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#Author #Interview Deidre Havrelock

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1.      When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Surprisingly, it was a few months after my exorcism. I remember having coffee with a co-worker and I said, “I think I’ll write a book…maybe a ‘how-to book’ or a ‘picture book’…how hard can it be?” Ha! Ha! So naïve back then. With the memoir, however, things were different. I was folding clothes and suddenly I envisioned a book floating in the air; it was a book about my family and about my healing. I thought, Am I supposed to write this book? Just then the phone rang. It was my aunt. She said she had heard God speak to her, and He said that I was supposed to write a book about my family and my healing. Honestly, that happened!

2.      Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I always write about my personal spiritual encounters and experiences, and being a Bible teacher I mix those experiences with teaching – except for Saving Mary– my memoir is told as story. No teaching in it, just the thrill of journey. Of course, you can still learn from journey.

3.      What does your family think of your writing?
  
That’s a tough one. I became a Christian during my exorcism, and so life changed after ward simply because I wanted to understand my new found spirituality. I studied the Bible and learned to walk in the spiritual realm of Christianity. For those members of my family who were not Christians or who were ‘quiet’ Christians (with little spiritual experience) I was certainly a square peg! Nowadays, however, many family members are quite proud that I was able to speak clearly about the darkness I walked through and how I found healing. But when it comes to writing about theology, most family members are just not interested…and that’s perfectly understandable!

4.      What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Because I asked family members about their own experiences with spirits and dreams while writing Saving Mary, I learned that my aunt Jackie was being bothered by the same spirit that had befriended me. She described the spirit to me and I said, “That’s the same spirit that was in my dreams! It turned out that my dad also saw this same spirit, except he saw it standing in our front room where it actually manifested itself to him, scaring him senseless.

Talking openly and honestly about spiritual experiences really helped my family to make sense of our lives. I think the demonic spirits don’t want us to talk and connect the dots, and so they keep us feeling ‘strange’ or ‘different’ to keep us silent. But really, we’re so much the same. The truth is, I’ve seen demons in my dreams…and so have many other people. So why not talk about it?

I also learned why I once was so terrified to actually get married. (I suffered from stress when I became engaged to my husband.) It seems crazy now, of course, considering my memoir begins with me marrying Satan; but during my engagement, I couldn’t figure out why I was so terrified to get married. When I finished the first draft of the book, I went, “Oh, now I understand!” The book was a psychological discovery for me.

5.      How did you come up with the title?
It’s a funny story, and I tell it in my Author’s Note. Just after my exorcism my boyfriend convinced me to go to a Bible study. I had already decided I would keep my possession and exorcism a secret. (It seemed all just too strange to talk about.) During the Bible study, however, BAM! A woman caught me off guard. She came up to me at the end of the study and told me that God spoke to her. “God told me to tell you that you remind Him of Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons.” It seemed that I wanted to keep my life a secret, but God didn’t get my memo!  I didn’t go to another Bible study for over a year.

6.      How much of the book is realistic?
I like to think of the book as ‘paranormal narrative non-fiction.’ Meaning, the supernatural events that I describe are true, and they are delivered as narrative non-fiction. Needless to say, since the book’s a memoir most of it is true. I say ‘most’ because I wrote the book with dialogue and since actual conversations can’t always be remembered precisely—especially childhood situations—it is ‘mostly true.’ The people and events are real, and my conversations are presented in a way that ring true to my memory—and true to the characters involved. But since I have so many aunts, I am sure one day I will hear, “That wasn’t me—that was Aunt so-and-so who said that!”

7.      What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was simply going back to the dark events in my life. I began writing the book by describing my memory of getting married in the church basement to the man with fire for hair (the one I refer to as ‘the devil’). I thought this the best place to start since it was the most traumatic event in my life (even though it was just a dream). Once I had that event written down in full detail, I just kept going. That first scene was the hardest. I kept crying.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am currently working to edit a non-fiction book called The MotherHeart of God: Biblical Evidence for the Femininity of the Holy Spirit. If the first half of my life is about me living with spirits, then this book is about me living with theHoly Spirit. A happy ending.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think so; not yet, anyway.
What are your current projects?
I also have a book called The Testimony finished that I am shopping around to agents. You can also find me at www.theagentchallenge.blogspot.com
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from a friend who was older and wiser than me. When I complained to her that my children woke up at 7 a.m., filled with mass amounts of energy, and therefore I couldn’t get any writing done, she asked me, “So what are you doing at 5 a.m.? I soon found out that coffee tastes really good at 5 a.m.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The search for God is often the most difficult--and scary--journey of all. But it’s worth it. Oh, and possession aside—high school was still a blast!
*Finally, please include blurb, image cover (attached to email, not embedded into interview), one buy link and one website, twitter and facebook link if you wish to*
“You might not believe that demons roam the earth looking for souls to devour, because most people are oblivious to them. But author Deidre Havrelock is sure demons exist; she's had first hand experience. In this chilling memoir, Havrelock slits open her past and bleeds the chilling story of her childhood spiritual quest. In Saving Mary, you'll read how such simple, seemingly innocent life experiences such as curiosity, confusion, and false consolation, can let evil in. You'll read how forging ahead without spiritual guidance, she allowed her soul to be hijacked. Saving Mary The Possession (Book One) is a gripping spiritual experience that will melt the curtain separating physical and spiritual. You won't be able to put it down.” E. Tomaszewski 


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