Meet Author Heidi Gray McGill
Where life struggles become inspiring stories
A Debo Publishing Author Connection
My dear Readers . . . I hope you enjoy today’s post as we meet one of my online author buds, Heidi Gray-McGill. We became acquainted, discovered we have similar passions, and the rest is in the can. She has a particular view of her world, and I think you’ll find it surprising and endearing at the same time. I asked Heidi if she’d like to guest post on my blog, and here we are. I’ll let her take it away.
Don’t forget to go all the way to the bottom of this blog post and connect with her. You can stay informed on what’s next for her in the publishing world, and receive her emails, which I’m sure you’ll find as valuable as I have.
Deb, thank you for inviting me to be with you and your readers. The quick friendship we made is a special blessing to me, especially during these past months of isolation—some Covid related and some naturally because of our profession. You are a breath of fresh air, and your heart and your desire to choose joy in all circumstances cemented what I already knew was going to be a wonderful friendship.
One of my favorite quotes is by Nido Qubein, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
This quote found me when I needed this reminder. Everly, the main character in my newest release, Dial E for Endearment, and I have something in common, but it may not be what you’d expect.
I’m an author of Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance, and the retired Director and Founder of an ESL program. I regularly walk 12 plus miles a week in my neighborhood, care for my grandsons as often as possible, scrapbook, read voraciously, cook but do not bake, and am legally blind. That last phrase was difficult for me to say out loud not that long ago.
Vision loss does not discriminate.
Retinitis Pigmentosa affects roughly 1 in 4,000 people. My diagnosis in 2001 of this rare eye disease was devastating. There is no cure, and there is no surgery. But that does not mean there is no hope. Those who do not know me well often don’t realize I have low vision. As humans, we are amazingly adaptable, and I do a pretty good job covering up my disability. My friends have learned to watch out for me and alert me to potential pitfalls, some better than others, which is always good for a laugh.
Blindness is certainly not something I would have chosen, but it does not define me.
When I wrote this story, I purposed in my heart to shed light on blindness in a lighthearted, relatable fashion.
I use a white cane when I am out and about on my own, but I’m usually with another person who helps guide me. One of the most significant challenges in writing this book was ensuring Everly acted and responded in a way that would resonate with other white cane users. Everly’s personality is upbeat, yet she carries the burden of a poor relationship with her mother. Being authentic and realistically portraying life is essential to me, so I had to do some soul searching and people watching to understand human nature better.
I also share my faith in Jesus Christ through my writing, fleshed out through the story’s characters. Although my book is not evangelistic, it does show how Jesus Christ can be an integral part of life and how leaning on Him can bring tremendous peace and fulfillment.
I’m super excited about sharing my newest release, Dial E for Endearment, especially since February is Low Vision Awareness Month.
I’d love for you to join me on this fun adventure and see for yourself that God does not discriminate. You’ll laugh your way through mishaps—most of which may have happened to me at some point. But most of all, you’ll learn that we ALL have value, and that includes YOU.
Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to seamlessly weave scripture into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.
Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend…as long as they’re driving.
As JOY Radio’s talk show host in Blowing Rock, NC, Everly has discovered fulfillment, but she hasn’t found love, at least not for her—not even from her mother.
Everly Johnson is every man’s dream of the perfect date, even though her audience has never met her. As host for the EnJOYing God’s Best program on JOY Radio in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, she receives countless gifts of flowers and candy from her listeners, some callers being more ardent than others. Everly has no interest in such offerings and promptly bestows the bounty on her mother’s assisted living facility. Everly wants words–heartfelt, meaningful endearments meant for her ears only. She wants a man who will open her eyes to everything she cannot see to make her feel like she’s more than just a voice behind the microphone.
Cameron Boyd is every woman’s dream of the perfect man. He’s intelligent, has a strong work ethic and career, lives on his own, and is downright adorable. But being an introvert can make eye contact with a pretty girl a challenge, let alone saying something coherent–unless it is the one-way conversation he has each Friday with Everly Johnson. Date night for Cam involves sitting alone on his back porch overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains while he dreams of things to say if he were ever to meet her face-to-face. A chance meeting changes everything. Will Cam be able to step out of his comfort zone and into the world he has only been able to envision in his mind? Will Everly trust this stranger with her life as well as her heart? Tune into JOY Radio to find out!
What’s next for Heidi? Take a look . . .
And may I take this opportunity to thank Heidi for sharing herself and her books with us? She’s living proof that authors don’t just borrow the foibles and funnies of our friends and relatives to create our characters. Many times we borrow from ourselves.
If you enjoyed getting to know Heidi today, she writes an engaging monthly newsletter. When you sign up, you’ll receive Deep in my Heart, the prequel to her Christian Historical Fiction series. This novella is FREE with Newsletter sign up: https://heidimcgill822089357.wordpress.com/contact/
Other ways to connect with Heidi:
All Author: https://allauthor.com/author/heidigraymcgill/
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and your friendship.
You’re very welcome! Love the author community, don’t you?
We are blessed to have such wonderful author friends!
Deb and Heidi, Thank you for the great interview. I enjoyed reading Heidi’s story and her book “Dial E for Endearment” sounds – well – endearing. Congratulations to you both on your writing successes.
Thanks, Kay! I loved “Dial E for Endearment”, and I’m currently reviewing one of her other books. Thanks for reading!
Thank you, Kay, for your sweet words. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond.
Thanks for the terrific interview. I have read and reviewed a couple of Heidi’s books and really enjoyed them. I have a neice who was born blind and had not let moss grow under her feet. She had been in plays, a runner, skier and writes at times. She is now in college siding to help kids with disabilities. You really do not know she is blind except when she uses her cane. It is amazing to me how people overcome these issues. I did not know Heidi had vision problems. This book sounds very interesting.
Thank you for reading & commenting!
Hi, Rory! I love the connection you have with your niece. You have always been a strong Facebook support of mine. I do appreciate you and your friendship.