Norma Budden Speaks Up!

Author pic 2

Everyone’s Story welcomes contemporary author Norma Budden. I had the pleasure of meeting Norma online a few months back and have become fascinated by where she lives: Arctic Canada! And here I am, relieved to have gotten through a blizzard this past week that covered us with 2.5 feet of snow… I’d love to know more about what it’s like to live where Norma does, and about her novels, and I hope she shares some with us this week! Check out Norma’s amazing BookGiveaway for 10 lucky winners. Yes. That’s 10 winners! Complementing the Giveaway novel is a lovely book trailer she’s sharing with us.  And see why she speaks up on the rewards of being a writer. Norma and I look forward to chatting with you.

If Only 200


Norma is offering 10 randomly chosen commenters the Kindle edition of If Only. The winners will be announced here on Friday, March 24th between  5-6 PM EST.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.




The Rewards of Being a Writer by Norma Budden

Writing is a painstaking endeavor, yet I love it – crave it – like the air I breathe each day. Unfortunately, with all of my responsibilities, I cannot write as much as I would like most days. That being said, I am thankful for a healthy growing family, and I enjoy my day job of being an Administration Manager, so all is not lost.

You may ask what it is about writing that I enjoy so much. It is simply this: I enjoy the creativity, the ability to create characters whom others can relate to on one level or another. Writing doesn’t feel like work to me at all, until the revision and publishing stages come into play but, even then, I enjoy it. There are so many facets to this wonderful area of my life that I don’t think I could ever grow bored. I even need to write a list sometimes to keep track of everything I would like, or need, to do.

As a writer, I am introduced to wonderful people, some of whom become my dearest friends. Two such friends are Dee Fleischman of Ohio and Michael Phelps of Miami, Florida. Without these two wonderful people in my life, I’m not sure my days would run as smoothly. Even if we don’t touch base every day and circumstances beyond our control prevent us from touching base for long stretches of time, just knowing they are in my life makes all of the difference. We’ve seen each other through various situations and have been a listening ear as many times as needed. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Speaking of friends, I cannot forget the late Michael T. Ingram of Virginia, and the late Bernice Branford Lewis of Maryland. Michael and I wrote a book titled, Finding Tracey, which was later published under the name, As Angels Watch. He was like an older brother and I loved him as such. I even took my daughters (11 and 6, at the time) to meet Michael and his family, flying from Arctic Canada to Manitoba, then driving to Virginia. We had a wonderful time which I shall never forget.

As for Bernice Branford Lewis, shortly after I met Michael and his family in Virginia, she wrote her way into my life when looking for a poem for her Sunday School class on the subject of a secret place. It wasn’t long afterwards when she began referring to herself as “Mama Lewis” and the title certainly fit. She became close to my heart and I shall forever miss her daily presence in my life. However, I will never forget the lessons she taught me, the love she demonstrated toward everyone and the forgiving spirit she carried with her everywhere. It became my mission in life to be as much like her as I could be.

Last, but not least, I enjoy hearing what others feel about my stories. When a woman can read my book, Coming Unglued: A Mother’s Journey into Hell, then gradually introduce her abusive husband to the story to the point he wants to read it for himself, it makes me feel good. When he begins to read it and realizes how much he has hurt his wife over the years, then apologizes and becomes a doting and loving husband, it sends my heart and soul soaring somewhere in the clouds. It makes writing the book worth every tear shed as I painstakingly wrote many scenes.

This is not the only story which has been shared with me about the effect one of my books has had on a person’s life, but it’s the one which comes to the forefront of my mind because abuse is degrading – downright ugly – and when a person can see the error of their ways and make a complete turn-around, it can’t help but stand out in my mind.

All in all, I’ve had some terrific highs over the past few years. I’ve experienced a few devastating lows, too, but having the low points in life definitely makes the high points seem so much sweeter.

Norma’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Contemporary author @NormaBudden Speaks Out on the rewards of being a #writer #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Meet @NormaBudden: an author craving the demanding tasks of #writing and living in #ArcticCanada (Tweet This)

Why has #writing been a saving grace for author @NormaBudden? #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Norma Budden lives in a land of ice and snow for about six to seven months of the year; she has made her home in Arctic Canada since 1992 and cannot make any guarantee as to when she’ll be leaving the north to pursue adventures in the southern Canadian provinces.

Budden’s world involves being an Administration Manager by day and a mother, grandmother, writer, reader – among other things – during the evenings.

Budden has been interested in writing since she was 12 but was 18 when she wrote her first novel, then set it aside for several years. During the ensuing years, she wrote poetry and song, even recorded two of her own music albums – until the writing bug took over again, doing everything in its power to try to consume every spare moment; it’s a war she wages each and every day.

Since September, 2011, Budden had published several titles, five of which belong to her ongoing saga known as the Freedom in Love Series. The titles are An Affair to Remember, When Love Abides, Soul Confessions, Divided Loyalties and The Promise.

Budden has also written stand-alone titles, namely Coming Unglued: A Mother’s Journey into Hell, If Only, Written on the Stars (14,000 words), As Angels Watch (with Michael T. Ingram) and a couple of short stories.

Ultimately, Budden hopes to spend more time focused on writing and the business of writing. She also plans to begin taking road trips so she can meet some of her fans and introduce her writing to others.

Places to connect with Norma:


Book Review







Norma and I look forward to your comments.



I’m honored that my novel Always With You

is up for the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

Please consider voting at this link.

Thank you!!



51 comments to Norma Budden Speaks Up!

  • Ann Ellison

    Wonderful interview and testimony as to how God is using her writing. Would love to win a copy of her book.

    • elaineadmin

      Ann, thanks for your visit. You’re in Norma’s drawing! Have a great weekend, my friend.

    • Ann, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time from your schedule to read a few of my thoughts pertaining to writing. God definitely has used my stories to help other people in their own lives – and I’m certain I will never know the far-reaching effects my writing has, or will have. I don’t believe anyone does.

      That being said, you may be amazed to know that I have no idea how a story will turn out when I sit down to write. I never write an outline. In fact, I can’t even think past the first page or two – yet I am never stuck for words. By the time I get about 90% through the story, I have an idea of how things will end but, even then, there are times I’ve been surprised. Most times, I’ll have a title I feel certain will fit perfectly, until I reach the end and feel my characters have taken me for an entirely different journey, forcing me to change the title.

      The only real thing I know at the beginning of any story I write is that God has someone in mind that He wants to discover and read it, and He will be sure that person finds it. Of course, there may be multiple people but there is guaranteed to be one.

      I look at my writing as a tool God uses to help people in their daily lives. I don’t struggle with writing. I sit and the words come; it’s almost impossible to shut them off, even to spend time with family or to go to work. The experience reminds me of a waterfall, in a sense, because when the words flow, it’s like a cascade of tumbling water that one would be powerless to stop.

      I could go on all night, I suppose, but should end my response by letting you know that, even if you don’t win one of the copies during the giveaway, If Only will continue to be 99 cents until the end of the month – but I wish you good luck.

      • elaineadmin

        Norma, a fellow seap-of-the-pant writer!! Outlines destroy my writing! In past years, every time I’ve attempted to outline a story it killed my desire to tell the story.

        What you shared is also similar to right before I launch each new blog feature: I pray that it glorifies God, blesses my new guest, and finds the viewers He wants to find.

  • Kelly Tyree

    I cannot imagine living in Artic Canada. What an amazing place to use to get your creative juices flowing. Your book looks great.

    • elaineadmin

      Hi, Kelly. I’m looking forward to Norma’s reply to you. So glad for your visit!

    • Kelly, as amazing as it may sound, I have yet to write a book about my experiences in the north. My characters often share some of the experiences and road trips my family and I enjoy during vacation but, thus far, neither of my characters have lived in frigid cold climates.

      Arctic Canada, even Alaska, is an amazing place and the scenery is quite majestic in some areas; where I live, though, is very flat. You can see for miles in any direction, as long as your view is not obstructed by houses/buildings. Sometimes, I wish I could look at the hills or mountains like the Arctic Canadians living even further north or west but, then, I’m happy I have a better chance of seeing a polar bear if one is lurking. Thankfully, though I’ve seen them, I’ve never encountered one while walking to work, or coming home. I’ve never been surprised by a polar bear, nor have I felt threatened by one. Not everyone can say the same.

      It is a different world. With no trees, the wind blows as it will. If out on the tundra, there is no shelter – unless something is erected to provide a refuge when needed. When going out on the tundra, one can never guarantee the weather will remain the same. Most people are prepared and come back; a few have not been as fortunate.

      I enjoy living here most during the summer and fall months, especially going for rides on an ATV. Getting out of town is always nice and I’ve noticed several changes over the past couple of decades. There is more grass and the weather seems to have warmed a little. It’s enjoyable, even if our houses are surrounded by gravel.

      I am especially grateful that I only need to walk two minutes from my house to be standing at the edge of the Hudson Bay. I can manage to live without trees and mountains, but I can’t live without the water.

      The greatest writing benefit for me living up here, I suppose, is that I usually go between work and home during the winter months so it gives me more time to write. Of course, with it being frigid cold outside, I tend to write about stories taking place in warmer climates so I can escape the cold. Suddenly, though, I wonder what it would be like writing a story that takes place in the Arctic. Perhaps the day may come when I will write one.

      I am glad my book, If Only, is pleasing to your eye. I hope you give serious consideration to reading it and, if you do, I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      • elaineadmin

        We have black bear around us. Though folks say they’re harmless (unless, of course, a mama and her cubs), I’m nervous of encountering one! We did have one that lumbered across our yard and crossed the road (I’d watched from my window). However, black bears are nothing like meeting a grizzly! Are polar bear and grizzly encounters on the same level?

        • I can’t speak from personal experience, of course, but from what I’ve heard, polar bears and grizzlies are the most dangerous of the bear, but polar bears have been known to be more aggressive than grizzlies.

          Polar bears rely more heavily on meat and fish to sustain them so they may very well be more aggressive in terms of securing their next meal. I know some dogs have been killed by polar bears, especially some of the dogs that are kept outside of town, some of them members of dog teams. These dogs don’t stay near a person’s house but are kept away from the general population and are kept away from each other so they won’t get into fights. As such, if a polar bear stumbles upon a dog that becomes too weak to fight, the situation doesn’t always work in favor of the dog.

          I haven’t known of such an occurrence to happen with grizzlies but people have to travel a long way to come across one of those. It’s not like they live in our back yard as the polar bears seem to do nowadays.

          Churchill, Manitoba, became known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. I can’t help but wonder whether Arviat will share, or take over, that title in the not so distant future.

          • elaineadmin

            Thanks for sharing, Norma. I have a few friends who live in British Columbia and through the years have read about Grizzly encounters, but you’re the first one I know who has ever mentioned polar bears. Fascinating. Arctic Canada sounds like a place of beauty, challenge, inspiration, and nature vs. survival. Perhaps you haven’t set a story there–yet–but I’m beginning to see where you might get your writer’s spark!

  • Ann Mock

    I enjoyed the book trailer so much! Your plot is so intriguing and the trailer captured this so well. Elaine you did another great blog!

    • elaineadmin

      Ann, I’m glad you enjoyed Norma’s feature. And I agree, she has a great book trailer. As for the blog… it all circles around each of my guests 😍

    • Ann, I am delighted you enjoy the book trailer so much. I am still captivated by it each time I watch it.

      I totally enjoyed creating this book trailer. Coming up with the perfect phrases and correct selection for the music is a labor of love in itself. In this respect only, I sit down – pen and paper in hand – and come up with sentences and phrases. Although I don’t normally throw sentences and paragraphs away when writing books, when putting a book trailer together…it’s a different story altogether.

      • elaineadmin

        Norma, what venue did you use to create your book trailer? I used Adobe Spark.

        • Mine shows up at the end, Elaine. I used Animoto. It can be exported to YouTube but I prefer the quality at Animoto.

          • elaineadmin

            Thanks for the tip, Norma. I just took a very cursory look at Animoto and it seems much like the plan I used, but there is a charge (though there’s the option of the free trial period). The program I used had a lot of limits and frustrations, so I’m definitely on the look out for different options in the future. Thanks!

  • Dee Fleischman

    I think I have read most everything that Norma has written. I can’t remember just how many years ago we met on a writing site. At the time I was writing some but , I am not writing now. Norma is my sweet friend and I hope someday to meet her in person. We came very close one time before my husband passed. I had to get home to be with him and we just missed each other. I look forward to everything Norma writes. I have been hooked from the start. I pass the word and her books here in Ohio. Norma is a busy young woman for sure. Yes, she is young to me, I could be her mother. Age does not matter when two paths cross and friendship begins. ☝💗

    • elaineadmin

      Dee, welcome to Everyone’s Story. What a lovely testimony of your dear friend, Norma.

      Hope to see you again!

    • Thanks, Dee! I was certain you would stop by for a visit but I’m happy you left a comment. Yes, sometime, I hope we can actually meet, though I still feel certain I looked into your eyes, and you, mine. Still, it doesn’t count.

      I’ve only recently met Elaine but I enjoy her “online” company already and her book, Always With You, is on my list of books I’ll be reading soon. When I leave my review, if you haven’t read it before then, I feel certain you’ll want to get your own copy. It’s just a feeling I have…

      • elaineadmin

        Aww, thanks much, Norma. I hope Isabelle and Tyler’s story blesses you. Speaking of blessings, I truly am blessed and honored that Always With You is up for the 2017 Book of the Year Award.

        • Another Tyler…one of the characters in my Freedom in Love Series is named Tyler Washington. I could never have envisioned how prominent he would become in the series…the same is true for Dee Fleischman. Yes, I created a character using Dee’s real name, though the activities are all fictional. 🙂

          • elaineadmin

            Sometimes a name just sticks with you and you can’t shake it, whether you know a person by that name or not!

  • Karla Bostic

    I am truly blessed to have read all of Norma’s work as well. I am an avid fan. I often refer to her series as Christian spy novels with a twist. I love seeing how her characters form and grow. If you pay real close attention at times, you can see where she started off thinking a story would go one way, but while writing, the characters took a different direction all together. The storyline is always something that draws my interest, and the characters are so well written that I want to mail them Christmas cards. I feel like I know them, and I definitely care about their future.

    • elaineadmin

      Karla, welcome to Everyone’s Story! Norma has a solid fan in you 😊 I love this: “the characters are so well written that I want to mail them Christmas cards.”

      Hope to see you again.

  • Marilyn

    Enjoyed the beautiful book trailer. If Only will be an astonishing read with the brief introduction of the story.

    Wow, what amazing testimony from your books. God’s timing is perfect and to create amazing stories that touches readers showing God’s greatness, love, grace and mercy.

    I cannot imagine living in Artic Canada but we all adjust to where we are planted here in this world.

    Thank you, Norma, for the generous giveaway on Everyone’s Story. I would be blessed to be a winner.
    Elaine, glad you and Norma connected so you could introduce her to your readers. God bless you both.

    • elaineadmin

      Marilyn, I love learning my viewers are intrigued, awed, and inspired by my guests.

      Love seeing you here!

      • I am delighted you enjoyed the book trailer for If Only, Marilyn. The story is definitely one which has moments when you will feel shivers rush up your spine, when you will run for the tissues and experience moments of pure bliss.

        Emotion and conversation tend to carry my stories. I provide enough information about a setting, when necessary, but never go overboard. I don’t like getting boggled down in descriptive content when reading so don’t want to punish my readers by giving them the things I don’t enjoy.

        That being said, there is a short story (novella) I wrote titled Written on the Stars. This one was written before I became heavily involved in my Freedom in Love Series. The settings are richer in detail but it fits perfectly with the story.

        As for living in Arctic Canada, you are correct; it’s something I’ve adjusted to, though I’ve spent half of my childhood living in the northern parts of Canadian provinces on the east coast.

        Marilyn, I wish you luck in winning one of the 10 copies of If Only that I’m giving away, but you’ll be happy to know that it’s only 99 cents, should you not win and wish to read it. 🙂

  • I’m glad you stopped by to visit us here, Karla. It’s always a pleasure…

    Elaine, Karla edits my books, but I always go over them a time or two before passing them along to her, and a time or two afterwards…it’s the perfectionist in me. What can I say?

    I always gain such pleasure in opening Karla’s edited version because she shares her personal feelings about certain situations/scenes as well. I NEVER open one of her files unless I know I can absorb every word in one sitting. As a result, sometimes the excitement builds for a couple of days, waiting to find the perfect time.

    Karla has mentioned in the past that my characters feel so real to her. To be honest, there are different times I feel them calling me, begging me to spend time with them again. I always look forward to those times because I know another story is just around the corner.

    • elaineadmin

      Now, there’s a great, admirable working partnership! I love your writing spirit!

      • I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Cameo Renae; she’s a best-selling author originally from Hawaii but she and her family have been living in Alaska for a few years. I asked her if there were any beta readers she could direct me to because I had reached the point where I wanted to have a little reader engagement before publishing my stories.

        Cameo pointed me in Karla’s direction. Not only did Karla read my stories but she became a great set of eyes to have looking over my work. I paid her for two assignments, I believe, but then she felt guilty asking for monetary payment because she enjoyed the stories so much and didn’t feel there was much work to be done in terms of editing them.

        I’ve truly met some wonderful people over the course of my writing career.

  • What a powerful response to your books. I know I was touched. I am so proud to know what an impact you have on people.

    • elaineadmin

      Vicki, thanks for your visit today! I hope to see you again. Just Followed you on Twitter 😊

      • Vicki, I sensed early on that God was going to use my stories to touch peoples’ lives.

        When writing scenes in the past, there were times I felt different than when writing most scenes. I could feel the depth of emotions the characters felt, as if the events and feelings were my own. There were times I’d sob in my chair, holding myself, feeling as though I would burst. I wanted to stop writing, but sensed an urgency to continue.

        I don’t know how I managed to finish writing scenes during those sessions but, if it was a sad scene or dark moment, I had to finish writing it so I could put it behind me. I wouldn’t dream of coming back to a story knowing I was going to start off in the middle of a sad/dark scene.

        My daughter, Kelsey, has cautioned me for years to be careful of the plots I write because so many events contained within them tend to come true in the lives of someone we know, or we hear about it happening somewhere.

        One story I had started writing several years ago never did get finished; I may take it out sometime and decide to finish it, but who knows? I did enjoy the story but, when it began to mirror our own lives, I hesitated to finish it.

        I recall vividly writing a scene in Divided Loyalties, book four of my Freedom in Love Series, and for no plausible reason, I began to sob in my chair. I was writing a touching scene, but it wasn’t sad, painful or dark. As with any moment when strange things happen, I made note of the time. I felt the urgency to write and pulled myself together, finishing the book a few hours later. I was filled with such an incredible high.

        Little did I know, just after I finished the book, I’d hear devastating news about the death of a friend who was close to my heart. When I heard the time of his death, I realized my spirit was grieving before my conscious mind even knew what had happened. That was July 20, 2014.

        How did he die? A vehicle accident, very similar to a scene I had written in If Only, a story I had began and finished writing eight months earlier during November 2013s NaNoWriMo challenge.

        Regardless of the things I may experience in life, or through my writing, one day I look forward to having an office with a wall of windows facing the ocean, or a large body of water so big that I feel I’m looking into infinity.

        Once again, the words flowed without any conscious thought. I did not mean to go into all of this but, as it is written, so shall it be.

  • Hi Elaine and Norma –

    I’m always happy to meet another author. You did an excellent job on the trailer and book cover. I’d love to read it.

    Have a great week,

  • Haunting book trailer! Can’t wait to read If Only! I cannot imagine living in Artic Canada. 🙂 I know it has to be beautiful, but this Southern girl can’t stand the cold. Thanks for introducing a new-to-me author, Elaine!

    • You look familiar, Patricia, and your name sounds familiar, too. I just checked your website and I can tell you now that your books are ‘right up my alley.’ Talk about me having a haunting trailer … your website sent shivers through my spine – but good ones.

  • Thanks, Susan! I’m glad you enjoyed the trailer and the cover caught your eye. Should you ever decide to read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Thanks for the Add Elaine. It is such a pleasure to meet you. I will certainly be coming back to your blog.
    Norma, again what a powerful moment to share. It is an amazing thing how the world is connected on a spiritual level. No matter how different our beliefs, the connection is strong and real.

    I have read several of the series and I am desperate to read the rest. Thank you for writing such amazing stories.

  • elaineadmin

    It’s been a wonderful week on Everyone’s Story and I have my lovely guest, author Norma Budden, to thank. Norma, I enjoyed hosting you and hope you will come back for another visit 💗 You’ve been your heart into your replies and I truly appreciate it.

    Also, thanks for your generous BookGiveaway of If Only. The winners (*Please see note afterwards) of the Kindle edition of this novel are:

    Ann E.
    Kelly T.
    Ann M.
    Vicki G.
    Susan R.
    Patricia B.

    *Karla and Dee: you’re also included in the 10 winners if you’d like another copy of Norma’s novel, though it seems as if you’ve read it. Perhaps you might like to pass along the book?

    I will be emailing each of the winners. I usually do this as soon as posting this congratulatory announcement, but I’m running late on schedule and will be contacting each of you in just a bit. Happy reading!

    Blessings to all.

  • Thanks so much for hosting me, Elaine! It has surely been a pleasure meeting you and becoming acquainted with some of the women who’ve graced your literary doorstep this past week. I’ve even discovered another author whose books I want to (probably) devour, if the covers and descriptions are any indication.

    I will be sure to come by for a visit again in the next day or two, after I’ve finished working on my upcoming release. I look forward to learning more about your new guest. Besides, I have you added to my bookmarks now so you’re bound to be seeing more of me.

    Thanks again for a wonderful week!

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