Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with  is Maxie Anderson! Please email my assistant Amy with your mailing address. (amy@litfusegroup.com)

This week Babbie Mason  is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of her book, Embraced by God,  leave a comment on this post!

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in? 

I’m married to Charles, 32 years. I’m a northern city girl, he’s a southern country boy.  I love the indoors.  He plays in the dirt.  I love the scent of aromatic candles.  He loves the smell of diesel fuel. We are here to testify, opposites attract.   We have raised two sons, who are grown and on their own. We are Grammy and Papa to two beautiful grandchildren.  I am into my 28th year of ministry as a full time vocation.  I’m a singer, songwriter, author, women’s conference speaker, college professor and TV talk show host.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I’ve authored 3 books and recorded 24 music projects. The latest book is, Embraced By God: Celebrating Who And Whose You Are.  One thing has always led to another for me.  My creative journey began as a singer. Then I attended a music conference that lit the songwriter fire in me. I’ve written songs such as All Rise, With All My Heart, Trust His Heart, and Standing In The Gap. This led to writing magazine features and contributing to women’s Bible study projects which eventually led to book writing.  I started telling stories in my concerts to create a seamless backdrop between songs.  Those stories of life, marriage, family, my personal journey, faith, church and challenges became the content for my first two books. I thoroughly enjoy encouraging people with words and music.

I’ve always dreamed of singing.  I was that little girl who stood in the mirror and pretended that the hairbrush was a microphone. I sang along with Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Gladys Knight (Quietly, of course. I didn’t want my Baptist preacher daddy to hear me.)  I was also the church pianist by age nine. So I have always dreamed of being a singer.   Although I have always enjoyed writing and taught English and music at the middle school level, becoming a published author was not on my radar until much later.  This just shows us that we have gifts and talents that are lying dormant down deep inside of us. We all have gifts that God really can use to bring us great fulfillment, joy to others and glory to His name. Now that I’ve been writing for all these years, I believe this is something I was born to do.

I went out to Colorado to that music conference I mentioned, and place third place in the songwriting competition. I was hard on myself, convinced that third place wasn’t good enough. But I really began to hone my skills as a writer that year.  The first song I wrote after that conference was ALL RISE. The Lord used that song to open up many doors for me to sing. That was in 1984.  I had begun to record my own albums. I’d save up my money and record another project.  I had made five albums on my own before ever signing with a record company six years later. I wrote newsletters, newspaper articles, and countless contributions to magazine, over a period of about a decade before I ever wrote a book.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? 

My writing routine begins with a healthy coffee drink that I have every morning with a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread. I sit in a bright and sunny spot at my kitchen table, right in front of a big window that overlooks the woods. All my resources are within an arm’s reach. Usually I come to the table with a pile of ideas and notes that I’ve collected in my cell phone, my Bible and notes and quotes on pieces of paper retrieved from my jacket pocket. I love writing in my PJ’s and sweat socks, all comfy and cozy. That works really well until the postman comes to the door with a package requiring my signature. How embarrassing it is to have to answer the door at two in the afternoon in PJ’s and sweat socks!   The post man must think I’m a total bum!

What are your biggest distractions? 

Biggest distraction is probably TV.  I hardly ever turn it on when I’m writing unless I need to clear my head after writing all day.  Then I like to tune in to one of my favorite game shows like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune.

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst? 

One of the worst moments in my career was also one of the best.  It occurred when I was singing at a leadership conference and the room was packed with people, basically leaders in the Christian community – a rather serious bunch. The speaker just before me had spoken on resilience – bouncing back after difficulty. I stepped up to sing and just as I was starting the first chorus, the music track stopped cold right in the middle of the song. I tried to stretch and made a few awkward comments while waiting for my sound guy/husband to solve the problem and start the track again. The room was heavy with cold, deafening silence.  There was a piano on stage so I calmly said, “Well, I’ll just go over here and play the song from the piano,” What I hadn’t told them was that I hadn’t played the song since I had written it many years earlier. I prayed a quick prayer under my breath and jumped in, creating an arrangement on the fly.  As I made my way to the first chorus, the audience encouraged me on with their applause and by the song’s end they were on their feet with a standing ovation. I had just become the object lesson for the sermon and the poster child for overcomers! God worked it out, miraculously.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Jump in and start writing.  Find an audience and tell your story. Share your life, your victories and setbacks.  Write a blog, a newsletter, a column, an e-blast.  Just write. Write often. Don’t just write you’re inspired, but write as a discipline.  Always write things down. You think you’ll remember, but trust me, you’ll forget. Keep notes and ideas in one central place. Get inspired at writers’ conferences and workshops.  Get feedback from the pro’s.  And oh yes, learn to take constructive criticism.  

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Embraced By God will help you to understand more clearly that you are deeply loved and highly favored by God without condition. When you understand this truth you’ll never again be plagued with questions like, “Does God love me?” and “Does my life matter?”  The book will boost your confidence in the truth that God loves you as much as He loves His Son, Jesus!

What’s on the book horizon for you?

A women’s Bible study program entitled, Embrace By God, will launch this fall.  The study, perfect for small groups, will underscore the seven themes celebrated in the book.  I’ll lead each week’s study by DVD and share some of the songs featured on the Embrace CD. I believe it’s going to be a powerful study.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

Embracing God is available wherever books are sold. Online, I suggest going to my website and clicking on one of the many links available there. www.babbie.com.

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

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