Deborah McCarragher – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Mission Possible is a unique non-fiction book in the Christian women’s marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. I became a believer in Christ seven years into our marriage. It encourages and challenges the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. Mission Possible was also nominated for Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award for 2009.

Tell us something about yourself.

I grew up in a military family and settled in Florida when my parents retired here in the early 1970’s. I was married at a young age and divorced soon afterwards. I met and married my current husband in 1982. I began my journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as my personal savior in 1989. I’m currently using my spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in my home church, as well as posting relevant and encouraging items on my Blog. I also enjoy in-depth bible study in my personal time, and I’ve been a small business owner of over twenty years. My husband and I reside in north Florida. My primary goal is to share my personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through my books.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was involved with a local intercessory prayer group at the time, and was prompted by God during prayer to write down what He was conveying to me about my husband and his salvation. It was quite literally written while inspired, and without much effort on my part. I just typed on the computer as He led me to bible verses and topics to talk about. I remember writing down the names of the (7) chapters during prayer time on a tablet – just looking at them afterwards in awe. It was quite a moving experience. I wrote my book Mission Possible in 2000 and it sat on a “spiritual shelf” for about seven years before I had it published with a small independent press. I then revised and re-published it in 2009 with a new cover and added bible study material.

What kinds of reactions has the book generated thus far?

I have had great reaction to my little book. Some women love it because it is not lengthy, and they can read it quickly – yet refer back to it over & over again. One woman emailed me a testimony that she was nearly ready to leave her husband, but after reading the book, felt that God was leading her to give her marriage another try. That was very humbling and gratifying for me. I just want to help women see that there is an alternative to being miserable in an unequally yoked marriage.

What’s the main message that you’d like readers to take away from it?

I would love readers to discover that God has a plan for each marriage that is in spiritual disunity. It involves us, but it is always done HIS WAY! I want readers to know that it is a process that evolves over time, that we must not put Him (God) in a box, but give Him room to move in our spouse’s life. They need to know that because we are not perfect and continue to sin, that satan will harass us and try to discourage us to believe that our “mission” is not possible. But with God, all things are possible!

How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?

I researched how to self-publish a book and found a small Christian traditional press to work with. They were knowledgeable, friendly, small enough to work one-on-one, and had a good price package for the initial printing. When I decided to revise the book and re-publish, I did it under my own publishing company’s name (Alabaster Box Publishing), copyright and ISBN number. My company’s motto is “Books to stir your mind, and stretch your soul!” Both times I wanted to retain complete control and most importantly, the profits over the long haul. It has been, however, a challenge for marketing & promotion, although I do have a distributor in place.

How do you do research for your books?

For my book Mission Possible, I spent many hours researching scripture in various bible translations and pouring over notes from previous bible studies. Because this book is my personal testimony, there wasn’t much research to do. It was more a matter of applying biblical truths to life situations for the subject matter I was writing about, and making it relevant for the reader to apply to their lives.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

I learned that having several people read and critique your manuscript was critical to “seeing how others” perceived my writing and style. Good proof reading and editing is a must. The whole project was a learning experience that I am thankful for. Working on my book’s audio version was interesting because I finally agreed to do the narration myself. I still can’t get used to “hearing myself” read my own book!

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading “The Gospel According to Jesus” by John F. MacArthur, Jr. I am also involved in the Beth Moore bible study “Esther.” I don’t have much time for reading since I have my own accounting business and work parttime outside the home. I just finished reading “Going Rogue” by Sarah Palin on vacation this past January.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I am working on another book that is completely different from my first book. It is titled “Trees of the Bible – A Spiritual Journey.” It will feature various trees in scripture and talk about their significance in the Bible. I envision it as a coffee table book with some illustrations. There is an excerpt on my website.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

My best advice is to research your subject matter thoroughly and be genuinely interested in whatever you are writing about. You need to have that “passion” come through on the pages of your book. As far as publishing goes – no amount of research is too much. I might have done it differently, but I am pleased overall with my decision to self-publish.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I have started a Blog in order to dialog with other women in our situation and bring encouragement and hope through my posts. I publish Tweets corelating to my book and related subjects, and belong to several social media groups such as FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Shoutlife, Tangle, and various .Ning networks for authors and publishers. I’m utilizing the internet for the most part for book promotion. I am also a member of the CSPA (Christian Small Publisher’s Association) and SPAN (Small Publishers of North America). I carry my books and CD’s with me at all times and will be approaching several local churches about sharing my book with women’s groups and bible studies.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

They can visit my website and purchase the book at www.Godmissionpossible.com, or my Blog page at Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com. They can email me directly at deb@alabasterboxpublishing.com . The book is also available on Amazon at http://bit.ly/bUrtgA as well as several other online retailers. It can be ordered at any Christian bookstore since it is in the Ingram/Spring Arbor system. My book is available in (4) different forms: as a trade paperback, audio book on CD, as an EBook, and as a downloadable MP-3 format.