Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Els Van Hierden* author interview and FREE BOOK

Els thanks for taking the time to visit us today! I appreciate you answering these few
questions. It will be fun to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself and your

My husband Edward and I have five children, ages 17-8. Two boys and three girls. Our
life is full of variety, with our oldest son graduated, the two girls schooling online from
home, and the youngest two in a Christian school in town. In addition to this, we own an
equestrian centre with about thirty horses, and have a horse trailer dealership. My
husband is a land developer, which has been very difficult for us the last few years with
the recession. The publication of “Ransomed” truly is a sign of God’s faithfulness to us
throughout our journey.

How long did you write before you were published?
I have been writing since I was a young child. I had this dream to be a writer since then. I
have written for various magazines, but not seriously pursued the publication of a novel
until now.

Tell us about “Ransomed,” the featured book.
“Ransomed” was born out of the pain of our failed adoption: the Canadian couple in the
book is us, although I have changed the identities of the people. The details of the journey
to Russia and what happened there is what really happened to us. It’s biographical. I
came back filled with pain, and wanted to have an outlet for healing from this journey,
but also to share what is going on in other countries around the world.

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?
My grade six teacher: he believed enough in me to write, “When will you publish your
first book?” on one of my essays. I never forgot that. I would also say that Francine
Rivers has been influential in my writing. I love her style, her straightforward approach to
difficult topics.

What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?
The main message I want to share is that healing is available for everyone through Jesus
Christ. No one is exempt. But I also wanted to share a picture of what that healing may
look like: the forgiveness that God extends to us, we need to extend to others.
Also, we have a responsibility to care about the orphans. Not many of us have the
privilege to do what I did and adopt, but perhaps we can all sponsor a child.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to
I like to work. Nothing makes me feel better than a day of productive work, especially
since I have had a lot of health issues that have laid me low this past year. I love spending
time with my husband and kids. Every night we sit around and debrief our day. We don’t
watch television, so have lots of time to spend together as a family. I also really like to
spend time with people. I find almost everyone interesting, except those who are only
interested in themselves.
Dislikes? People who are rude to others.
My favorite vacation spot is Europe: that’s where I was born. We had the opportunity to
spend five weeks there a few years ago, and worked in Romania with an orphanage
organization. That was the best holiday we’ve ever had.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.
All my writing comes from my own brokenness. There have been so many pieces over
the years, put God has put it all back together again. All the praise is to Him!

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of
words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
A novel takes me the time of my own healing to be accomplished, if that makes sense.
The last two years since finishing the book have been the most difficult in my life, and I
believe another novel is being born out of this. I don’t have goals: when I write, I forget
the time and the words just keep coming. I will write at any time of the day, and
sometimes the middle of the night.

What are you currently reading?
John Maxwell: “Everyone communicates, Few connect.”

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? What are your favorite flowers?
I have a shade garden with a pond. My favorite plants are the shade plants with big leaves
like hostas, pulmonaria, and ferns: they don’t need to have flowers. On the prairies, a
shade garden is very rare, but my European side craves that greenery.

What are you writing now?
The sequel to “Ransomed”, but in the very beginning stages. Not sure if I’m up to the
task yet!

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is You can also order the book through Winepress
or Amazon

And thanks for spending this time with us Els,
We wish you much success.
I enjoyed your book very much.
Thank you as well. If there is anything else I can do for you or your bloggers, let me
know. I appreciate you taking the time to do this.

My review of Ransomed:

All you have to do to win this book is be/become a follower and leave a comment and tell me what you liked most about the interview and also leave an email address to enter!
This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is July 21, 2010. A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator and the winner will be notified by email.


Mozi Esme said...

Loved the comment about writing coming from brokenness. It's when we're least that God shines greatest...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Carmen said...

Already a follower.

My sister and husband adopted from Russia, and would love to hear about the complete process you went through. I also love the Scriptural aspect of healing throughout your book. I love to read books with a Spiritual basis.
Thanks for sharing.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Katie Marie said...

I just became a follower!! :-D

I have to agree with Mozi that when we are least - God shines greatest. It is such an awesome thought! HE is all powerful and uses us - weak humans - to work His perfect plan in our lives!

Please enter me in the giveaway!


Molly said...

Hi! I would love to enter this! I am already a follower.

I love the fact that the author uses her pain and brokeness to create her stories. There is so much more emotion that pours through books that way!

Thanks for this chance!

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

I like that when she writes she just writes! I tend to write that way, myself!

Thanks for the opportunity to win this great sounding book.

latawniakintz at gmail dot com

Julia M. Reffner said...

I haven't heard of this author, but now I really do want to read it. I'm already a follower. The reason I most want to read this book is because we are hoping to adopt from India.


Cindy W. said...

I found it interesting that the author's sixth grade teacher wrote a note on an essay asking her when she would publish her first book. Awesome that the teacher saw the talent at that age.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W


Caroline said...

Since I my brother & his wife have adopted, and also some of my friends, I was intrigued by the hint of her story. I'd positively love to read the book. Adoption themes are some of my favs.

Thanks for sharing.
BTW, Trinity, how did you find out about her?

Caroline said...

Forgot to leave my email addy, although you may already know it. :)

karenk said...

i like the comment that healing is available through jesus...

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Esther Miriam Lopez said...

I'm already a follower.

I love the fact that Els is sending out message of healing through Jesus to readers.

I would love to read the book :))


enyl said...

What I like most, is that it's a biographical story.
GFC follower.

Debbie F said...

I would love to read this. I think the message of this book is good one and one that people need to remember. Thank you for the opportunity.

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

debbie said...

I liked the interview, it was interesting reading the likes and dislikes. I am a gfc follower.

Debbie F said...

I'm a follower!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Amanda said...

Thanks for the interview!! I love reading stories that are based on real people, it makes everything more inspiring :)
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

I loved the comment where she said all her writing comes from brokeness. I know myself that when one is broken we allow God to do His best work through us.

I would love to win a copy of Ransomed. Thank you for the opportunity.

Cindy W.


apple blossom said...

I loved getting to know the author in this interview. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

csthankful said...

Since the book starts with the heart, I have no doubt it will touch mine. Adoption is such blessed gift and the pains and joys that come with it or attempting to adopt are worthy to be shared. Thanks much. Blessings, Connie Sue

Bluerose said...

I love that this is a true story of adoption. Growing up, it was always my dream to adopt one day. I know that it comes with heartache, though. A couple formerly from my church had to deal with a lot of heartache and disappointment, but they now have 2 beautiful adopted little ones. I would love to read this story!
I'm a follower.

Anonymous said...

I am a follower.
this book sounds really good.

Lisa said...

I'm a follower. I like how she believes so much in God. That's always a refreshing quality in people.

Melissa M. said...

I'm a follower.

I like how she is using her experiences to help others, and that her book is basically true.


BrendaC said...

It's always interesting to know what an author is reading. Sounds like a great book count me in on the giveaway. kittycrochettwo[at]msn[dot]com. Oh I am a new follower.

Trinity Rose said...