Why Author Janet S. Grunst Infuses Her Fiction With the Light of Truth
Janet Grunst and I are blessed to share both wonderful agent, Linda S. Glaz, and a publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I first met Janet at an ACFW conference several years ago. I appreciate her commitment to detail of the period she writes in, and her love of communicating truth is evident in her writing. Janet has been very involved in the ministry of Community Bible Study for years, a ministry I also appreciate.
I am grateful for the privilege of endorsing her debut novel, A Heart Set Free, a 2017 Selah Award Winner. I am so pleased to have award-winning author, Janet Grunst, as my guest this week.
Janet, please tell us about your writing journey. How did it start?
My story is one of perseverance, beginning in the early eighties. After writing human interest columns in a couple of local papers, I began to wonder if I could write fiction. I loved reading, particularly historical fiction and I was beginning to devour inspirational fiction which was gaining in popularity. A story meandering around in my mind prompted me to ask God if writing fiction might be a way I could share my faith. Over the next year the Lord provided the time for me to study the craft and research the historical era of the story while raising two very active little boys. I know the Lord also helped me weave the tale. After writing it, I studied how to market a manuscript to Christian publishers in an era when one didn’t need an agent. I submitted it unsuccessfully for several years.
I had to put the writing and searching for a publisher pursuit aside when life necessitated my getting full time employment to raise my sons on my own. Many years passed, my children were grown, and my circumstances changed, including re-marriage. My husband read the story I’d written so many years before and encouraged me to once again try to get it published and continue to write. It was 2010 and so much had changed in the writing and publishing world in the intervening years. Lots of studying and editing ensued. I needed and found a great agent who saw promise in the story and wanted to represent me. The advent of e-books, the need to have a platform, an online presence via blogging, websites, and social media required a lot of research, studying and developing a multitude of new skills. That original story, after many, many edits, was my debut novel, A Heart Set Free, published in December of 2016.
While my first novel was over a decade from start to publication, your perseverance is amazing, Janet!
What made you decide to write inspirational fiction? And more specifically historical romance?
So much of fiction can be very dark. I want to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, and entertain, as well as bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader. I’ve always been fascinated by history. People experience the same feelings, fears, circumstances, trials and joys throughout all eras. Who’s life hasn’t been touched by romance? Love is such a powerful emotion and, when it becomes an action, I think we become less self-centered and more focused on the needs and well-being of the one we love.
How has God guided you through this process?
I felt His confirmation so many years ago as I first wrote what later became A Heart Set Free. And I believe He gives me the themes and stories I continue to write. Sometimes the stories or character’s actions and words take off on their own into areas I haven’t planned. That’s exciting.
I agree!Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 11-13
Such beautiful and inspiring scriptures. I’m in need of remembering Joshua 1:9, that I’m not alone in this endeavor!
Would you like to tell us about your debut novel, A Heart Set Free?
A Heart Set Free [Back Cover Blurb]
In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.
Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blonde standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?
When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.
It is in the Virginia countryside that Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . .
and love will finally set her heart free.
More about Janet Grunst:
Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. She lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that can communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, and bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader. In May of 2017, she won Selah Award for Historical Romance for her debut novel, A Heart Set Free.
Janet is generously giving away one signed copy of A Heart Set Free or a Kindle version, reader’s choice, to one randomly chosen commenter. Please leave a comment below. For have an extra entry please sign up for my newsletter and let me know you did in your comment. Thank you!
Find Janet on the web:
Represented By Linda S. Glaz, Hartline Literary Agency
Buy A Heart Set Free HERE.