Sunday, March 07, 2010
Yes. I love fiction and suspect that many authors only consider themselves “real” writers when they’ve placed a significant work of fiction on the market. I just finished my first full length novel. And, I have also written about thirty short stories as well other short pieces of fiction.
What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
That after sixty-five years of walking with the Lord, I feel as though I am only now beginning to know Him and understand what His kingdom is about. It’s a realization that feels very strange because I have been an active, growing, seeking Christian since I was nine. At this stage, I find something deeply spiritual in me is growing younger instead of older. I am more filled with wonder; more keenly aware of my limitations, more fully conscious of my need of Him. It’s not an unpleasant stage to be at, but what I was not expecting.
Tell us about your family.
It is a big one; at least by today’s standards. I have four children, their mates, fifteen grandchildren and five great-grands. The children and grand children are scattered over several states. Only two families are close enough for frequent visits. And, I live with my Mom; we are both widows and have formed a household together for the past twenty years.
The family is not perfect, but all my children love the Lord and all are active in local churches. It has been a deep satisfaction to see the spiritual heritage of one generation transferred to the next. One family attends the same church where I go. What a joy to sing hymns with them, join in church activities and bump into the little great-grandchildren in the nursery or running up the aisle after services.
Have you written other nonfiction books?
Yes. It has been easiest to publish non-fiction books that were related to my field of expertise. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with the state of Texas, so self-help books were a natural fit. I’ve written on problems solving, applying Christian principles to common life difficulties and How To Hang Loose in an Uptight World, is on stress management.
What other books have you written, and where can the readers of the blog find them?
My personal favorite site for locating any book is AddALLBooks.com. This site lists books—both new and used—by price and availability. Doing a search on Elizabeth Baker will bring up everything I’ve ever written, even out of print stock hidden away on the back shelf of used book stores.
I was surprised the other day when I found the first book I had ever written was still available. The Happy Housewife has been out of print for well over twenty years, but I found several copies being sold for one cent each. Of course, there was a shipping charge of $3.99, but it was still a bargain and I couldn’t resist ordering a copy.
Other titles to look for are: Love Around the House; Wanting to Follow, Forced to Lead; Who Am I? A Woman’s Guide to Self-Acceptance and a few others.
Do you have any other books in the works right now?
My agent is circulating a non-fiction proposal that I am excited about. I’ve gone through some rough spiritual water the past few years and remembering the times when I experienced God’s interaction with my life has been a great comfort and encouragement. As I remembered these experiences, I found them grouped in nine categories and those became the chapters of the new book.
Like many Christians, I find God’s touch through miraculous circumstances that have an uncanny relationship with prayer, but they also come through conviction, an inner voice of assurance, specific Bible verses, the testimony of others and emotional comfort that seems to have no relationship to outside circumstances. Remembering these times has brought new encouragement to my faith. Like a fresh wind. The book has a light, personal touch and I used an abundance of brief, true illustrations for each of the nine experiences. The illustrations came from family and friends and autobiographies as well as personal excerpts and the focus of the book is to encourage readers to record their own memories.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, I have my first novel making the rounds. That manuscript was five years in development and in many ways it has my heart like nothing else I have ever written. An Ordinary Sunday in Thyme takes a reader through the hours of one Sunday in the small, East Texas town of Thyme. There are no murders, no romances, no police, no twisted plots or thievery. The only thing that makes the book fascinating is that common, daily events are being viewed through a duel metaphysic. Angels are as much a part of the plot as the people. The human characters will remind the readers of the stories by Jan Karon while the angelic forces are even more active than those in the books of Randy Alcorn.
My passion for the novel was to expose readers to what our daily lives might look like if we could view them through heaven’s eyes. It took a lot of work and study to remain both biblically grounded and still within the realm of psychological and physical probability. I was grateful for my doctorate in philosophical anthropology and my son’s backround in physics. Without those—or my thirty-five years as a Bible teacher—I don’t think the book would have been possible. I could have written some kind of fantasy, but when the reader puts down this book, there is the uneasy feeling that everything they’ve just read is not only possible within the real world, but probable.
Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
Several places. And, I always love to hear from folks. My website is http://www.elizabethbakerbooks.com/ . Readers can open up the first chapter of most of my books and read it in advance of purchase if they like as well as finding out as much/or as little about me as they might want. I send out a newsletter each month and a devotional once each week. You can sign up for those from the website or from my blog at http://www.tracingfootprints.blogspot.com/ . Past devotionals are stored on the blog and a sample of the newsletter can be viewed by going to http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs031/1102771164403/archive/1102783379054.html . Of course, if anyone wants a more personal glimpse, on Facebook my username is “grannywritesbooks.”
What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
There is a small vegetable garden to the side of my home that I really enjoy. It is not very big, but in this part of Texas we can grow something most months of the year. It is a delight to pick a few beans or strawberries when they are fresh and there is nothing better in God’s creation than a vine ripened tomato warm from the summer sun!
Why did you write the featured book?
Trouble! I had been dealing several years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was honestly afraid that I might never get well. I knew part of the answer to this autoimmune problem was stress, so I found myself both researching the most effective stress control techniques I could locate. I needed ideas that were concise and easy to understand, and they had to be compatible with both my lifestyle and my Christian beliefs. I was surprised by how hard to locate items that met all of those criteria.
Once on the road to recovery, I knew that others could use the same information I had worked so hard to locate and test, so I wrote How to Hang Loose in an Uptight World. The book is a light, non-technical read that allows the reader to understand the basic dynamics of stress and why it damages our bodies, test how much stress is currently impacting their health, and consider which of the fifteen offered techniques will best fit with their personal lifestyle and level of commitment.
What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
That depends on the reader. One reader might deeply benefit from learning how to scripturally meditate. Another might need a stress-reduction technique that can be practiced without committing any time to the task or interfering with daily responsibilities. Still another may need Biblical support for a total lifestyle change. A major goal of the book was to provide enough information in a concise form so that the reader could take away and apply what was specific to their personal situation.
If there is something general, I hope each reader walks away with a better knowledge of themselves and a keen awareness of how to be a better steward of the life God has given. Exactly how that unfolds for each individual depends on them. But, I know this from experience, all fifteen stress-busters work and practicing any one of them for one week can make a great deal of difference in our level of life enjoyment and peace.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for spending this time with us.
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