Today’s special guest is Edie Melson. I first met Edie at the Blue Ridge Mountain Writer’s Conference, and she has also spoken at the Christian Authors Guild. She has a heart for mentoring and loves to teach writers.
Edie’s Bio: Having a son at war was not something Edie Melson ever thought she’d have to face. But that was exactly what happened when her oldest announced he was bypassing college and enlisting in the Marine Corps.
Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out to others facing the same struggles. As a full-time writer, she’s always concentrated on telling the stories of others. In this book, she continues with those stories, but also shares her own challenges and the way God gave her the strength to endure.
As a sought after writing instructor, her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She also speaks at numerous women’s events, from conferences to retreats.
She’s a member of multiple civic and professional organizations, including the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Blue Star Mothers, The Christian Pen, and American Christian Fiction Writers.
Married 30 years to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, they have raised three sons.
Why did you write this book?
Our oldest son decided to bypass college and go straight from graduation, to Marine Corps book camp, to Iraq. I struggled with fear during his time 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.
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 those around 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.
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!
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?
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
We 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.