|Photo credit: Copyright Emilie Hendryx of E. A. Creative Photography, 2014.|
Brandy Heineman writes dual timeline novels from a Christian world view. Her passion for genealogy occasional inspires hare-brained schemes like a five-county research trip in a rented Mustang, but she usually sticks to sharing vignettes and research tidbits on her blog. Her debut novel, Whispers in the Branches, was a 2014 ACFW Genesis finalist and released the following year from Elk Lake Publishing. She currently serves as the Vice President of the ACFW North Georgia chapter, and she is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.
Brandy and her husband, Michael, reside in the metro Atlanta area with their two demanding yet hilarious kitties. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at brandyheineman.com.
So, would you order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in our virtual coffee shop? Something else altogether? This is possibly the most important question…
Mmm! One tall cinnamon dolce latte, please!
So, so good! I approve. : ) Now, our second most important question of the day, if you could order anything in the world, what would it be?
Well, I’m using an app called Duolingo to learn Norwegian for book research, and it’s giving me a culture-crush on Norway. So I think I’d have to add a couple slices of brunost (brown cheese) to my order. Not sure how well it’ll go with my latte, but apparently it’s the most beloved of snack foods over there! I’m told it’s a caramel-y, sweet/savory, non-cheese-tasting food, and eventually I’m going to have to try it.
And, a related fun fact: Ikke alle brunoster er brune! ;)
Gesundheit. ; ) I love cheese! Although, the brown color might give me pause… And I’m over it.
Where is your favorite place to write? And why is that your favorite place to write?
Oh, this is a tough one because I’m always changing my mind. The couch! My desk! Moe’s! The library! I do need quiet to get much accomplished, though (or in the case of Moe’s, a dull roar that I can tune out completely). Most of the time, I end up at the dining room table because I like to have lots of space, and because that’s one spot where my kitty doesn’t try to sit on my wrists while I type.
Oh, man! I feel your pain! Maybe we should start a support group for writers with pets. Which brings me to my next question, do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies?
I don’t know how odd this is, but I hate reading back cover blurbs. I can’t always get around them, of course, but with books I already know I’m going to read, either those by favorite authors or those in series I follow, I avoid the blurbs like the spoiler-laced scourges that they are.
Also, I got tired of alphabetical shelves and organized my books by color a while back. So that’s fun.
Not too weird. ; ) I dislike it when blurbs are nothing but spoilers. *growls through clenched teeth* And I love your color coordinated shelves. They are so pretty! So, what inspired you to write Whispers in the Branches?
Whispers in the Branches is my genealogy-inspired love letter to my family, and the original seed of the idea came from a letter written by my great-grandmother. She lamented, once upon a time, that if anyone knew about not getting what they wanted, it was her.
That line affected me deeply. I knew something of her story—she had given up my grandfather for an in-family adoption in the Twenties, but never had any more children after her eventual marriage. I wanted to write, not specifically about her situation, but about that condition of desperately wanting something that you can never have, but somehow still getting what you need.
A love letter to your family… <3 Can you tell us what led to you writing in this genre?
I’m not sure, because I was well and truly committed to the dual-timeline format long before I realized it had an actual name! Timeslip sometimes involves a fantasy component of literal time travel, and sometimes transports the reader to the past through diaries, memories, and other narrative techniques. I have a soft spot for these kinds of stories, maybe because nostalgia is so intoxicating. (Laughs.) I love genealogy, antiques, and stories of times gone by. Sometimes the past feels so close. And it’s far too easy to get stuck there.
It can be fun to engage with the past… but as much as I enjoy it, I have to consider whether it’s a distraction to more forward-facing experiences of connection. I’m pretty sure Jeremiah 17:8 (”For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green”) is not about ancestral roots but spiritual ones. I want to write stories that peer into the past, find what’s painful and broken there, and hand it over to the Lord to do what only He can with it.
Oh, Brandy, that is beautiful! I’m a huge fan of Timeslip Fiction for all of those reasons! What message do you hope to convey to your readers with your stories?
That with God, you can overcome the past and find real connection!
Well said! Can you tell us a little about your next project?
Absolutely! I’m finishing up my next full-length novel, a romantic mystery called Like Honey for the Bones. For those who don’t share my aversion to blurbs, here’s what it’s about!
I love Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:51-52. In the preceding passages, Jesus tells several parables. Afterwards, when speaking with His disciples, He asks—
"Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes." And Jesus said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old."
A scribe wasn’t so much as writer as a lowly clerk. However, a head of household is a position of authority. I love these verses because it seems to me that Jesus was telling them that once you understand the stories of the Word, you can bring treasure out of them.
I love what God has shown you! Inspiring to every writer, no matter where they are at in their journey. *wipes away tears* Ahem, so, what are you currently reading?
I put some thought into my current picks, mainly because I just read a classic that I didn’t like at all, and now I need literary first aid! I decided on Almost Like Being in Love by Beth Vogt and Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire. I’m not too deep into either one yet, but I’m looking forward to changing that on the weekend!
Those sound like great reads! I can’t believe they are not on my TBR pile already. *hangs head* I will remedy that! ; )
Brandy has generously offered to give away one eBook copy of her novel, Whispers in the Branches!
Indulging in the attentions of the house's handsome caretaker helps numb her pain, but Abby's ex-boyfriend won't let go of the past. He hounds her about his new found religion in hopes of reconciling, but why reach for him or the God who couldn't or wouldn't spare her mom? In the stillness of the old house, the spirit world feels so close she can almost touch it.
But she doesn't know yet that there's more than one way to be haunted.
This giveaway is open worldwide! It will close on February 22, at 12 A.M. because Rafflecopter says. ; ) Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by my writerly, bookish friends! <3 See you next time!
V. Joy Palmer