Meet author Heidi Chiavaroli
Heidi Chiavaroli is a hope-inspired storyteller writing from the deep curiosity of her own heart. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and a BooklistTop Ten Romance Debut. Her second Carol Award-winning novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott’s life and led her to write The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast series, a contemporary twist on Little Women. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
Tell us about your newest book.
This is the sixth book in my Orchard House Bed and Breakfast Series and it’s Amie’s story. It’s been fun imagining a modern-day Little Women family and I’ve been waiting to get to Amie from the beginning. She has some old hang-ups regarding a childhood crush who just so happens to be her sister’s husband, as well as a passion for art and not forgiving an old boyfriend who is doing everything in his power to win her back.
What inspired you to write Where Faith Belongs?
My vision for this series was to create a modern-day Little Women family and devote one book to each character. Josie starred in the first book, Maggie in the second, then Lizzie, Bronson, and now Amie. Amie’s a bit of a wild child and feels she doesn’t quite fit in with the Martin family. But I wanted to write her journey toward finding not only a place of belonging, but a place of faith.
How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
Amie Martin feels passionate about many issues. Choosing to forgive her old boyfriend is not one of them . . . Amie Martin has never been more ready to trade in her quaint seaside Maine hometown for a life of studying art in New York. But when old flame August Colton returns to Camden and proclaims his undying love, Amie is torn between her future plans and forgiving August’s secret past.
What genre do you focus on?
Oh, that’s such a great question. I started in publishing with dual timeline novels, which I still really love. This series is my first venture in lighter, contemporary fiction, and it’s been a lot of fun. I feel like I could hang out writing stories like these for a while, but I do love my history so much.
Why do you write?
Writing is something I can’t imagine not doing. Even when I was getting rejections or bad contest scores in the decade leading up to my first contract, something kept pulling me back. At this point, it feels like a part of me. Not doing it would be like walking around without a limb.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?
Since Amie Martin is my modern-day version of Amy March, the name was pretty easy.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
I write during the day while the house is quiet. I usually do marketing, email, and social media stuff in the morning and then ideally take a break to exercise. After a meal and shower, I’m ready to write for the afternoon.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
For me, it’s been figuring out why one book—that may have finaled in or won awards—may not sell as well as another book that to me, didn’t seem to be my best work. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to this marketing stuff. But I keep at it because I love it and each story grows me, whether it’s my next bestseller or not.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
I love living in my stories. I love the myriad of possibilities before me, creating something from nothing. To me, it enriches every other area of my life.
What’s one unusual fact about you?
I’m a little obsessed with being outdoors. Even in the coldest of weather, I’ll venture out for a hike. In the summer, I’ll sit outside no matter how hot it gets. If I’m indoors too long, I start feeling claustrophobic. A room without windows is definitely a cruel and unusual way to punish me.
How have you changed or grown as a writer?
I’m learning to take critiques, edits, and general hard truths about marketing better. I used to take everything very personally and it used to take me months to look at a story I’d get feedback on and convince myself to rework it. Now, I realize it is just part of the process and get to it.
What is your favorite pastime?
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
Dual Timeline Books
The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast Series
Where Promises Remain (Spring, 2023)
What are you working on now?
The last book in the series releases is May, so I’m having fun working on that. It’s a bit of a change in that it’s about the mother of all the adult kids I’ve been writing about. I haven’t ever written in the point-of-view of a woman in her fifties, but I’m really enjoying the perspective.
Link to book: http://www.heidichiavaroli.com/where-faith-belongs-2/
Social media links: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiChiavaroli.Author
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