How do you fight fear when your child is sent into battle? Edie Melson asked herself this question when she said goodbye to her son sent to Iraq. The following is an interview with the author on her book, Winning the War at Home as well as an inside view of what makes writers tick. I hope you enjoy it.
Edie, I have some questions I’d like to pose for you: The first one, why did you write this book?
Our oldest son decided to bypass college and go straight from graduation, to Marine Corps boot camp, to Iraq. I struggled with fear during histime in the military – especially during the deployments. I looked for resources for families and only found things written for military wives. I decided that if I survived his time in the military I’d write about how God had kept me sane.
What do you hope the readers get from this book?
I hope they realize they are part of a community. They aren’t alone. So many of those families struggling with deployment don’t live on a military base. That can cut them off from a group of people who understand the experience.
I want this book to be a resource and to point loved ones to the ultimate help, God.
What held you together during his times of deployment?
I have to give all the credit to God. He surrounded me with family, friends and an amazing church, to give me the support I needed.
How can other families dealing with this issue find help?
I have a great community blog with tips and encouragement from others who are and have experienced the deployment of a loved one. It’s also important to let thosearound you know what you’re dealing with. Our church family was a great resource for prayer support during Jimmy’s deployments.
My website is www.WinningTheWarAtHome.com
Also, for moms of active-duty or honorably-discharged kids there is an organization called Blue Star Mothers of America (www.bluestarmothers.org). This is a 501(c)3 organization and there are chapters in most cities and areas of the US. I’m a member and they helped me immensely by providing a place where everyone understood what I was going through.
As a matter of fact, my publisher and I are donating a portion of every book sold to the troops through the Blue Star Mothers organization.
Speaking of Jimmy, is he out? How is he doing?
He does have some disability from the time he served, but he’s doing really well. He and his wife live about three and a half hours from us and he’s in college full-time rightnow. He wants to go into teaching – but I suspect he may turn out to be in denial about his own writing abilities.
So, how long have you been a writer?
I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. I was in denial for a long time, but I actually wrote my first novel – long-hand – when I was in eighth grade.
What pulled you out of denial?
A lot of things helped. But the defining moment for me was feeling like God was calling me to share His message through the written word. At that point writing became less about me and more about obedience to Him. Soon after that I began attending writing conferences and as they say, the rest was history!
So you don’t have any kind of writing degree?
Nope, I started the hard way. I learned the craft of writing by attending years of online classes and workshops as well as writing conferences and reading writing books.And…most important…by WRITING!
If someone wants to be a writer and they don’t have a degree, how do you recommend they get started?
I think it’s vitally important to take classes and attend conferences. It’s also important to be part of a growing community of writers – like an online or in person writers group.
I think you also have to ask yourself if you could be happy doing anything else but writing? If you could – go do it! This is a great business, but it’s also brutal. You’ll never survive if you don’t love it.
Do you have any conferences you recommend?
One of my favorites, of course, is the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. It was one of the first I attended, back in 2001. Now I’m the co-director, along with Alton Gansky.
Why are conferences important?
They give you the opportunity to learn the craft, network with industry professionals, and meet other writers.
If it hadn’t been for Blue Ridge, I might not have ever gotten published. It was the mentoring of faculty and opportunities presented by editors that gave me my start.
Back to your book. How can someone get your book?
They can order it online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or they can have their local bookstore order it. It’s available as an eBook or a traditional print book.
If you want an autographed copy, I’ll be happy to arrange that through either my writers website: www.theWriteConversation.com
Or the book’s website: www.WinningTheWarAtHome.com. I also want to let readers know Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home isn’t your first book.
I do have another book out, Social Media Marketing for Writers. It actually hit #1 in its category on Amazon this past summer. It’s available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble as an Ebook.
Thanks Edie for stopping by Changing Zip Codes. Edie has graciously offered a free copy of her book. If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment below. We will pick a winner and notifiy them by email.
I hope my readers will check out this devotional book.. If you know a family that has a loved one overseas, this would make a great Christmas present to encourage them.