Heather Norman Smith; Local Author Releases Fifth Novel ‘Songs for a Sunday’

Author and North Carolina native Heather Norman Smith recently released her fifth novel, ‘Songs for a Sunday,’ with a bit of a different focus beyond just entertaining her readers.

‘Songs for a Sunday’ is set in Winston-Salem, NC, with topics of sisterhood, secrets, sacrifice, and salvation through Jesus Christ all woven into a novel that draws readers into the characters’ lives and relationships. 

“This particular novel began with the title. The four words ‘Songs for a Sunday’ came to me in the shower and I knew it was a title, though I had no idea what the story would be. When I thought about those words, I had an image in my mind of an older model car and a couple out for a scenic drive. I had no other context around the image, but it became part of the first scene set in the 1960s timeline, in Chapter Two. Other than that, I actually don’t remember how the story came to me. Sometimes I jump in with an opening scene and try to figure out who the characters are and what they will do as I go along. Other times, I ‘interview’ the characters first to figure out who they are, and how the major plot will develop,” recalled Heather. With the initial idea in mind, the story and characters began to take shape and the writing process of ‘Songs for a Sunday’ began.

A Heartwarming Story of Family Ties and Faith 

‘Songs for a Sunday’ is a dual timeline story and explores the lives of two sets of sisters, who  struggle with their relationships over the years, as well as their own personal lives, with family secrets to face. This story illuminates that what you think family should be isn’t always what it is in reality, and how in the end, the love shared between the sisters is what gets them through the years. “As a writer and a Christian, I believe even a made-up story can help draw people to a very real God that wants to have a relationship with them. Because I love people, I want to share the hope of the gospel with them through my writing. There’s a message of faith in each of my five novels and I aim to present the gospel in some measure, organically, through the course of every story,” Heather said. 

An Unexpected Character

As with most southern fiction, the setting of Winston-Salem, becomes a character itself, with its living and breathing history, much of which Heather incorporates into ‘Songs for a Sunday.’

“It was important to me to showcase a lot of the wonderful history of the city and surrounding area. I try to help the reader connect with the setting and develop an appreciation for it. Even in my books that are set in fictional towns, the settings are based on real places in North Carolina, and I want people to be endeared to our state through the story,” commented Heather. 

Connecting with Readers 

All writers want to connect with their readers on some level, and the feedback Heather has received shows that she accomplished that with ‘Songs for a Sunday.

“The word I hear most often to describe my books is ‘heartwarming.’ One of the nicest compliments about ‘Songs for a Sunday’ is that a reader said the book made her ‘feel seen,’ because of the portrayal of the main character’s struggles as a stay-at-home mother of four. When it comes to matters of faith, I appreciate that readers often tell me the spiritual conversations in my book are done in a natural way that doesn’t feel forced. I want my readers to find themselves to some extent in my characters and know that we all share many of  life’s experiences,” Heather said.

For more information on Heather Norman Smith, visit heathernormansmith.com. ‘Songs for a Sunday’ and Heather’s other novels can be found on Amazon and other online retailers.

Heather enjoys speaking to church groups on topics such as using your gifts and talents to serve God and she is also available to speak to book clubs and writers’ groups. 


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