Author Janette Oke shared a faith-filled, heartwarming message with fans of the hit series When Calls the Heart during a recent appearance at Hope Valley Days. Oke, who wrote the book series that inspired the Hallmark series, spoke to Hearties at an annual event that allows fans to tour the set and meet the stars, crew, and creators of the show.
During a question-and-answer session with fans, Oke was asked what she hoped future generations would take away from the stories told on When Calls the Heart.
“I hope it still makes people connect,” Oke said. “Those emotional needs as individuals are to be shared. If we hold them to ourselves often we stagnate or we go in the wrong direction or we don’t understand our neighbor.”
When Calls the Heart fan reunion
Hope Valley Days takes place on the set of the Hallmark show. Over the course of two days, fans were able to explore the town of Hope Valley and meet the people who bring the show to the small screen.
When Calls the Heart, which debuted on Hallmark Channel in 2014, has amassed a huge following of loyal fans who refer to themselves as “Hearties.” Based on a series of books by Oke, they tell the story of a wealthy young woman who moves to a small coal-mining community to work as a teacher. The books and the show are filled with messages of faith, hope, and kindness.
In a recent interview with JLJ Media, the show’s co-creator, Brian Bird, described the show as a healing agent.
“I think we’re doing good work and I think we’re doing the right work on the show, but it’s not because of us, it’s that the audience is starved to death for this,” he said. “And when you give people food, they will just love you, they’ll be so loyal to you. And that’s why the audience keeps coming back every Sunday night. Shows this deep into their lifespan can get old, can get long in the tooth, and we’re not yet.”
During her appearance at the convention, Oke — who is a devout Christian — said that God created us to be part of a community and that she hopes the stories told by the characters of Hope Valley continue to help people come together.
“Because even though our world changes — maybe we’ll be living on the moon — we still will be people and we still will those needs,” she said.
Season 10 of When Calls the Heart will premiere in 2023 on Hallmark Channel.