3 Questions Wednesday with Edie Melson

Edie MelsonPlease welcome Edie Melson—author, speaker and blogger—a leading professional within the writing industry–to 3 Questions Wednesday.  Her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month.

So how did she answer our 3 Questions? Read on–

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Edie: There are so many great books out there, it’s really hard to choose just three. But for me, the first one is easy, the Bible. I know, I’m a Christian who’s a writer so I’m supposed to say that, but reasons go deeper than you may think.

First, the Bible is great literature. By that I mean it’s well-written, compelling, inspiring, and has stood the test of time. In it I find examples of how to tell compelling stories (fiction) how to inspire and encourage my readers (non-fiction) even write poetry. Everything we need is in this one single volume.

Second, it’s almost always grammatically correct. Yes, there are some comma issues, but hey, no one agrees on those rules. What I’m talking about is the hard stuff, like how to use lay and lie, and when to use who and when to use whom. Every example I need is at my fingertips.

Third, and most important, it’s my inspiration. When I doubt my calling, the words from God are right there. When I struggle with discipline, the kick-in-the-pants I need is staring me in my face. It’s a personal letter of why I write, to whom I’m writing, and for Whom I’m writing.

The second book I’d choose is anything every written from James Scott Bell. I am such a fan-girl when it comes to his books on craft. I love his short ebooks and his others. But the one I like best is the Art of War for Writers. There is just so much knowledge, inspiration, and practical help that I find myself returning to it again and again.

The third book is a new one, Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James. After seven nonfiction books, my first novel comes out later this year and this book has been my foundation as I’ve made it the best it can be. Also, he has a new book on writing coming out soon and I’m sure it will join my favorite’s shelf.

Great choices! And I can’t wait to read your debut novel…

What secret talents do you have?

Edie: For years, I’ve been a professional-level crafter. I actually began my publishing career as an instruction writer for the craft book company, Leisure Arts, Inc.. I was featured as a needlepoint and cross stitch designer in a five-page spread in McCalls magazine in 1994. I’ve won awards for my quilts, and I’m a master-level lace tatting instructor.

Wow. I’m impressed. 🙂 Last question:

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Edie: I love to cook and entertain, although my dinner parties tend to take place on my back screened-in porch, lit with twinkle lights and candles. My focus is on fun and visiting, rather than silver and china. The thing I love to cook the most is Tex-Mex. I grew up in Texas, and I love to show off the recipes I’ve developed myself. I’d start with homemade guacamole, move on to a black bean side dish, add fresh grilled veggies. Then, for the main entre, I’d serve my own special beef and chicken enchiladas. We’d finish up simple, with brownies and ice cream. Nothing fancy, but we’d laugh a lot, share stories, and get to know each other better.

I’m a Chinet girl myself. Bring on the guacamole…

Edie has graciously offered an autographed copy of While My Child Is Away to one person who leaves a comment. It could be you…

While My Child is Away CoverWhile My Child Is Away: My Prayers For When We are Apart

Parents and children are separated for many reasons: divorce, school, camp, even work. It might be for just a few days or indefinitely. These prayers give voice to all that you are hoping for your child when you can t be the one to meet their needs. Prayers of blessings, protection, instruction and grace. Or prayers for those around your child to choose wisely, see their needs, and love them as you would. Prayers for friends, teachers, coaches and mentors to step in and fill every need. Knowing that a loving Father God is caring for your child, even when you can’t, gives you the peace and assurance that all will be well.

Edie MelsonEdie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her upcoming book, While My Child is Away, Prayers for When We’re Apart. This is the next in the prayer series after While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org.

Her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month, and she’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers is a print expansion of her bestselling ebook on social media. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.