A special thanks to author, speaker, and friend, Karen Beaudin, for inviting me to join this blog hop with her. Karen and I "met" the first time via email and then Facebook.
A couple years ago, we had the opportunity to meet in person as Karen traveled through New York between speaking engagements.
As I drafted my book proposal for Where's Heidi?, I found Karen's book, A Child is Misisng. It was a powerful and encouraging read for me. Karen's sister,Kathy, disappeared over forty years ago. Karen's sister was found and her family gave her a proper burial, yet her abductor and murderer, remains free. Karen uses this as the fuel for helping other families of the missing, educating law enforcement, and keeping cold cases on the forefront across the country.
One way she helps victims of violent crimes is through an ongoing fundraising effort. She designed and is selling bracelets. For more information, she has a page on her website or you can click here for more information. To order Karen's book, click here. To visit Karen's website - click on her picture or click here.
1) What am I working on?
At this moment, I have a few different things I'm "working on". This past June, I released my first children's book, YOU are a Rainbow. On the last page of this book is ideas for teachers, youth leaders, and parents to use that will help to take this book to the next level and ignite a reflective thought process and creative output in our children. I only listed a few ideas here but have some others so I'm working on a YOU are a Rainbow Resource Book to supplement my children's book, making the extension activities available with minimal prep.
I'm also working on the book to build from Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey. My hope is to share the next part of the journey, when a loved one is missing, "Moving Forward While We Wait". I have a few other ideas for potential books but they are still in the dream and idea stages, so I'll wait before sharing them with you.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
If I were to compare Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey to Karen Beaudin's, A Child is Missing, the greatest difference is in the amount of time spent sharing about the legal process and actual case. My book focuses on my faith journey with minimal attention given to Heidi's kidnapping as a "case file", whereas, Karen talks about her faith and her sister's case, with vigor and intensity to find answers. Both are similar, yet very different. My writing is motivated by my faith and hope for Heidi, the greatest difference between my book and that of others about missing persons, it's written from a sister's perspective.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because this is the direction I feel God is leading me. On April 3, 1994, Heidi was kidnapped and remains missing still today. An aspect of kidnapping and missing persons that you might not understand is the impact a loved one's disappearance has on the family and friends left to pray, wonder, and wait for the missing to be found. My greatest hope is to help others grieving the loss of a loved one. To lose a loved one, especially unexpectedly or "too soon", creates a heightened level of grief and sadness. I write and speak in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others to look beyond their loss and see how they can use this to be stronger and help others in the process. I write to share how God's love saved me from going through the motions to living life to the best of my ability and helping others along the way.
4) How does my writing process work?
My writing starts as an idea milling around in my head and then its first visit to paper is usually on a sticky note, napkin, scrap piece of paper, or in one of the small notebooks I travel with. Then the idea sits there for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years before I do anything else with it. Similar to high school, I do my writing first, then write the outline. I've learned if I get all the ideas out and don't worry about the PUGS in the first draft, I do better. Once the first draft is written, it's time for a read through and to formulate an outline to make sure there is a flow. I utilize the feedback and support from a few trusted friends and family during the revising and editing, before I enlist the skills of a professional editor. Also in the revision and editing process, my writers' critique group is an integral part. The editing process with a professional editor is vital and such a learning experience, when you have the right editor. The greatest lesson I learned in the revision process was when to say "Enough is enough, it's time." If we are truly growing and improving our craft, our book will never be good enough and you keep finding new mistakes or areas you can strengthen if worded differently. My hope is to publish the best book I can, with the next book showing my growth as a writer and to leave the reader wanting more.
Everyone Has a Story to Tell...
Meet Terri Groh - She'll join the "Writing Process Blog Hop" Next Monday - September 15th - Click on her photo or her for a direct link to her page.
In addition to writing, Terri recently opened her first business, Terri's Country Crafts and Books:
Located at 3291 Main Street, Mexico, NY
Wednesdays from 10-5 p.m.
Thursdays from 10-7 p.m.
Fridays, 10-5 p.m.
Saturdays, 9-1 p.m.
The shop is closed Sunday-Tuesday.
Here's a little about Terri:
Terri Groh is the author of three women’s devotionals, Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World, One Clear, Still Night and Poured Out. Terri first discovered how much she loved writing when she was a child and won a New York State writing contest as a fourth grader.
She has also had a love for God’s word since becoming a Christian as a young teen and her desire has been to encourage other women in their walk with the Lord and also encourage them to dig into God’s word too. This provided the perfect outlet for her writing. She writes with transparency and uses many examples from her own life.
Terri and her husband, Dan, minister in a church in Central New York. She loves to write, sew, craft and cook. One of her passions is taking care of her family. Terri writes a daily blog at heartsinservice.blogspot.com.