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Monday, July 11, 2016

A Promise in Defiance - Guest Post with Heather Blanton

In celebration of the release of A Promise in Defiance by Heather Blanton, I have a special treat for you today! 

I recently read A Lady in Defiance and was intrigued by the style, the story and the faith that touched my heart in a very profound way. (My review can be found HERE.) I was curious about why Heather writes the way she does and she was kind enough to agree to write a guest post for me! I am so excited for you to hear her heart on her writing style. Make sure to head over to her website (links below) to find out more about her books.






Why I Write the Way I Write


My books have been compared to old episodes of Gunsmoke and occasionally Bonanza. People say they’re gritty, realistic, and pack a strong spiritual punch without being preachy. In my books, you get gamblers, miners, thugs, cowboys, good girls, and bad girls—and at some point, they all run into moments when their faith, or lack thereof, jumps up and slaps them square in the face.

My mantra for writing stories is, “Christian fiction should be messy and gritty, because life is – and God loves us anyway.”

Oh, not everybody likes my particular type of story-telling, but all three books in the Romance in the Rockies series (A Lady in Defiance, Hearts in Defiance, A Promise in Defiance) are rated 4.7 or higher at Amazon. And that’s because, I believe, readers appreciate flawed characters. Characters who strive to walk out their faith, who fall and get back up, who reach for God’s hand when He wades into the muck and the mire to save them. 

Why do I write this way? And why in a Western format? When the market is flooded with sweet, clean romances, when mail order brides are gettin’ hitched by the wagon loads, when the perfect heroine reigns supreme on the bestsellers list, why do I write hard truth rather than fluff?

When someone first asked me these questions, my knee-jerk response was, “I can’t write perfect characters because I’m not perfect.” Then I would explain my inspiration. My dad was a big man with a gun who saw all situations as black-and-white, right and wrong. He could shoot a hole through a quarter, quick draw faster than a horse can flick its tail, and throw a sledgehammer of a punch. My momma has buried three of seven children and is still alive and kicking, mere months from 90. She is the reason I don’t like whiny, soft heroines. In 1999 my sister Suzy passed away from breast cancer. An unwed teenage mother, she eventually gave her heart to the Lord and went on to live a short but amazing life impacting people for Christ. Their heart and spirit is in every book I write.

But in looking deeper at what I write and why, I realized inspiration and purpose are two different things. Years ago, a Christian fiction book revealed a spiritual truth to me, a truth that changed the way I prayed, the way I accepted God’s plans for my life, the way I grew in my faith. A mere fiction book did that. A sweet, clean romance to boot!

It dawned on me my writing has a purpose too. I want to write books that stay with you,

haunt you; the characters reverberate in your brain for days, and the spiritual messages prick your heart for even longer. Then it comes down to my inability to write perfect characters. A former reporter, I am also an avid researcher and in combing through archives and museums, I have come to accept that no perfect people have ever walked the earth—besides Christ. It seems the whole world, from the beginning to the here-and-now, has been populated with flawed, imperfect, mean, selfish, ornery people. I know. It’s a revelation.

And yet God still adores us. Oh, sure, at times he might not like so much, but he loves us.

I love writing about the prodigal sons—the ones who have slept in places they shouldn’t have, made terrible choices they’ve lived to regret, hurt the ones they loved. But when a prodigal comes home, God throws a party. 

And that should give you hope that transcends the written word.

About Heather Blanton
Heather Blanton is the independent bestselling author of several Christian Westerns, including the Romance in the Rockies series, which has sold over 40,000 copies. Intrigued by the concept of three good sisters stranded in a lawless Colorado mining town, a few notable Hollywood producers have requested the script for her first book in that series, A Lady in Defiance. Heather’s writing is gritty and realistic. In fact, her books have been compared to AMC’s Hell on Wheels series, as well as the legendary Francine Rivers book, Redeeming Love.

A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among the fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw's note in her hand.

She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester!

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2 comments:

  1. Awesome guest post! Thanks for sharing about Heather and her books!

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    Replies
    1. Oh the pleasure is all mine! Thank you for the opportunity to share.

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