Guest blog: Heidi Gray McGill--Free book on Sign-Up for Newsletter
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Christina, thank you for inviting me to be with you today! I’m super excited about sharing,
especially since February is Low Vision Awareness Month.
Everly, the main character in Dial E for Endearment and I have something in common, but it may not be what you’d expect.
I’m an author of both 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 in Fort Mill, SC, care for my grandsons as often as possible, scrapbook (I started in 1996 and am up to 2019…you do the math on how many books…), 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. My diagnosis in 2001 of Retinitis Pigmentosa was devastating. There is no cure, and there is no surgery. But that does not mean there is no hope. I still have value. 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. I use a cane when I’m navigating alone, and I’ve traveled to China—that cane as my only companion. Being blind is certainly not something I would have chosen, but it does not define me.
Tell us about your book...
When I wrote this story, I purposed in my heart to shed light on blindness. Everly, the main character in Dial E for Endearment is also blind. As Blowing Rock, NC’s JOY Radio talk show host, Everly has discovered fulfillment, but she hasn’t found love, at least not for her—not even from her mother. In Dial E for Endearment, 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 more than just the voice behind the mic.
The best way to tell you about Dial E for Endearment is to share what others have written in reviews after reading it.
Amy Bovaird, a blind author, shared that she “…was particularly touched by a scene between Everly and her mother. I loved the humorous quips tucked into this feel-good Christian novella, which shows her main character’s disability doesn’t define her.”
Jessica Grewe said, “I was immediately drawn into this book because the characters are so relatable. I felt like I was part of their world. Even Max, the dog, had me smiling and laughing at his actions.”
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…although I’ll most likely deny if asked. But most of all, you’ll learn that we ALL have value, and that includes YOU.
Ask the reader a question or two...
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 to ensure that Everly acted and responded in a way that would resonate with other white cane users. Everly’s personality is upbeat, yet she carries a deep burden with her 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 shows how Jesus Christ can be an integral part of life and how leaning on Him can bring tremendous peace and fulfillment.
People are often confused that I can still see yet use a white cane. The word “blind” Can be confusing. I have 5% of my peripheral vision left. That means when I am looking you in the eye, I can’t see your mouth. Thanks to corrective lenses in my glasses, what I see in the 5% is blessedly clear. If you’d like to test YOUR knowledge of blindness, take this fun quiz:
So…in the book, I share lots of personal, it-possibly-happened-to-me-stories. One I didn’t share still comes up every holiday at our house. My three sisters and I went on vacation and stopped at Red Lobster for dinner. We’d been driving for hours, and all needed to visit the ladies’ room. They each went to the waiting area afterwards. I don’t know if they still have those long, padded benches on the outside walls or not, but…they did then. I walked out, saw my sisters, took a few steps, ran directly into the end of the bench, and did an Olympic medal face plant. It was a good thing they had already visited the bathroom…just saying. We laughed for the rest of the evening and nearly got thrown out for being so loud (we tend to cackle). Those poor people who were watching probably thought we’d over-imbibed.
Nope, we act like that without assistance.
I’d love to hear your blooper or funny story. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and we could all use a good dose these days.
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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.
If you’d like to connect with Heidi, here are a few ways:
Website: http://heidimcgill822089357.wordpress.com/author/ Amazon:
All Author: https://allauthor.com/author/heidigraymcgill/
FREE BOOK with Newsletter sign up: https://heidimcgill822089357.wordpress.com/contact/
Buy Dial E for Endearment here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KWXV7J6