Author Interview – Heidi Glick
Today, Inner Source welcomes Heidi Glick, author of Dog Tags, a romantic suspense novel. Heidi has a B.A. in biology, a minor in Bible from Cedarville University, and a passion for writing Christian fiction. Additionally, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has written two articles for Intercom. When not working, Heidi spends time with her husband, son, and two dogs, Cocoa and Sparky. She attends Grace Chapel in Mason, Ohio.
I first met Heidi and many of her cast of wonderful characters while participating in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Scribes Critique Group. Heidi is here today to share with us what she learned while writing, Dog Tags.
Heidi, welcome, and please tell us about your novel. Where does it take place? Who are your main characters? What trouble do they get into?
Dog Tags is a suspense novel that takes place in the fictional setting of Riversdale, California, near the real city of San Diego. The main characters include Mark Graham, a college professor and former Marine, and Beth Martindale, a schoolteacher. Beth gets into trouble when she receives notes from a stalker. Mark gets into trouble with his inner demons.
Trouble? I love trouble. Novels aren’t much fun without it. What issues do your characters face that will speak to the heart of your readers?
Beth deals with the loss of her brother. Mark deals with the loss of his best friend. Loss is a universal theme. Everyone will deal with loss at some point in their life.
In dealing with grief, I’ve realized that it can keep us from moving forward or making good decisions. Have you ever faced this issue in your life or did you deal with the issue while you were writing the story? In other words, did you write your story to share how you overcame the issue, or did God call you to write the story because He knew you needed to face the issue?
During the writing of this novel, my dad died from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Another “loss” I was dealing with while writing this novel was infertility. I didn’t set out to write this story to share how I overcame the issue, but I think God called me to write this story because He knew I needed to face the issue of loss. While writing Dog Tags, I was also working on another story, and in that story, the heroine’s dad has ALS. And I wrote about the heroine’s dad’s death before my dad died, and I think God also used that to prepare me for my dad’s death.
Heidi, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father, but I’m so happy that you were able to see God’s healing hand on your grief. I also know the story you’re talking about…some more of those great characters. While you wrote and God worked through your writing, what Biblical concept did He bring to the table with your writing? Would you mind explaining how God has spoken to your heart about the issue?
God brought up the issue of control. Before my dad’s diagnosis, I felt like I was in control of life. For months after my dad was diagnosed, I spent hours on the Internet searching for a cure and trying to get my dad into every clinical trial available. The irony is that God had already spoken to my heart, and I just needed to rest in the assurance He had given me, which was “Your Dad will die, but it’s going to be okay.” At the time God told me that, I clearly did NOT think my dad would die. In fact, I just figured the doctors were mistaken. Later, my dad saw the top ALS doctor in the nation, who confirmed my dad had the disease.
God showed me I wasn’t in control. And little by little, God showed me how to adjust to what I referred to as the new normal: Dad can’t walk anymore. Dad can’t eat on his own anymore. Dad can’t talk anymore. Dad can’t breathe on his own anymore. Dad is confined to a bed. Dad can’t move his hands anymore, etc. And when my dad did die, I had peace. God had helped me to accept my father’s death.
Right before my dad died, I started seeing a fertility specialist, and once again, God reminded me that I was not in control. I could try and have a baby all I wanted, but I couldn’t make it happen. And for those who know me well, I’m a type A personality, so I don’t do well with the concept of no or can’t. I figure if I try ten times harder than the average person, I can succeed. My family motto is “where there is a will, there’s a way.” So trying to have a baby but not having one was frustrating. Eventually, my husband and I decided to pursue foster care and adoption. I began to accept that might be God’s will for my life. And once again, God showed me that He was in control and not me.
About a month before I signed the contract for Dog Tags, God allowed me to become pregnant. And right at forty weeks, I failed a non-stress test and went to the hospital, planning on an induced, but otherwise, natural birth. That same evening, my OB/GYN delivered the baby via emergency c-section under Code Red conditions and said if the baby was born one day later, he wouldn’t have been alive. I am pleased to say I am a proud momma of a healthy baby boy. Once again, God was in control, not me.
I remember when you signed the contract, and you were worried about deadlines. I also “followed” your pregnancy on Facebook. I remember saying a prayer for the healthy delivery of your son. God is always so good. Some of our readers may be dealing with the issues you’ve discussed. Would you mind sharing with them any scriptural-based advice you might speak truth into their hurting hearts?
Bad things happen to God’s people, but God still loves us and is in control. God will never leave us or forsake us, though sometimes it feels that way.
I want to share several verses that spoke to me during my tough times.
Lamentations 3:31-32, “The Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, YET He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.”
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them A CROWN OF BEAUTY INSTEAD OF ASHES, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
My husband and I purposely gave our son the middle name of Samuel, which means “God has heard.” If you are dealing with loss right now, even though you feel God is far away and does not hear, I can assure you that He does hear you, my friend. Hang in there!
Heidi, I have tears in my eyes because what you shared spoke directly to me. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit us here today. I know that it is only a matter of time before your next novels are published, and I hope you’ll come back and visit us again to tell us all about those projects.
Dog Tags is Heidi’s debut novel, a romantic suspense that will keep you guessing what’s going on in the lives of her characters right up until the last page.
When disabled ex-Marine Mark Graham reconnects with his best friend’s sister, he finds himself falling in love. But Beth Martindale’s presence is a constant reminder of events he’d rather forget. Mark wants to move forward, but the secrets surrounding her brother’s death, as well as his own confinement to a wheelchair, threaten to tear them apart. When a psychopath who calls himself The Knight fixates on Beth, Mark is determined to give her the protection he failed to give her brother on the battlefield, yet he discovers that a wheelchair isn’t the only impediment he has to keeping Beth safe. Will terror win, or can Mark find the strength of mind and body to rescue Beth and find his own redemption?