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 Nicole O’Dell is Jackie Tessnair! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (Ckrumm@litfusegroup.com)

This week Carey Bailey is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of her cupcake devotional, Cravings,  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 am a Texas girl who abandoned my roots to live in the desert of Phoenix simply so I could live in no humidity and keep curls in my hair. I am a lover of grace through Christ, a wife to the hilarious Mr. Bailey, and the mother of two precious children of God. I have worked in full-time church ministry for the last 16 years. Currently, I serve as the Family Life Director for Radiant Church in Surprise, Arizona.

After having kids, I realized I had to make a shift in my personal devotional time. The days of chillin, in my comfy chair reading my Bible, journaling, and sipping hot tea were gone. God handed me the vision for Cravings {The Devotional} and I have been pursuing it ever since. I want moms to be able to walk in and out of each day satisfied because The Bible, not cupcakes, has filled them up.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I have been drawing and writing children’s books since first grade and I always thought that would be the direction I would go as a writer. I pursued that dream by taking classes in the subject while at college. While that dream hasn’t died, I have found myself with a new calling to write daily devotionals for moms. I also write children’s curriculum in my role as Family Life Director for Radiant Church.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published? 

I can’t complain. I sent out proposals September 30th of 2010 (one day before I turned 37) and signed a contract with Dicksons 3 months later. I was in shock and awe upon hearing that my product idea was being picked up by one of the largest Christian gift distributors. You send so many letters and proposals out and hope and pray that you get a “yes” response. When you feel so strongly that God has asked you to do something, it can be scary to think that others might not recognize it as something worthwhile.
For the little girl in me who wrote her first book about a bunny named Benjamin, for the frustration that comes from me that I can’t spell perfectly or figure out the right place to stick commas, and for the time my mom was told by my freshman college English professor that I only made it through high school English on my smile, I gave a “WOO HOO!” to the news of getting picked up. For the dreamer in me who believed enough and stepped out regardless of fear, I gave a smile. And for God who granted a vision, I have no words. I have been beyond thankful and blessed.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

My friends and family have been a huge support. I have a group that reads and re-reads everything. My mom gets the things I write first just so she can get rid of the obvious typos I can’t see because I have been looking at it for too long. I did have the opportunity to go to The Relevant Conference (now re-named Allume) last fall and took the writers track. It was fabulous! It inspired me in multiple ways and I hope to have the opportunity to get more of that goodness in me.

What are your biggest distractions? 

Writing for Cravings is not my primary “job”. I am a mom, wife, and in full-time church ministry first. Then I get to work on Cravings, which means it gets the end of me. After my kids go to bed every night, I write and dream. But there are other things that are always knocking on my door. There is a list of dozens of to-do that don’t get done so that I can pour energy into this dream. My hope is that “one day”, writing for Cravings will be my “job”. I am looking forward to that “one day”.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

Writing is tough. I wish there weren’t so many rules to being a good writer. But I love giving myself permission to be vulnerable, I love working out the thoughts in my head through word pictures, I love processing what God has for me through His Word, and I love hearing that the words given to me made a difference in someone’s life.

What advice would you give to new writers? 

The best advice I can give someone who wants to be published is to think outside the box. I believe something that allowed my idea to be picked up with ease was that I was not proposing a traditional book. Because I wanted my devotionals for moms to be something they could use on-the- go, I went with a flashcard format. This made my idea stand out and be unique to publishers and distributors. Don’t be afraid to be different.

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. 

Cravings {The Devotional} is a collection of card-size devotionals written to help mothers develop their relationship with God in the midst of motherhood. Each card contains a scripture for the day, a “thoughtlet,” and an action idea that is displayed in a delectable Cravings holder—a pink cupcake! It is designed to make God-time easier. Not less meaningful, just easier.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

The current set of Cravings {The Devotional} is based on the book of Psalms. I have more cards written for Advent, Lent, Galatians, Romans, and Philippians. I hope to write a set for every book of the Bible.

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

Readers can find me at www.careybaileyonline.com. Cravings is available online in “The Market” and I also enjoy keeping an online journal there as well.

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

Be sure to visit Carey’s blog tour and enter to win a Minute-for-Mom gift pack (Gift Certificates to Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and much more!) 

Enter Today – 4/23-5/12!

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