I’ve been eagerly waiting for March to roll around since the first of the year, when I decided to put the spotlight on some of my fellow authors contracted with Helping Hands Press. So, each Thursday this month I will be introducing you to five of these special women in an interview. I’m especially excited to welcome author/speaker Sue Badeau, the person who has been of tremendous help to me as I wrote my part of the Sweetland series’ as I tackled the subjects of adoption and the foster care system, and continues to make herself available as I continue writing a series of my own with the same subject matter. You’ll soon see why I treasure her so.
Sue will be giving away a copy of Are We There Yet? to One Commenter ♦ See Details Below
Please welcome Sue Badeau!
♦ ♦ ♦
Sue Badeau is a nationally known speaker, writer and consultant with a heart for children. She and her husband, Hector, are lifetime parents of twenty-two children, (twenty adopted). They have authored books including, Are We There Yet: The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting and Raising 22 Kids, on Amazon.com or on Sue’s website – www.suebadeau.com - Sue is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and a graduate of Christian Communicators Conference.
- Social Media links: www.suebadeau.com Twitter - @SueBadeau
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SueBadeau/
Okay, Sue, here we go:
As a writing reader, do you find it difficult to read for pure enjoyment without a critical eye?
If the writing is particularly bad, I may have a hard time! But I am an avid reader and so I enjoy reading without being too critical. What I find challenging is when I read material that connects to my world of work (foster care, adoption, child trauma, juvenile justice) OR to a geographic location I happen to be very familiar with (New England, Philadelphia). If the author doesn’t get those kinds of details right, I can be very critical and sometimes can’t even stand to keep reading!
When reading, what are some of the things that bug you? Pet peeves, etc. What are some of your hot buttons? As noted above, I can’t stand when an author writes about a place and then gets the details wrong. For me, when reading fiction, the setting is like another character – a very critical element. I want to feel like I am really there with all five of my senses. I want the author to transport me to the place and time where the story takes place. And yet, even though I love for the setting to come alive, I rarely like to read lengthy descriptive passages. The setting has to come alive through the action and interaction of the characters!
Another hot button is when characters do not behave in ways that are consistent, and particularly when characters behave in ways that a person with that history or of that developmental age or from that professional would not behave. I hate when men or women or people of various racial or ethnic groups are pigeon-holed into stereotypical roles. And when I am reading Christian fiction, I hate when the Christian message is too heavy-handed and takes away from the quality of the writing and the story.
I am insatiably curious about my fellow authors’ writing habits and quirks. For example, I almost always have some music playing while I write. Instrumentals, though, no vocals. And I’m a snacker. So, how about you? Do share.
I rarely snack when I am writing but I always have something to drink at my side. I prefer hot beverages almost year round, a good cup of tea is the best. I cannot write with music on, I get too distracted. I really do like to have a pretty quiet, distraction-free environment when I am actually writing. Now when I am “percolating” my writing ideas, I can do that while driving, cooking, watching kids, or listening to music. And a lot of my time is spent that way before I actually put words on paper. My best writing is usually done in the wee hours of the morning.
What was/is the problem with writing that was/is your greatest roadblock and how did/do you overcome it? I would say there are two things. One is discipline. I have a very hard time sitting down and writing when I am “not in the mood.” (LOL) When I don’t feel that “rush” of ideas and words dancing around in my head begging to get down on paper (or computer), I find it hard to discipline myself to just write. My only way of overcoming this is to force myself to write at least a little each day. But overall I am still a procrastinator and then I can write for five days straight without coming up to breathe when I am “in the zone.” My second challenge is editing. I am not a good self-editor at all. I have certain things I do, like never getting “its” and it’s” right, no matter how often I try that I just don’t seem to catch in my own writing. I’m working on it. I try editing other people’s work and that helps some.
If you could lay out the perfect day for writing, just the way you’d love it to be, describe it for us.
Get up around 4:30 AM after a good night of sleep feeling energized and well-rested. Make a cup of tea, have a nice quiet time and then head to the computer. Sit down and write and suddenly look up and notice that it is four in the afternoon and wonder where did the time go because I was so engrossed in my writing that the time flew by and the words kept coming! Really, that is my perfect day. When we wrote our family memoir, I had day after day like that and it was grand. Unfortunately, I don’t get those kinds of days all too often, however.
What are you working on right now? I am quite excited about my current project. I do a lot of speaking and training events around the country about childhood trauma. Most of my talks involve providing information, strategies and tips to help parents and other caregivers learn how to help the child who has experienced trauma. So for years people have asked me if I had a workbook or a companion book to go along with my teaching. I have struggled to find the best way to present a workbook until my daughter (who is an artist) suggested that we make a workbook/coloring book. Since coloring with children is one of the trauma-healing strategies, it makes perfect sense. I am excited to work with my daughter and some other family members are also contributing some of the art work. The finished product will have tips, inspirational sayings, (including the relevant Bible passages) and artwork to color. I can’t wait to see it when it is finished!
What can we look forward to from you in the future? I loved doing the Sweetland series and so I hope there will be more series like that in my future. I am also about half way through a novel that I am writing about a mystery at the (fictional) Loonstone Lake. The first few installments have been released in Kindle format and on audio books and I am eager to finish it. Last year I released my first devotional and it has generated a lot of positive feedback. Several groups are using it for their Lenten devotional this year and that really makes me so happy! So there might be more devotionals in my future as well. Meanwhile, I will continue speaking and teaching anywhere that anyone will have me!
Below are two of Sue’s Books:
- Title: Clean Heart, Renewed Joy: A Six Week Journey Through the Psalms
- Publisher: Helping Hands Press
- Release Date: 2015
- Genre: Devotional/Bible Study
Back cover blurb: Does Psalm 51 stir your soul? Do you long for the “clean heart” and “renewed joy” promised in these familiar verses. This Psalm contains a perfect and complete framework, divided into six themes, for the Christian walk of continual renewal, growth and purpose. This six-week devotional is a perfect guide when you are ready to embark on a season of reflection and renewal. Begin expectantly and come away refreshed and re-invigorated with a renewed sense of joy and purpose!
Purchase links: www.suebadeau.com or Amazon
- Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
- Release Date – 2013
- Genre: Memoir
Back Cover blurb: Come along with Hector and Sue Badeau on their ultimate road trip – adopting and raising 22 children, from diverse backgrounds with many special needs. Like any road trip, their story has twists and turns, detours, and surprises. You’ll be inspired, laugh out loud, and shed tears as you share their experiences in foster care and adoption, coping with teenage pregnancies, addictions, unimaginable accomplishments, and raw moments of grief after the untimely deaths of three beloved children. Are We There Yet? Is an entertaining story which also imparts nuggets of parenting wisdom for any parent or grandparent. It is packed with spiritual truths and life lessons for teachers, social workers, pastors and others.
Purchase links: www.suebadeau.com or Amazon
ONE WEEK FROM TODAY, (Mar 10, 2016) Sue will be drawing one name from all who leave a comment, including your contact information, i.e. you (at) abcxzy (dot) com, for a free copy of Are We There Yet? Don’t miss your chance to win this delightful book!
Thank you, Sue, for stepping up to the plate and being my first interviewee this month. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers to my questions. You lead an amazing life!