Meet My Friend & Some of the Lady Authors That Have Impacted Her Life

I am so excited to share with you one of my favorite people on the planet. I met her last summer through The Outlandish Book Box we offered at Pretty Literate and I have enjoyed every moment spent since then getting to know her.

She has so many admirable qualities, but the very first I noticed about her was that she gets stuff done. For example, last summer I learned she was reading Outlander (an epic tale that combines engaging historical fiction with time-traveling sci-fi and complicated romantic entanglements wrapped in the most exciting storyline presented in tomes averaging a whopping 800+ pages) when we met during Pretty Literate's Virtual Book Club (which continues to be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month via Zoom). I learned that she was new to the Outlander series, but planned to read through all eight books before the ninth published in November.

Yeah, right, I thought. Good luck with that.

Reader, she completed them all - months before the ninth novel dropped (alongside my jaw). She gets stuff done.

She is also a very artsy & crafty type, one of those that seems to understand and pick up things while the rest of us are still scratching our heads reading the directions. For example, remember the adorable Jane Austen doll decorating the shelves behind me during Pretty Literate Live? That is the handiwork of this friend of mine - and y'all, she picked up crochet just a few years ago. She gets stuff done.

Another example of her proactive nature? I messaged her last week to ask if she knew of anyone that would guest blog and after suggesting a couple of people inside The Classics Community that she thought would be great, I asked if she would consider it. Not only did she consider it, she came up with a bookishly brilliant topic for Women's History Month, and even though I gave her a one-week turnaround deadline, she completed it and delivered it into my inbox within 24 hours. She gets stuff done.

Who am I talking about? I am talking about my amazing friend, Heather, and I am so excited for you to Meet My Friend & Some of the Lady Authors That Have Impacted Her Life


And here's what she has to say.

Quite often while reading an eBook (or even one of those old timey heavy things - you know, a literal book) I’ll keep my phone handy to snap a picture of something inspirational or thought-provoking. I will zoom in and crop it (so I remember later why I took the photo), or I’ll digitally highlight the quote in the pic.

I do this because I can’t mark up a book by highlighting in the physical copy or writing side notes in the margins. (I can’t even fold down the page to hold my spot! It just feels disrespectful to the book for me to do that. These are my thoughts, my morals…absolutely no judgement here if you do it.)

Since March is Women’s History Month, I wanted to share some of the women authors that have made an impact in my life from the snapshots I've taken while reading. 

Stephanie Meyer

I found J.K. Rawling late high school/early college years, but I took a break after reading her (I’m Hufflepuff, if you are wondering.) and it was Stephanie Meyer who drew me back in to the world of books. After that very long stint of not liking to read, Stephanie Meyer. Got. Me. HOOKED! And since picking up Stephanie Meyer, there's {almost} not been a day that I haven’t picked up a book. Quite honestly, she is a woman that has impacted my life. And while I do love the Twilight series, they are actually not my favorite by Ms. Meyer. That spot belongs to The Chemist. 

The Chemist is a book about a female ex-agent on the run from her former U.S. Government employers with lots of action and adventure, so if that sounds right up your alley, I recommend as an introduction to Stephanie Meyer the adventure novel, The Chemist.

Robin Jones Gunn

I’ve mentioned Robin to my Pretty Literate friends before - a female author that writes about the unforced rhythms of Grace. She weaves God’s word into every book she writes. And in our world where it seems like so many people are tearing each other down with their words and actions, Robin Jones Gunn builds her readers up.

I wish I’d found Ms. Gunn as a teen. Her characters have become my friends and when I go back and reread one of her books, it’s like reliving old times - my friends are still there and our conversations pick right back up where we left them. I love friendships like that - in books, and in life.

Robin is a woman who found her calling and I believe God works through her when she puts pen to paper (or hand to keyboard). Ms. Gunn has impacted my life through her books with womanly companionship, and helped me to know more deeply what relationships are worth - not only with the women in my life, but with the men, too.

If she has captured your interest, too, some great Robin Jones Gunn books I would suggest starting with are:

  • The Christy Miller series
  • The SisterChicks series
  • The Glenbrooke series
  • Finding Father Christmas

Mary Shelley

I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Halloween! (You should see my house in October!) I also love scary movies. However, about a year and half ago, I started feeling like I was a bit of a phony because I had never read the horror classics. When I thought of horror classics, automatically Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein came to mind. I still haven’t read Dracula, but I did read Frankenstein the summer of 2020 - a horror classic full of mystery, danger, adventure, science, revenge, and MURDER!

Shelley's most famous work, Frankenstein, was written when Mary Shelley (then only 20-years-old) and her husband, Percy Shelley (himself a poet and novelist) were in Switzerland with Jane Clairmont (Ms. Shelley's stepsister, a governess, and also a writer), Lord Byron (the English poet), and John Polidori (author of The Vampyre). The group was reading ghost stories on a rainy summer day, trying to scare one another, when Lord Byron suggested they each write their own horror story. Thus was born the first horror classic I read, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (as well as Polidori's The Vampyre).

Diana Gabaldon

If you know me (which some of you do), you know my collection could not be complete without a selection of my personal favorites from Ms. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series!

Slainte! (Cheers!)

Around the end of 2020, I kept seeing previews of Outlander on Netflix and Starz. It looked interesting, but I kept telling myself, No - do not start another series. You’ll binge it. You’ll get sucked in.

In January 2021, I gave in. I gave in body, heart and soul. I not only binge-watched Outlander, I bought (and read!) the books as well as a new phone protector, shirts, and a new market bag. I even got a subscription to Starz just to watch season 5 (because it wasn’t on Netflix) and suffered through Droughtlander until the beginning of season 6! (Thankfully, season 6 started recently!)

I started the book Outlander in February 2021 and read through the the entire series (all except the ninth book, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, which I pre-ordered in May) by the beginning of September.

Finding the Outlander books was like coming home, not because I’m from the 1700s, but because I grew up going to Burns Dinners, Celtic dance lessons, and attending the Highland games & festivities. A couple years ago I had my DNA tested just for the fun of it and discovered that I’m 42% Scottish.

Hearing bagpipes sends chills through my soul and I can’t help but keep time to the music ringing true.

To say Diana has impacted my life might be an understatement. If you are a fan of hers, you understand because she’s taken us on her adventures!

Thank You

Thank you to Heather for sharing her favorite authors, quotes, and heart with us this week. Heather is not only a Founding Member of The Classics Community, she is an occasional guest on Pretty Literate Live, and a frequent attendee for PL's Virtual Book Club. 

She is the mother of two awesome kids and wife to quite a keeper. She gets her epic artistic side from her Mother and Grandmother, and enjoys drawing and painting in addition to crochet, binge-watching tv, and reading.



  • Heather- you and I share a lot of the same favorite authors! Frankenstein is one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read, and like so many other great books, very different from ANY of the movies bearing the same name.
    My whole family read the Twilight series during its heyday and my husband (who is not much of a reader) read them several times over! It was very satisfying to me to see my family engaged in books that way as only one of my children is an avid reader like myself.
    Outlander and DG have been a part of my life since at least 1992 and I first picked up a paperback copy in line at the grocery checkout. We moved around with the army several times and just happened to live in some of the areas that Claire and Jamie’s travels took them; Savannah and the coast, NC Fayetteville area and attending Scottish games at Grandfather Mountain and Flora McDonald’s Academy and Savannah; and going to performances of Scottish Highland Dancing at Pinehurst and Malcolm Blue Farm and the coastal wetlands and at Burns dinners, etc. I should say my daughter took Scottish dance and competed and performed in all these places. Our family is a member of Clan Ross and we participated in the Cape Fear Scottish Clan Society events. We all had kilts and regalia in different Ross patterns. So yeah- I’d say my life has definitely been impacted by DG!
    It was very interesting to learn more about you and how many things we have in common! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Lynda A
  • I love your story of how you came to love reading again. Thanks for sharing your story and I will add some more books to my TBR list starting with the Chemist!

    Amy O
  • I’m not one to like being scared so Mary Shelley may not make it to my TBR pile, but it sounds like I’m going to need to read Robin Jones Gunn. That quote about a best friend…I felt that! Thanks for sharing, Heather!

  • Great authors, Heather! I have Frankenstein on my list to read, you have convinced me.

    Mirah Welday

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