Writer’s Desk with Dr. Heather Holleman
Dr. Heather Holleman is an associate teaching professor at Penn State, speaker, and author. She designs advanced writing curriculum for the English department and loves helping students thrive professionally. She has written eight books, including the bestseller Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison, and an award-winning book on evangelism (co-written with her husband, Ashley Holleman) called Sent: Living a Life That Invites Others to Jesus. Heather’s book, The Six Conversations: Pathways to Connecting in an Age of Isolation and Incivility, helps fight the loneliness epidemic by inviting readers to enjoy better conversations. Her most recent fiction book, This Seat’s Saved, written for middle-grade audiences, helps young readers discover they are already seated at the best table with Jesus. Heather also serves with Faculty Commons in the professor ministry of Cru. She and Ash have two daughters and three cats, and Heather blogs daily at heatherholleman.com. Her podcast is “The Verb with Heather Holleman.” When she’s not writing or teaching, Heather is growing a plum orchard, looking for turtles in the woods, or gathering with friends for dinner and a movie.
More about This Seat’s Saved
Class schedules, locker combinations, and the play for popularity — middle school is a new world with new rules.
At the start of 7th grade, Elita Brown’s friends enjoy their seats at the popular lunchroom table. Meanwhile, Elita hides in the bathroom. This is not how she envisioned middle school. And her omission from the popular table is only the beginning of her problems. What will she do when she’s terrorized by the meanest girl in school and accused of a crime she didn’t commit? Elita befriends an older couple living in the woods and gains confidence through her project on the red fox. Will Elita find her way and take her seat at the best table? Full of suspense and divine moments, readers will be captivated by this story.
Parents and teachers who loved Seated with Christ can invite their middle school reader to This Seat’s Saved. With great discussion questions and a main character who learns to read her Bible, trust God for the first time, and understand what it means to be seated with Christ from Ephesians 2:6, This Seat’s Saved will help young readers on their journey with Jesus.
Scroll below to find out how you can enter to win a copy of This Seat’s Saved!
Q&A with Dr. Heather Holleman
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
HH: I read grammar books for fun. I love semicolons.
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for This Seat’s Saved?
HH: After speaking on my nonfiction book, Seated with Christ, I realized how many women still carry the wound of feeling rejected from the middle school lunchroom. I began to dream about a fictionalized account of a girl who can’t find her seat in the lunchroom, realizes she’s not popular, and must learn from Ephesians 2:6 what it means that she’s already seated at the best table with Jesus.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
HH: I love lighting a candle, drinking coffee or a warm beverage, putting on my coziest clothes and slippers, and sitting at my desk.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
HH: Schedule 2 hours of writing every other day. If you go longer, that’s great!
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
HH: Coffee, water, nuts.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
HH: Writer’s block usually stems from shame and not imagining your ideal audience who cannot wait to read what you’re wanting to write. If you have writer’s block, imagine you’re writing something to a person who really loves you and believes in you. The other key factor in writer’s block is the false belief that the writing must be your best work. Just get the writing out. It doesn’t have to be your best. That’s how I finished my dissertation for my PhD.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
HH: Wait until the end.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
HH: Not taking time to develop a written voice. They don’t sound authentic because they don’t know what their writing voice is.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
HH: Insert a 3–5-word sentence into every paragraph if you can. It’s the easiest way to create a written voice. Short sentences grab the reader.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
HH: Perhaps a sequel to This Seat’s Saved, a screenplay, or a book on prayer connected to the attributes of God.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of This Seat’s Taken.*
*Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US mailing address.
Save + Pin + Share!