Greetings from Marti Pieper in post-Irma Florida! Where I live in the central part of the state, we are still dealing with various residual effects, some minor and others not. But overall, we remain grateful to God for his watchcare over us and his obvious sovereign hand.
Edie Melson lives several hours away in beautiful South Carolina, but I have had the privilege of seeing her every February for the past few years at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. We have many mutual writing friends, and I respect her as a wonderful writer, social media expert and woman of God. I’m delighted to share her with our CAN readers today.
Welcome, Edie! Please tell us about your featured book, While My Child is Away: Prayers for When We’re Apart.
Parents and children are separated for many reasons, for many lengths of time. These prayers give voice to all that you are hoping for your child when you can’t be the one to meet their needs. Knowing that God is there for your child makes all the difference.
As a mom who’s separated from all four of my young adult children right now, this resonates with me. What inspired you to write this book?
I have written several books for military families and realized that as parents, we often fight the same kind of fear and uncertainty for our children in our everyday lives. I wanted to help parents jumpstart their own prayers and find the peace that’s only possible when we take our struggles to God.
That need is far-reaching. What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
My greatest challenge with this book came three days after I signed the contract. Our two oldest sons (experienced outdoorsmen) went for an afternoon kayak trip. I was uneasy about the trip because of all the pop-up afternoon thunderstorms our area was experiencing that August. But since they are grown men, I knew better than to express my concerns. So instead, I took my worries to God. The next day I learned that sure enough, they’d been caught in a sudden thunderstorm and struck by lightning. They are both fine now, but were unconscious for over three hours that afternoon. This underscored the need to pray for our children—when we can’t be with them—no matter how old they get.
Amen! What’s your favorite section in this book?
My favorite parts of this book are the prayers I was able to take directly from my personal prayer journal. I’ve been writing out my prayers for my kids for years, and to see God pull out even more fruit from those writings warms my heart and reinforces the knowledge that He never wastes anything—even our tears and anxieties.
I have seen that truth over and over as well. I know you as a woman strong in your faith. How do you share Christ in your writing?
I rarely look for places to interject Christ; rather, I let it flow naturally from who I am. Truthfully, it’s harder to quit writing about all Jesus has done for me rather than trying to add Him in.
Exactly! And now, tell us about your ideal writing place. And . . . what does your actual writing place look like?
My ideal writing place is an actual place. I have a wonderful, heavily-wooded backyard and a screened-in porch. We’ve set it up with electric outlets, twinkling lights and a good solid table. This is my most productive place to write. Because we’re in the Piedmont of South Carolina, it’s a comfortable place to create about eight to nine months of the year.
It sounds perfect. Why do you write?
Beyond the fact that I believe God called me to write, He also equipped me in a very special way. You see, I’m actually creative out of self-defense. As the daughter of an artist-mother and musician-turned-photographer-father, I’d have been a disgrace if I hadn’t been true to follow the family tradition.
I love that. Let’s change things up a bit. Please tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
Truthfully, the funniest moment happened with my own mother. For years before I ever published a full-length book, I was a full-time freelance writer. At my peak, I was publishing 700-plus articles/devotions a year. When I got my first book contract, of course I called my mother to give her the news. Her comment still has me giggling. “Now you’re finally a real writer.”
We don’t always know how others will measure our success. What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I absolutely love photography, and I have several photographs published as well. This is one of the ways I jumpstart my creativity if I’m struggling with a writing project.
That’s great. Now, everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I am so ADD it’s laughable. I have to follow a very strict schedule to get everything done. I keep a detailed calendar, with writing days and meeting-with-client days (since I do a lot of social media and book coaching). I’ve found my best time of day to be creative (in the morning) and I guard that time with my life. I also always have two due dates for any significant commitment. My due date is always three to six days ahead of the actual due date. This trick has saved me from missing deadlines on many occasions. I also have learned to work in small bits of time. Those tiny pieces add up to a lot!
Those are great tips, Edie. Thanks! And now, tell us about your next project.
I’ve just turned in my next novel. It’s a steampunk adventure that retells the Robin Hood fable in a Victorian—steam-driven—setting. Maiden of Iron will release with Elk Lake Press.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share about yourself and your work. We look forward to seeing more from you, Edie!
For His glory,