Your country looks like the perfect writing place!!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I loved reading this interview with Heidi. I have read at least one of her books, and this one sounds intriguing! When she shared about the heart beating fast and the story coming alive, that's what seems to help me see when my stories are pinging. :) I loved this. And, it was fun to read about Heidi's process for characterization.

Congratulations your new release, Heidi!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a book detailing that one should always try to work things out and never give up. Thank You for the giveaway.