“We humans have to be stronger than we imagine, dig in when the ground seems to sink, and love ourselves in the process. We not only relish adventures, we create them. That’s the basis of Saylor’s story in Kadee Carder’s young adult science fiction trilogy: Insurrection, Incomplete, and  Indelible. Scintillating gadgetry, crackling romance, and endless riddles fill the pages of this trilogy in a fresh adventure for the daring reader.”

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Kadee over the past year or so. She has a fun, fresh approach to life and writing, and I couldn’t wait to interview her for the Heart”wings” blog. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her!

Fierce in a sparkly way, I bring hope, adventure, and thrill wherever I write. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. I teach writing on the university level, dance around the living room with my family, lift heavy at the gym, travel the planet (on foot or Google maps), and binge on superhero shows. I write stories that roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab your copy of my latest book, and let’s do this adventure together!

So, Kadee, I’ve known about you since Insurrection – the first book in this trilogy – came out, but I only just recently discovered your blog and book Ignite, and I have to say that I love your writing voice. You and I write to different audiences, but I think we strive for the same thing – to be a storyteller, someone who understands the power of story. So tell me – what led you to pick up pen and paper and start penning your stories?

About ten years ago, as a newlywed office manager at a medium-sized church, I struggled with what I wanted to do on this blue planet. I didn’t so much like folding bulletins, but I enjoyed helping people. If you’ve ever worked at a church, you know it’s a mashup of the two. A friend recommended a delightful book by Madeleine L’Engle – “Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.” It changed my life. In it, L’Engle discusses what art is to a person of faith, how faith influences art. Her conversational tone and poignant one-liners drove home what I’d been blind to: I needed to write. I craved creation. I’d blogged for years, and I wrote with my office management job, but…I ached for more.

I dove into the Master of Fine Arts program with National University. I figured I’d learn all I could about writing fiction and see if I could hack it as a teacher. L’Engle’s wisdom continues to inspire me. She wrote, “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” She totally understood the battle, my friends. Her style ignited my own form of writing and I hope that any reader who stumbles upon my books or blogs feels like we’re chatting over a caramel macchiato. This magic is part of what keeps me writing, because you never know who will pick up what you’re putting down, and when it will happen. God uses our willingness to work, even if we can’t see those results. He entrusts us with dreams and brings them to light in their necessary time.

Beautifully put! Like I said – a storyteller. I can’t help but think of Jesus telling His parables. He used the beauty of story to share deep, meaningful, eternally significant truths with people. I don’t compare what we do to what Jesus did, but I think it’s a good and worthy goal to follow His model. And for the record, I record, I like my caramel macchiato iced.) 🙂

Your desire to pursue writing came out of a search (I’m paraphrasing her) for God in artistic expression. Tell me what you’ve learned from this journey, how writing has shaped your faith.

I’ve gone to church all my life. God has been so good to me. He’s led me to doors and windows, and he’s allowed me to run nose-first into brick walls. This relationship with God has endured a lot of questions, dark alleyways of loss, and too many golden sunrises to count. Writing, getting published, has been one of the most challenging things I’ve done. It’s hard, y’all. Some days I think I wish I’d never started. But then I look at what I have now – three published books and more on the way. I see God’s grace, his loving favor, in it all. Overall, this is the biggest thing I’ve learned:

Regret is a waste of time. You are a limited being. You cannot tell the future. You do what you do, the earth spins, and life happens. The best way to handle choice-making is to believe in a faithful, loving God who cares for us even while we are broken. He can make all things work for good. In any situation, you can see the negative or the positive. We are characters in a grand story, making choices and dealing with consequences from those choices. The hero character learns and grows and does better in the next flip of the coin. Other characters around us may influence that coin, but the hero builds and grows from all of it.

You make a choice and in five minutes you’ll make another. Own your choices, those decisions. They make you who you are. Ultimately you have the super power to control how you act in any situation. So when you’re given the chance to reflect and regret, choose to learn. Choose to say, “God can make good from this,” and “God, I need You to do it now.”

You aren’t expected to live perfectly and do everything right. You are here to see God working through it. He can use you for so much good, for more than you ever imagined. And through those choices and fires and failures, He is there, ready to help. Instead of crumpling into a ball, giving in to defeat, listening to the lies (and that is what defeat is, giving in to the lies of the enemy) – stand up, fabulous conqueror, and look to the light. Be the hero. Learn. Love. Love yourself, love the challenge. Continue forward, fearless, humble, and amazed. Forgive yourself for the broken parts and ask God to bind them up — and He will.

But don’t regret any of it. Your story is powerful. Somebody needs to learn from your story. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s somebody here. Maybe it’s your kid — it’s probably your kid. You’ve only got so much time on this planet. Don’t waste it looking back. Forgive yourself for the brokenness, and look to the heart of the Provider who can make you whole.

Wow! You pegged it. God’s grace is so much bigger than most of us allow ourselves to believe, and His Spirit within us is more powerful than many of us dare to dream. We aren’t promised an easy life, but we are called to persevere, strive forward, and soar on wings like eagles. Amen!

You have such a heart for encouraging others. Tell me how that shaped Indelible.

Indelible is my most recent published book, the final, epic leg of the young adult science fiction Insurrection series. The trilogy (Insurrection, Incomplete, Indelible) follows Saylor MacTavish, who had been told she was useless, that she had ‘quite the life coming to her,’ and boy was that second part right. With a flair for tenacity, humor, and moxie, Saylor finds herself on a Caribbean island with a secret military installation, creatures designed to kill, and a band of soldiers who need her spunk. Willing to fight for her family, she takes on the evil genius who created the monsters, crossing the globe to conquer, even when it seems all is lost. Saylor’s story came to me and my friends in middle school, where we played for hours as these characters. The story and characters stuck with me, and I think readers need this great adventure too. We all need Saylor’s reminder: You can do so much more than you imagine.

Beneath the façade of covert laboratories and military exploits, Saylor’s story twists further in this thrilling final installment of the Insurrection trilogy. Concealed identities. Puzzling truths. Cryptic alliances. Amid hasty exits and curious arrivals, Saylor pursues the answers haunting her conscience.

Dealing with the consequences of her decisions, will Saylor find herself invincible, or drawn even closer to her enemy’s conniving promises? And with humanity’s existence at stake, will Saylor advance toward the brimming war, or succumb to the battle bubbling in her blood? Saylor must decide.

Humanity will always be worth fighting for.

“I like to think I’m a simple guy. I run toward the danger when others cannot.” He shifted his weight, one foot at a time, drawing near. “You are a product of challenge. You’ve seen a lot of hard days. But when I look at you, I don’t see someone who backs away from a problem. You solve it, no matter the riddle. You find a way to beat it. In some cases, you tend to have a flair for the dramatic.”

“Who, me?”

He smiled. “That’s just one part of you I like. Maybe you’re on fire, but consider, maybe that’s a good thing.”

“Ah. Tucker.”

Shoes scuffling. Red cheeks. Heated lips. His hands on mine, his pulse intertwining with mine.

“Don’t think you’re done. Not when you’ve got so much life in you.”

“I guess I’ve got thousands of little lives inside me.”

“Not that. I don’t mean any kind of artificial intelligence. Those could go away, and you’d still find a way to make the earth shudder beneath you.”

“Are you saying I’m scary?”

“I’m saying . . . You got moxie, mate. Embrace it. But don’t strangle it.”

Amazon          Barnes & Noble          Kobo          iTunes

If you visit her website, you can subscribe to Kadee’s newsletter. New subscribers get a free copy of Ignite, a book that offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you tackle the challenging tasks in your life!

Giveaway time! Kadee has one e-book of Indelible that she’s itching to get into someone’s hands. To enter, comment below with your answer to this question:

If you had to exist in a time where solar flare had destroyed mankind’s technology and gadgets, what’s the one power-driven thing you would find a way to get again? (car, hair dryer, mascara, etc. – anything created using power)

CONGRATULATIONS TO BECKY SMITH FOR WINNING THIS GIVEAWAY!

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Heather Gray loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. And, yeah, her books almost always have someone who's a coffee addict. Some things just can't be helped. Heather writes contemporary, western, and regency Christian romance plus devotions...because she can't make up her mind about what to do. She is the author of the Informal Romance contemporary series, Ladies of Larkspur western series, Regency Refuge series, and a smattering of stand-alone titles. Despite being born into different eras, Heather's characters share a common trait. They're all flawed...but loved anyway.

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