Today I am thrilled to welcome author Elizabeth Maddrey as she shares insights into how to process life through our writing.
2016 was a rough year in the friendship department for me. Honestly, I haven’t been beaten up by people I thought were friends (good friends, mind you, not just the acquaintances that, thanks to social media, are called friends these days) since middle school. And if you’re a woman who lived through middle school, you probably just cringed right along with me.
My writing suffered a tiny bit as I took the time to cry out to God for Him to heal my new emotional wounds. And as a result of that, I ended up needing to write my new release, Muffins & Moonbeams, during November, and since I needed to get the entire thing written that month, that meant doing NaNoWriMo. I don’t usually participate in NaNo. November is one of the hardest months for me to consistently set aside the kind of time I need to write an entire novel. Add to it the fact that I tend to crumple rather than shine when faced with a big deadline and my anxiety was riding high. But the combination of the year’s hurt and a deadline tight enough that I couldn’t second (or third or fourth) guess the storyline as it developed allowed me to put some of that hurt from others onto my heroine, Ursula.
Over the course of the novel, Ursula has to discover that her past hurts can only define her if she lets them. It was a lesson I needed to be reminded of myself. Friend wounds are probably my Achilles heel. I trust my friends implicitly and am deeply loyal to them, so when they end up unwilling to return that level of trust and respect, I am usually blindsided. And I question what’s wrong with me that this has happened more than once in my lifetime.
Gradually, as I wrote the story, I was reminded that God made me who I am. That He loves me as I am. And that He is the only guaranteed true friend I will ever have, because He will never let me down like other flawed humans will – and like I know I have let down others. I wasn’t excited about the deadline push or the hurt from the year, but I am excited about how writing the story healed my heart and it’s my hope that it’ll offer some hope and healing for others who have been hurt by those who they never would have expected to wound them.
- Where is your favorite vacation spot? Ireland. My husband and I have visited twice and have plans to do so again with the kids once they’re a tiny bit older. Second place? Disney World. It really is a fun place to visit.
- What do you enjoy doing for relaxation? I read. I love to curl up on the couch or recliner with my kindle and read for as long as possible. Sometimes that’s half of a sentence, sometimes I can sneak an hour if the kids are already in bed.
- What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? This is such a great question because there are so many things that don’t take a ton of time. The first thing is to leave a review on your retailer of choice. It doesn’t have to be huge and amazing – two sentences saying what you liked best are plenty! But if reviewing scares you, there’s still lots you can do. Tell a friend (or ten) about the book in person or post about it on Facebook. You can ask you library to carry it. If you like Pinterest, pin it to a board or two. Anything you do that gives the book a little bump in visibility is grand and greatly appreciated.
Question for readers to answer: Has God used a book to help you process something in your own life? Tell us about it.
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey