Today I'm delighted to have my friend Tracey Bateman join us. Back in 2005 at the beginning of my writing journey, Tracey spoke hope and encouragement to me. She's an amazing writer and I'm so delighted to have her here to tell us more about her latest book.
Tracey, tell us a bit about your new book, Widow of Saunders County.
Corrie Saunders lost her husband, Jarrod to a suicide bomber in Iraq. Six months after his death, she moves to Saunders Creek, her husband’s hometown and moves into the family home he inherited. Strange things are happening and she wonders if Jarrod has found a way to come back to her. The story centers on her journey working through grief, finding new love and finding truth.
How did you get the idea for this book? What sparked the germ of an idea that wouldn’t let you walk away?
Ghost Hunters, Medium, Ghost Whisperer. I hate all that. It’s such a lie of the devil and he plays on grief and lost love to infiltrate our lives. One night I woke up and the TV was on, and one of those reality shows was playing. It just annoyed me. But then I thought about the people who so desperately want one more moment with a dead loved one and Corrie started forming in my mind. I never wanted to write this sort of book. But couldn’t let it go.
I’ll never forget the period of time while I was a teen and my dad was in Iraq. Did your experiences with your husband impact how you wrote this story?
My husband’s impending deployment during development of this idea played HUGELY into my emotional connection to Corrie. While he was gone, I wrote and sold the proposal. I had to lean on God a lot while preparing the proposal. Very emotional time.
I’ve found that God usually uses writing to teach me about myself and Him. How did He use this book in your life?
I met a wonderful Christian woman who was once a medium and ghost hunter. The more we spoke, the more my compassion rose for those who truly feel they are using their “gifts” for good. Most mediums and witches are trying to impact their world in a good way. They are deceived and God convicted me about my role as a Christian. We are not to shun those lost in deception and sin, but try to reconcile in a gentle and compassionate way. Christians are too harsh with people like this.
Tell us about a day in your life. Don’t forget how your kids feed you bon bons and fan you while you slave over each page!
I’m an early bird these days. I don’t know if it’s age or what, but about a year ago I started waking up early—like 5:30 or 6:00 early. Before that I was a confirmed night owl, so you’d find me at 2 am, working or watching TV or reading while the house shook with the sound of my family (and dogs) snoring. When I first started waking up early, I nearly panicked thinking I was turning into an insomniac or worse, my mother.
But I’ve learned to cherish my morning time with God and my own thoughts. When it’s warm enough, I start the day on my deck listening to the frogs and birds and hopefully I’m listening to God as well. After the kids are off to school, I try to do my blogging, facebook, email, whatever. Then I do whatever the day demands. Sometimes it’s getting ready early and doing errands. Other times I write. I’m in a down time right now, so writing life is less stressful. During deadline, I’ve tried to learn balance and discipline so I can set hours for the most part and be present when the family is home in the afternoon and evenings.
But it’s working for me. J
How do you cultivate your relationship with God? Any books or teachings lately that just resonated at a soul level?
I think like everyone, I spend time reading my Bible, keeping my heart tuned in to hearing that still small voice, and worship. But lately I’ve been focusing on how I love God and people in my little corner of the world. Relationship is all about loving, listening and learning. That’s where I’ve been for the last six months.
Where can readers find your books and how can they interact with you on the internet?
www.traceybateman.com, facebook, and twitter.
My blog is For Real: Mirrors Don’t Lie. Focusing on authenticity and working out my own salvation. There’s a link on my website.