Belonging to Heaven
Descended from the Hawaiian royal line, Jonathan Napela became one of the first—and most influential—converts to the Church in Hawaii. A man of intelligence, social status, and wealth, he used his considerable position to further the gospel in his native land. He developed a lifelong bond of brotherhood with Elder George Q. Cannon, helping to translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian and establish a gathering place for the Hawaiian saints in Laie, Oahu. But when his beloved wife, Kitty, was stricken with leprosy, Jonathan made the defining decision of his life. He would leave his life of privilege to become her caretaker and spend the rest of his life on Molokai, the island of lepers. To those who suffered similar heartbreak and banishment, Jonathan’s self-sacrifice became their lifeline. Based on true story, this is an extraordinary novel of a man who chose love in the face of death.
Author Gale Sears
Gale Sears is an award-winning author, known for her historical accuracy and intensive research. Gale received a BA in playwriting from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in theater arts from the University of Minnesota. She is the author of the bestselling The Silence of God and several other novels, including The Route, Christmas for a Dollar, Autumn Sky, Until the Dawn, and Upon the Mountains. She and her husband, George, are the parents of two children and reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Good question. Being a writer of historical fiction, I would definitely go back to the past.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I can only choose one? Hmmm…nutty coconut.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Belonging to Heaven is about one of the first Hawaiian converts to the LDS Church in the 1850’s, Jonathan Napela. His life will amaze you.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Since being published, I have had the great opportunity to research and write other books of historical fiction. While researching I have met amazing and wonderful people, been to stunning places, and expanded my knowledge. Blessings. Also, one of my children’s books Christmas for a Dollar has been made into a movie. Due out December of 2013.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Bed knobs and Broomsticks. The Danny Dunn series. Penrod and Sam. The Hundred Acre Woods. The classic fairy tales.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Don’t get discouraged. It’s not an easy job…but, very rewarding when a paragraph, or scene, or bit of dialogue comes out right. Don’t focus on publishing. Focus on your story and making it engaging and fun, or engaging and horrifying, or engaging and touching.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be an actress. I went into theater arts early in my life, following on for many years and receiving a master’s degree in Theater Arts from the University of Minnesota. I didn’t come to writing novels until I was almost 50. See? You’re never too old.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Best writing advice. Every day, lay down cement.
Best life advice. “When in danger, when in doubt…run in circles, scream and shout.” (It makes me laugh, every time)
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Bundo Girl. (this is an inside joke between me and my older sister, Teri)
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Actually I love to write on rainy days. My creativity goes nuts on rainy days. I think it goes back to when I was a young girl growing up in Lake Tahoe. A big rainstorm would break; the wind would howl in the pine trees, and big drops of rain would soak the dirt. My sister and I would gather paper, Crayola’s, and pencils, and head for the car. We’d sit in the car as the rain beat down, and write and color.
How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you start the book?
Since 3 to 4 months is spent in research for one of my novels, I suppose that would be the ‘marinating’ time.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
Silence. Yes. Absolutely. Silence.
Favorite historical person?
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