Monday, February 2, 2015

Meet the Author -- Carol Heilman -- Win a Copy of Her Novel in the Monthly Give-away

Carol Heilman 
Our guest today is Carol Heilman. I enjoyed getting to know Carol last spring at the Carolina Christian Writers’ Conference. Carol is a coal miner's daughter who married her high school sweetheart. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband of fifty-plus years.

I hope you'll enjoy our interview.  Leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Carol’s delightful debut novel, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbrier. I love the cover.

Carol, please tell us a little about your writing.

I began writing family stories, especially about my dad’s Appalachian humor, for newspapers and magazines. I read tons of books on writing, and enrolled in a few creative writing classes, but the most important step for me was joining a critique group. These fellow writers became my support and my cheerleaders who gently critiqued my work until gradually my writing skills improved. I think a good critique group is invaluable.

For you is writing a passion, a calling, or both?

Writing is an absolute passion. Just ask my husband who sometimes rolls his eyes at my enthusiasm.

What’s the best thing about writing a book?

Getting lost in the story and in the lives of the characters.

Is there one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had from the beginning?

You will learn more from your failures than your successes.

What is the most meaningful truth you hope your readers will glean from your writing?

Listen to our elders. Really listen. And become a voice for a senior who cannot speak for himself or herself.

What do you think the Lord is teaching you through your writing?

Patience and compassion. 

What inspired you to write this novel?

The story began as a writing assignment, a short story, inspired by my mother’s spunky spirit and my dad’s humor. The main character, Agnes, has my mother’s spunky spirit.

Tell us about your new book.

Set in a small town, AgnesHopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar, is about an outspoken widow who sometimes talks to her husband, Charlie, even though he died two years and three months ago. Here’s a description from the back cover.

Summer's steamy haze coats North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but feisty Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the heat isn't the only thing causing her blood to boil. After a kitchen fire destroys her home, Agnes moves in with her daughter, Betty Jo. Three months later they come to an understanding. Neither can tolerate living with the other. So on a sultry August morning Betty Jo drives Agnes and her few belongings to Sweetbriar Manor, a local retirement home and a former house of ill repute.

With no intention of staying, Agnes devises a scheme to sneak out of the Manor and find another place to live. Before she can make her exit, she runs into her best friend from high school, along with some other quirky characters. With a nose for trouble, Agnes learns some of the residents are being robbed, over-medicated, and denied basic cable and Internet access.

Armed with nothing more than seventy-one years of common sense and a knack for pushing people's buttons, Agnes sets out to expose the unscrupulous administrator, protect her new friends, and restore Sweetbriar Manor's reputation as a "rewarding and enriching lifestyle." But the real moment of truth comes when Agnes is forced to choose between her feisty self-reliance and the self-sacrifice that comes from caring for others. 

Please share with us your favorite Scripture and why it means so much to you?

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.” 2 Samuel 22:17 (NIV)

If the Lord Jesus had not rescued me, I would have drowned. I was a young adult when I realized He loved me unconditionally, and at that very moment my bitter and rebellious heart began to heal and change. Now my heart is filled with His joy because I will always belong to Him.

Thank you Carol for sharing with us today.  Your novel sounds like a fun read.    

Readers, thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  You can connect with Carol on the following sites:

I hope you will leave a comment (with your email address if I don't have it already) in order to be included in the random drawing for a paperback copy of Carol new book.  Please share this post with your friends. The winner will be announced on the blog, Monday, February 9th.  Blessings!


  1. Well, this sounds wonderful! Please enter me in the drawing: Thank you! I really enjoyed reading about Carol! I LOVE the cover, too!

    1. Thanks Lou Ann. I'll put you in the drawing.

  2. Agnes Hopper is a new character on the literary scene, and to that we say, "Hurrah!" Her determined spirit rights wrongs and eases burdens, and we are the better for her presence. The sensitivity of Carol's insight and writing are clear from her interview, this gracious, humorous author who imparts wisdom and joy in the telling. Thank goodness this book is only the first of many Agnes Adventures, because one book is not enough!
    Ann Greenleaf Wirtz

    1. Hi Ann, I appreciate your review. Hope all is well with you as well. (Thinking of the lovely dinner you and Carol and I enjoyed last spring.) Blessings!

  3. Hi Rose and Carol,
    I enjoyed reading your synopsis of your book. It looks really interesting!
    Thanks and have a wonderful day!

    1. Thank you Eileen. I'll include you in the drawing. You have a great day as well.

  4. This especially caught my eye since my maiden name is Hopper! Looks like an interesting read!

    1. Oh that's right! Thanks for commenting today Betsy. I hope all is going well with your new book as well.

  5. Lynda Schumacher, las1943@bellsouth.netFebruary 2, 2015 at 12:58 PM

    Agnes and her Sweetbriar friends are such enjoyable characters, I was sorry to leave them at the book's end. But I will visit them often, as this is one of those books I will read again and again!

  6. Thanks Lynda for your great review. I know Carol will be thrilled to read this. Please visit again.

  7. Your main character sounds fun, Carol! Spunky like your mom! :-) Your novel sounds like a delightful read. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks, Rose, for this post.

  8. Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar sounds like a fun read. Thank you for offering a copy.

  9. Alice and Kay, I'm so glad you visited and commented. Your names are in the drawing. Thanks so much.

  10. This sounds like a delightful read! I love both the title and cover, as well. Kudos on a wonderful interview, ladies. Rose, please enter me in the book drawing. :)

  11. Sounds like an interesting read thanks so much for offering the chance to win a copy. kittycrochettwo at msn dot com