Greg Easterling is a long tenured medical professional and the author of the novel “The First Day in Heaven.” The book tells the story of a man named Henry, who is ending his life on earth with some uncertainties about how his eternal life after death will be. Having been a Christian for as long as he can remember, Henry still has much to learn and to experience, and all he has is time. The book is both an objective and creative look at a life in heaven that will keep any reader hooked till the last page.
For Easterling, the story of Henry and his concerns is a very personal one. After a loved one made it clear to him that a life in heaven was something that they had no interest in being a part of, he began noticing the many misconceptions people around him had about heaven, about life after death, and about the nature of living for eternity without suffering. Concerned that many people seemed to think that his faith in eternal life in Heaven was set in a boring cloudscape, where people play harps and are idly abiding forever, Greg set out to reshape this misrepresentation. “I wrote primarily to show people that there is an exciting home waiting for them, where old acquaintances and family will be, in addition to all of the wonders that we’ll experience in the presence of Christ.” He emphasizes his factual basis for the book, in sharp contrast to many other books he has read that communicate a heaven that is not based on scripture. “So many depictions took away from the text and added their own thing. I only want to expand the gray areas of our understanding.” He calls his style “inspirational fiction”, and hopes that others will see the wonder and intrigue that a perfect life for eternity can inspire in someone’s heart and mind. The book balances the facts with a healthy bit of creative storytelling, keeping facts as they should be and fleshing out the beauty of heaven even further for the reader.
Having begun the book as a way to communicate with others, Easterling has found that the book has spoken to him as well. “It’s made me homesick for heaven, for my true home,” he says when asked about how the process has affected him and helped him grow. He hopes other writers like him make the commitment that it takes to write their own novel and to not just leave it as an incomplete passion project. “Just get it all down on paper and don’t worry about how messy or incomplete it may look.” He goes on to advise the writer who is only doing it as a pastime that writing a full manuscript requires dedication and hard work for their writing to achieve its fullest potential.
When he’s not writing, Greg enjoys spending his time outdoors, going on hikes, and watching his favorite teams play. He’s an avid fan of the University of Florida Gators and the Liberty University Flames. After the successful release of his first novel, he is already back in the study working on a second. Having picked up some momentum, he is excited for what the next few years will bring for his writing.