Interview & Giveaway: Trailing The Hunter by Heidi Eljarbo

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to share my interview with Heidi Eljarbo. She is currently on Blog Tour for her novel, Trailing the Hunter. I'm reading it now and it's fabulous!

I hope you enjoy the interview and don't forget to enter our giveaway!

Hello Heidi and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Trailing the Hunter!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Amy. After raising a large family and living in six countries and six US States, I now live and work out of my home on an island south of Oslo, Norway. I write historical fiction with strong-willed characters who fight for what they believe in. Human relationships are important in my stories, and my goal is for the reader to see, smell, hear, and sense the atmosphere of the place and time period I am describing. There’s also a touch of romance, and my books are what you would call a clean read.

What inspired you to write Trailing the Hunter?

I wrote the historical novel “Catching a Witch” a couple of years ago and always felt that the main character, Clara, had more to tell us. I was curious and followed her to see what she would do next. Trailing the Hunter is a result of my fascination with a time in history when some people hunted and persecuted other people. Many were falsely accused, and even though some tried to protect the innocent, there were far too many who joined the witch hunt craze and misjudged and misinterpreted their neighbors, friends, and sometimes family members.

What research did you undertake when writing Trailing the Hunter?

When plotting and writing historical fiction, I spend almost more time on research than on the actual story. For me, history is a passion, and the research process is fun. I took a class on superstition and herbs in Norway, read countless books and articles, delved into my genealogy for good names to use, and also tried to get to know my ancestors. I love learning about what they ate, what they wore, who ruled the country and why, and their beliefs, customs, and habits. In “Trailing the Hunter”, faith and old superstitions collide.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Trailing the Hunter?

I would like them to know that at any time in history women are valuable and important. They should be listened to, respected, and loved. Also, that mass suggestion is a horror that pulls people in. It’s so easy to be dragged into a witch hunt.

One of my readers said it really well, "While reading this story, I am reminded of instances in my life where people are influenced and do not question the reason why."

What was your favorite scene to write?

I love it when I give a character the freedom to speak and act on their own. It may sound strange, but they sometimes really surprise me and say things I had not planned. When Clara sits in the bailiff’s office and discusses her views on why girls should be allowed to go to school is one of those scenes.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

It was difficult to describe how an influential man like Christian Ivershall had his hands tied because of evil threats.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I grew up in a home full of books and read many of them, borrowed books from the library, and purchased even more. I have always loved writing—I love words, books, libraries, and bookstores—but it was not until I was in my forties that the desire to pursue a writing career grew stronger. I continued my education and chose to write full-time. My husband encouraged my dream and has always been very supportive. I worked as a magazine journalist and wrote my own stories whenever I found the time. I always had (still have) pen and paper handy in case a scene, superb sentence, or a cool word pops up in my head.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I get up at 6 am and sit down at my writing table a couple of hours later after getting my husband to the train station, teaching a 7 am study group for teenagers at a local school, and walking the dog. My workday is a mixture of writing, marketing, and research. Some days, I write articles for magazines. My dog. Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, tells me every few hours that it’s time for a walk. And he is right about that. In the late afternoon, my head is usually tired, and walking in the woods or down by the ocean is wonderful and relaxing. I am lucky to have all that right outside my door.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

There are some obstacles and frustrations along the way. I wish I did not have to spend so much time promoting my books. Alas, marketing has to be done, but writing is so much more fun.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Ken Follett is an amazing storyteller. I have also read a lot of Norwegian historical fiction, e.g. Sigrid Undset’s novels. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy about life in Norway in the Middle Ages. And, also, Vera Henriksen who wrote historical novels and plays set in the Middle Ages.

What was the first historical novel you read?

As a young girl, I enjoyed “Polyanna” by Anna Sewell and “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri. We also read “Les Miserable” by Victor Hugo in school.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I am currently reading Terry Lynn Thomas’s novel “The Silent Woman”.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I grew up with a father who was an artist, studied art in college, and have a deep passion for art history. I also love to sing (by myself and in choirs), and doing the laundry is my favorite household chore. Haha, that last one may not be what you were expecting to hear.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

The excitement of going back in time, pretending to be there, and learning about their ways.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I enjoy the 17th century. There’s something about the ignorance of men at that time and how it was possible to believe that good women who healed others because of their knowledge of herbs could be evil witches. It’s horrible and fascinating, at the same time.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love to spend time with my husband. Our children are grown, and we spend time traveling and hiking and skiing in the mountains. We have a TV date every evening and often fall asleep on the couch, watching a crime series, period drama, or sports. Having the grandchildren come over and going to church on Sundays are also on our priority list.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

A WWII Mystery set in Oslo, Norway. It will be out next year.

Oh that sounds exciting! I can't wait to hear more about that one. Thanks so much for this great interview!

Trailing The Hunter by Heidi Eljarbo

Publication Date: October 30, 2019
eBooks & Paperback; 298 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

A ruthless witch-finder.

One determined woman.

1661 in southeastern Norway.

Clara Dahl has made a decision. She has seen the dread and sorrow witch-finder Angus Hill has caused in her hometown and sets out to find him. Her goal is to fight the wrongful and wicked misconceptions about witch hunting. But the witch-finder’s influence is strong. How can she warn the villagers of something they don’t understand?

Clara’s heartfelt desire is to protect and rescue the women who are in danger without causing more harm. As Clara develops secret plots to thwart the plans of the notorious witch-finder and works to help the villagers, she finds friendship and the possibility of true love.

Available on Amazon


“A spellbinder from the very beginning. Eljarbo’s sound historical research is evident and impressive.” — Gus A. Mellander, Ph. D., D.H.L.

“Ms. Eljarbo’s words come alive on the page.” — Jana Pawlowski

“Excellent research and stunning writing.” — Pauline Isaksen, author of Dying for Justice

​"This novel has fascinating history, endearing as well as diabolical characters and exciting twists and turns. I couldn’t put it down.” – Linnea Shaw

About the Author

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of Catching a Witch. She grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter.

After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, twelve grandchildren--so far--in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier and a bird.

Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. Heidi's favorites are family, God's beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

If you would like to know more, please visit Heidi's website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, October 30
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, November 1
Feature at The Writing Desk

Monday, November 4
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Tuesday, November 5
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 6
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Sunday, November 10
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, November 11
Character Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, November 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, November 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, November 19
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, November 22
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Trailing the Hunter! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Trailing the Hunter

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