How I Ended Up Writing A Non-Fiction Book

How I Ended Up Writing a Non Fiction Book…

It was an average Monday morning. I had dropped my girls off at school and run out to Fairfax to visit Family Christian stores. I love that place. I have never lived very near a Christian bookshop in England so felt very privileged to have the chance to get lost in its shelves and aisles.

After spending a LOT of time in the fiction section, and dreaming of seeing my name there one day, something strange happened. I felt a wave of insatiable curiosity wash over me. So I proceeded to the Bible study section. There was plenty of material for women, moms and wives. I also saw a lot for military personnel and thought that was great. But having been a military girlfriend or wife for almost 20 years, and a Christian that whole time, where was the book just for me?

It has been my experience that being married to a member of the armed forces brings with it a subtly different set of relationship challenges. People often suggest that I knew what I was getting into and they are partially correct, but not fully. So I was hoping to find a study aimed at the hundreds of thousands of women in my position. But there was nothing.

Then I had that lightbulb moment. You know – the one where you feel like an unbridled genius? With me it typically never lasts longer that, so I enjoy every second while I can.

After I paid for my fiction books (‘Stranded’ by Dani Pettrey and a collection of Christmas novellas – if you’re curious) and hurried to my car. On my way I texted my only writer friend Cheri Fuller and asked if we could FaceTime. Later that week she obliged and I shared my heart:

“Cheri – I want to ask you to write a Bible study for military wives, looking at the emotions we go through, often with each move or deployment.” I gushed. “I’ve got a list of great topics and I thought maybe you and a handful of your friends could take a chapter each. What do you think?”

At this point Cheri, who has 45+ books in print let the conversation pause for a beat and then, in her beautiful southern accent let the other shoe drop.

“Well Debb,” she smiled, “I think it’s a wonderful idea but you’re going to write it, not me. I will help you as much as I can, but you’re the one who has lived this and The Lord has laid this on your heart. I think it’s going to be a really great project.”

At least, that’s the gist of the conversation. I wasn’t really paying attention beyond the news that I was going to write it. I was too shocked.

And so began the most amazing journey with one of the most wonderful friends I’ve ever made. I should also point out that I have a lot more writer friends these days. You don’t mess with those types or you end up with a character named after you. Either a baddie or an expendable extra!

I will tell more tales about writing later this week. I’m just starting the toughest chapter of all – the one about grief. Prayers always welcome, and do contact me if I can be praying for you.

In Him, Deborah

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