Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communications at Andrews University, based in Berrien Springs, Michigan. At 32 years of age, she has published six books. She talked about her writing life and the purpose for what she writes.
Where did writing begin for you—and why?
The first book I wrote—Hook, Line, and Sinker—was about dating. I had called off my engagement two months before the wedding, and I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt like, if God didn’t want me to marry this person, couldn’t He have told me before I bought a wedding dress? So I spent that summer crying and writing, talking about the warning signs that I missed. Turns out, endings can be beginnings you never saw coming.
You were first published as a young person. Why are younger voices important in our Church?
I think representation matters. We have to allow voices to speak, if we want them represented in our congregations. If we want young people to attend our churches, we have to show them that we aren’t interested in only using them as props, but we want to work collectively to see how we can make each other better. So I am personally committed to representing women, people of colour and young people.
Do you see how you have grown reflected in your writing over your publishing career?
Absolutely. I have changed a lot. I was 22 years old when I started writing books. After a decade spent following Christ and His call on my life, I am not even close to being the same person. Sometimes I dislike that I have books that have chronicled that growth period. I read lines in books I have written and cringe. But it also shows that God doesn’t wait until we are a finished product to start using us. He allows us to grow into Him and I think that’s beautiful.
Much of your writing is drawn from your own life and experiences. Why is that important?
I believe in serving where you weren’t and writing what you know. My earlier books have focused on dating, and what it feels like to be a young adult in our Church trying to figure out where you fit. That’s what I know, so that’s what I write. I am now a wife and a mother. So my latest book talks candidly about my struggles and growing pains in that area of my life. Everyone has a story and I think it’s important for me to share mine, if that means it can inspire someone else to share their own.
Do you have a favourite among your books?
My favourite book is the one I wrote most recently, Confessions of a Christian Wife. It speaks most closely to where I am at today. This is the first generation that is less concerned with marriage and family than they are with professional success. I believe we can have both—and I want to tell people about that balance.
What is your current writing project?
I am working on a book now geared specifically toward young adults that is based on our obsession with instant gratification. We think if it doesn’t happen quickly, then it’s not happening. But I have found that God almost never does things instantly. Even with the Red Sea and Moses, God didn’t part it instantly. Scripture says He sent a great wind, and it took all night. He has a process, and that process always precedes promise. My hope is to remind young adults that God is always worth the process.
What do you hope readers take away from your writing?
My hope is simply that my writing inspires readers to have a more authentic relationships with God and with each other. Without a doubt, God is the relationship that has transformed me most. I want other people to meet the God I met, who loved me as I was, but also made me want to be better.
Books by Heather Thompson Day are available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand.