A Little About Me
I love children (mom to 22, grand mom to 35, great grandmom to 7!) chocolate, camping, road-trips, writing, reading mysteries and more, standing up and speaking up for those without a voice. I have worked in children's services, policy and advocacy for 35 years. Married to my best friend, I divide my time between my home and kids in Philadelphia and traveling to speak and teach on the topics I am passionate about - healing and hope for children who have experienced trauma, foster care, adoption, permanent families for all kids, and more. My faith is my rock. After the 3rd of our 3 terminally ill children passed away in 2012 we decided the time had come to write our story and so we are proud and excited to share "Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids" with you all!
What five words describe you?
What are you working on at the minute? What is it about?
My memoir, “Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids” has been out for less than a year, so I am still working on book tours, speaking engagements and book signings related to that book.
In addition, I am working on several new things, including the serial mystery “Roots and Wings at Loonstone Lake”. Helping Hands Press is publishing this work of fiction in 8 installments. Volumes I and II are out, Volume III is cued up and ready to go shortly. It takes place at a fictional campground in northern New England but it reminds me a lot of a place I spent many happy times as a child and honeymooned with my husband 35 years ago. The main character, like me, is an adoptive mother, but the story is not entirely biographical. There is a mystery involved and a little more unfolds each week. Meanwhile, several characters have life stories that involve some connection to the foster care and juvenile justice systems, so it is a fun way to share some things I am passionate about in a new, fresh way. So if you like fiction, mysteries, camping or foster care and adoption, I hope you will check it out. There is a teeny bit of romance in there too!
I am also working on a sequel to my story, which was found in the series, “Summer in Sweetland” – we will have a winter edition coming out soon. For an anthology on “Christmases Past” I am writing a story that takes place during Civil War times in Vermont. Later in the fall I will also be one of the contributors for a Helping Hands Press Devotional Series and I am very excited about that – I love writing devotionals. I have actually written one for use during Lent focusing on Psalm 51 and hoping to publish that this year too.
My husband and I are also working on a follow-up to our memoir (Are We There Yet: The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids.) While the first was a memoir, the follow-up is a book of parenting lessons from the trenches, strategies and tips. Finally, in my “day-job” I am a trainer for social workers, foster parents, caregivers, lawyers, judges, teachers, pastors, therapists and others who work with or care for children who have experienced trauma. In that role, I am working on a new book, which will capture some of the primary lessons I teach in my professional workshops. So – bottom line, lots of irons in the fire, Stay tuned!
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your
most recent book?
I think Meryl Streep would be a great Louanne, or me if my memoir was brought to the big screen! Or Lucie Arnaz or Mia Farrow, both of whom I know personally and would LOVE if they could portray either me or any of my leading lady-characters! Although if I could switch my race, Angela Bassett would be a good choice as well, and Jamie Lee Curtis who is very close to my age really “gets” adoption. No one would believe any of my characters could be as glamorous as Angela Jolie, also an adoptive mom but maybe Sandra Bullock since she adopted a teen in Blind Side!
If you could have been the original author of any book,
what would it have been and why?
This is hard! I am a voracious reader and have so many favorites. Perhaps To Kill a Mockingbird. Or Five Smooth Stones. Both were so transformational and foundational to my understanding of human nature, relationships, and external issues and difficult concepts such as racism and justice.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Ahhh, the writing part? Seriously, - I should say the “disciplined writing” part. Some days my fingers on the keyboard can’t keep up with my own brain (even though I am FAST at the keyboard) but other days, I don't’ feel like writing at all and yet a deadline looms. I need more discipline.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
My cures are to take a walk, switch up and work on a different project for a while, pray, ask my husband or one of my kids for ideas, go back and read the last section of what I wrote OUT LOUD (reading out loud really helps!) or take a nap. And if all that fails, a little chocolate and a glass of white wine.
Where would your dream location be for writing?
The Larch lean-to at Maidstone Lake in Vermont or a cabin on a quiet stretch of ocean ANYWHERE as long as you can also see mountains.
When creating characters, are they based on people in your life?
Yes, mostly. But shhhh – don’t tell my kids that please.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read the reviews. I don’t generally respond to them, I don’t know, it feels sort of self-indulgent to respond. I can get 100 good reviews and one bad one and the bad one will gnaw at me. When that happens, I try to remember to be humble, give gratitude to God for the gift of writing and the opportunity to write and then ask what I can learn from it.
If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?
Besides writing, I teach and speak. In addition to being a mom of 22 (19 still living) now-adult children and 35 grandchildren. But if I couldn’t do any of those things, I would manage a campground. Or a bookstore. Or a bookstore at a campground. Yeah. That would be the best.
What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?
Don’t put it off. For years, most of my writing was undercover – that is, I did a lot of writing for my employers, but nothing that was published in my name. I kept putting it off “until” . . . . Until what? Until my kids were grown? Until I got that elusive Master’s Degree and Ph.D. that I never got? (Although I have a Ph.D. in parenting at this point, I am pretty sure!) Until I could afford to stop working full time and just devote myself to writing. Suddenly I was 50 and realized those “until” moments were not ever coming my way so I better just sit my amply-padded behind down at the computer and start writing in every spare moment!
Where can we buy your books?
I am a huge fan of local bookstores and wish they would carry my books, but I know any bookstore can order them. So try your local bookseller. But of course Amazon, Barnes and Noble and DeepShopping.com are also all options online. Or order directly from my website www.suebadeau.com and you can get an autographed copy!
How can we keep up with you? Blog, Facebook, etc......
I have a blog on my website, www.suebadeau.com and I am also on twitter @SueBadeau and LinkedIn – Sue Badeau, and two Facebook pages, one is Sue Badeau, Speaker-Author-Trainer and the other is Susan Badeau.