Inspire Member Spotlight: Chris Pedersen

How long have you been a member of Inspire?

I’ve been attached to Inspire since Mount Hermon 2009 Christian Writers Conference, when I hooked up with Beth Thompson and a few other Inspire members. I was impressed with the servant’s heart that Beth and the group exhibited. At Mount Hermon, Inspire volunteered to help out with speaker support, bringing water and other needed/requested items to each speaker throughout the conference.

What prompted you to join Inspire?

Needing help with my writing, I was actively seeking a local group to join. I tried several groups. Once I attended my first Inspire Critique group meeting in Sacramento, I knew I found the place for me. I took full advantage of the various groups meeting throughout the region, submitting my manuscripts to several when I had publisher submission deadlines approaching.

Was there a particular moment when you knew you were a writer?

I first became a writer from a technical perspective, writing technical material, manuals and magazine articles. I knew I truly was a writer when clients began to pay me for my writing.

Describe your writing career high point and low point.

My high point occurred when I heard from an editor that my first-person, nonfiction piece was accepted for inclusion into a collection of stories about dogs. I celebrated by doing the “Snoopy Dance” on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
No real low point. But I could say it was a hard reality when I heard from an editor that I needed to completely rewrite and retell a picture book I wrote that meant a lot to me.

Describe your most memorable interview.

Recently, I was interviewed by Richard Knox for a health segment on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. The set-up to record over the phone (he in Boston and me in California) required that I hold a recording device to my mouth with one hand while I spoke to him on the phone using my other hand. Get the picture? Two devices held to each side of my face.
Although not feeling nervous, as soon as the interview started I began to sweat profusely. Drips of sweat dribbled down my arms. The crease of my bent elbows accumulated enough moisture to feed a river’s headwater. Was I sitting in a sauna? I mustered a mental focus, but physically I was uncomfortable. I shook off a wistful glance at the motionless ceiling fan above, knowing I had no hands to change the conditions during the 28-minute interview.
Note to self: Make sure the room is adequately cooled down before the next interview.

Which of your stories is the closest to your heart?

Closest to my heart is The Tale of Chessie, a story involving a dog whose special disposition created a picture of God’s character to a young boy. It’s based on my experience with one special dog in my life that showed a rare unconditional love and attentiveness even while she endured a painful accident.

That story is currently sitting on the proverbial shelf.

What did you do when you received your first acceptance or publication?

When I heard from an editor that my first-person, nonfiction piece was accepted for inclusion in a collection of stories about dogs, I told everyone who would listen to me. I celebrated by doing the “Snoopy Dance” on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris that spring.

What project of yours is gathering dust?

The Tail of Chessie

What’s next for you?

After my team and I finish and launch the iPad children’s app, The Prisoner of Carrot Castle, I will concentrate on completing my WIP, a chapter book for children titled How I Survived Third Grade. Since digital publishing is my current direction, perhaps I’ll publish that book as an ebook.

What have you read recently that you couldn’t put down?

I’ve racked my brain trying to remember the last book I read. I usually give books away once I’ve read them and it’s been eleven months since I read it. Yikes! It must not have been very memorable, but I’ll use the excuse I have a ridiculous schedule writing for two personal blogs, plus contributing to this blog, managing a team developing an iPad app, and taking time to prepare healthy meals for my husband and me.

What does it mean to you to be a writer?

As a writer I feel privileged to be able to impart stories and information in a friendly, readable form to an audience that will take what I write, embrace it, allow it to move their hearts and souls and put it to use. I believe God equips me as a writer do this for His glory.

Was there a book that changed your life?

The Shack by Paul Young changed my life. It ministered to me during a time of serious grieving. I just found out I had cancer, the result of a gene defect I was discovered to have. Young’s book helped me rest in God’s providence for my life and remain expectant to his presence and direction for my future.

To learn more about Chris Pedersen and her writing projects, visit these sites.