Let’s Chat! Lighthouse Author Alfred Bates

Welcome, Friends!

Our guest author this week, Alfred W. Bates–also known as Al–wrote The Wickie, a novel set around a lighthouse on the Oregon coastline in the 1861. A storm tragically takes the life of assistant lighthouse keeper Wyatt Saunders and sets in motion events that forever change the lives of his family; the head keeper, Gus Crosby; and the new assistant keeper, Jesse Fayette. 

Gather ’round as we chat with this gentleman of gentlemen. Join the chat below, and you’re entered into a drawing for a signed copy of The Wickie.

**GIVE-AWAY RESULTS: The winner of Al’s give-away is Marilyn Ridgway. Congratulations, Marilyn!

~ ~ ~

Lighthouse Al Before Lighthouses

Born and reared in Ohio, I am the older of two siblings. Our parents were Alfred and Alice Bates. I worked with my father on the farm as a young boy. In later years, I worked for farmers in the summer to make money to buy my first car.

After graduating from high school in 1955, I married my high school sweetheart, Rose. We had two boys. Our younger son died at the age of twenty-six.

Service to Country

At the age of seventeen, I joined the Army National Guard and served forty-two years, retiring from the Army as Chief Warrant Officer CW4. I also worked Federal Civil Service and retired with thirty-one years service.


After retirement, we sold our home in Arizona and began traveling this great country. Initially, we had not chosen any particular places to visit. Our goal was to just enjoy the sights and people we would meet along the way. One of our first destinations was to visit friends who had moved to Pennsylvania but were vacationing in New Jersey. They were entertaining their adult children on the day of our arrival and suggested we visit a lighthouse down the coast. We visited the lighthouse and got hooked.

Inspiration from a Lighthouse

This was the beginning of our joyous ten year trek of visiting lighthouses. We saw over 300. For two summers of those years, we enjoyed serving as tour guides at Umpqua River Lighthouse in Oregon where I gained more knowledge of lighthouses.

Due to Rose’s health, we ceased traveling after ten years and settled down in Texas. She died approximately two years later.

Inspiration to write my book, The Wickie, came while serving as the lighthouse tour guide. (Tweet That!) After learning historical events associated with the two Umpqua River Lighthouses, the work of the keepers, their families and lifestyle, I knew there were other people who would enjoy reading about those times. I titled my book The Wickie because the keepers in the old days nicknamed each other Wickie. They had to trim the wicks on the lantern to enable the light to burn bright.

The Wickie Debut Experience

I found it enjoyable, yet challenging, to collect data and pictures for use in The Wickie. I had written many letters and documents during my years of service and thought I knew how to write. But when I joined a writers group, I soon realized writing a novel is different.

My writing journey slowed with the death of my wife, but time passed and God gave me another chance at life. I met my second wife, Linda, in a local grief share program. She likewise is supportive of my writing.

After finally completing my manuscript, I chose a publisher in Oregon who worked with writers wanting to self publish. Their staff was very organized and carefully guided me through those unfamiliar publishing steps.

My first experience with transmitting an entire manuscript via the Internet was somewhat frightening. I soon adjusted, knowing my manuscript would become a book. I felt proud the day my books arrived at the house. All the stress and hard work I’d endured over the years finally paid off.

Insight and Looking Ahead

While looking at the stacks of books, I quickly realized those books wouldn’t sell themselves, and I would need the marketing materials I purchased with the publishing contract. Time has taught me self publishing is hard work and marketing the book is a challenge in itself.

Currently, I am writing a sequel to The Wickie. The working title is “Spirit of The Lighthouse.” Before starting the sequel, I took time to write a novella and a novelette to improve my writing.

A Final Note From Al

You can find me as Alfred W. Bates on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ovwoeo

Twitter: @awbates1955

And on my blog: http://AlsLighthouses.blogspot.com

Links to Amazon and Barnes and Nobel are listed on the blog for your convenience. Select the store of choice and enter The Wickie to purchase copies.

You may also purchase from me via email to: AWBates1955@gmail.com.

May you let your light shine to those around you.

~ ~ ~

Thank you for joining our circle this week, Al. What an honor it has been to share you with others. You’ve captured our imaginations. Can’t wait to read your book!

~ ~ ~

Lord, You order our days, even those that transpire in the deepest valleys of sorrow. You’ve done so in Al’s life, and we receive with gratitude the blessing of The Wickie, a story where Your light shines through darkness, pointing the way to You.

Jesus is Meaning. Without Him I’d be purposeless, rudderless, and joyless.


6 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Lighthouse Author Alfred Bates

  1. Marilyn R

    Thank you for introducing Alfred Bates to me as a reader. What a great chat with Alfred and The Wickie will be an interesting novel to read. His sequel will be a necessary read, too. I have always been enjoyed seeing pictures of lighthouses, but have never tour one.

    1. I’m with you about lighthouses, Marilyn. There’s just something intriguing about them. Al has hit on a fascinating setting. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    2. Hi, Marilyn;
      Thank you for taking time to read my story and showing an interest in lighthouses. I recall when I took part of my manuscript to a writers conference to have it critiqued. The person let me know that my book would be considered a Nitch book. I had to ask. What’s a Nitch book? Response: Only a small portion, or nitch, of the population will care about reading your book. O.K. I decided to keep on going with my book because not everyone likes to read mysteries or love stories either.
      Blessings, and have a great week.

  2. Alfred is an inspiration! He puts life (and a kick) into the word “retired.”

    1. I know .. right? Thanks for joining in, Clarice.

    2. Hi, Calice;

      Thank you for your kind words. Your comment reminded me of a promise I made to myself when I retired. It was: I don’t want to set in a rocking chair on the front porch and watch people drive by the house.


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Let’s Chat! Author Emily C Reynolds

Welcome to our chat, everyone!

Today we’re visiting with Emily Hendrickson (pen name Emily C. Reynolds), who writes romance with a comedic punch. Emily’s first novel, Picture Perfect, a story about overcoming bitterness, learning to forgive, and trusting God, released March 2, 2017.

**Readers: Emily’s offering a give-away! Join our conversation below and you’ll be entered in the drawing for Picture PerfectAnnouncement here and on Facebook on Tuesday, the 21st.** 

**We have a winner! Arletta Boulton has won the drawing for a signed copy of Emily’s Picture Perfect! Congratulations, Arletta. 

Be watching next week for another author and another chance to win!

A bit about author Emily C Reynolds

Emily C Reynolds

I grew up in a small town in southern Maine (not far from Kennebunkport). My dad pastors a quaint New England church, the kind with the white clapboard sides and tall steeple, exactly like you see on postcards. My parents founded the Christian school I graduated from, a Christ-centered ministry that’s operated for more than 30 years. I graduated from Gordon College in Massachusetts with degrees in English Language & Literature as well as Biblical Studies.

Wonderful things happen when a woman learns she can protect herself. Self-defense helps women develop confidence and inner strength on different fronts–like work, relationships, communication, setting boundaries.

I’ve earned my living as a professional wedding photographer, high school English teacher, newspaper copy editor, piano teacher, and women’s self-defense instructor.

My husband, an amazing guy, inspires my storybook heroes and is my biggest cheerleader on this journey.

A bit about Emily’s first book

Picture Perfect is a light-hearted novel about overcoming bitterness, trusting God, and opening your heart to the redemptive power of forgiveness. In this story, a photographer and a martial artist partner for swing dance lessons and become unknowingly pitted against each other in a real estate tug-of-war. As romance heats up, secrets from the past close in. Agendas collide, and when the truth comes out, one wrong move could trip them up for good.

The story grew out of bits and pieces of my real—and imaginary—life. For instance, the old country church I grew up in really does have bats in the belfry. (Tweet That!) So in the opening scene when the heroine is cleaning the church and has an unexpected encounter. Not too far of a stretch.

A bit about Emily’s challenges

The biggest challenge on my path to publication was twofold—not giving up and, well, not giving up. By that I mean not giving up on the dream of one day seeing my book in print, but also not giving up the fun of writing. Don’t let anyone fool you. Writing is hard. Many people don’t realize the years of labor involved.

I had no idea what I was doing when I first started writing, so Picture Perfect got completely revamped multiple times. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes! I loved learning how to plot a good story, and I absolutely love the result. But it took seven years to get to this point.

I am blessed to have a fantastic critique group that helps me hone my stories, and I have an amazingly dedicated agent, Linda Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency, who loves my “voice” and writing style and absolutely refused to give up until she found the right home for my stories at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

One of the best things I did for my professional development was joining American Christian Fiction Writers. I got connected to other writers, critique groups, and a storehouse of publishing information that I soaked up, realizing how little I really knew. I also attended ACFW conferences, which allowed me to network with writers, agents, and editors as well as take classes to help me learn more about the writing craft.

A bit of advice from author Emily C Reynolds

First, write what you enjoy writing. Remember that it is hard work, no question, but it needs to be enjoyable and fun. Otherwise it will become a burden.

Be kind to yourself! Everyone’s first draft is downright awful, so don’t let the ugly stop you. Keep going. Put the words down even if you cringe. As people say, you can’t edit what’s not there.

Accept who you are as a writer. I’m not a particularly fast writer. The story doesn’t unfold in a straightforward manner for me. I’m much more “seat of the pants” than plotter. So I have to constantly remind myself it’s okay that the course is not charted; that’s part of the fun. (I get to be surprised when a character says or does something). Only it’s not always fun. Sometimes it’s downright stressful. It means the story doesn’t journey in a straight line from start to finish. There will be detours and dead ends and “wasted” time. That’s just how it works for me. I can choose to get frustrated and think I’m less of a “real writer,” or I can accept that it’s the way I work.

Also, remember to maintain perspective. It can get easy to become obsessed and driven to meet certain goals. Try to keep foremost in your mind that it’s God’s timing, not yours. It’s not always easy to balance the writing life with “real world” life. Sacrifices have to be made. But be mindful of what you’re giving up and why—it’s important to have a balanced life. (My compromise was not watching TV or movies at night while my husband worked second shift. Instead, I used that time to write. I tried not to sacrifice family time.)

A final word from Emily

Thanks for letting me share a little about my writing journey! I hope you enjoy a few giggles and sigh moments reading Picture Perfect. I love to connect with readers. Find me on Facebook under Emily C Reynolds or at my web site www.EmilyCReynolds.com.

I’d especially like to thank Linda for inviting me to share a little of my journey today! Thanks for this opportunity to connect readers and writers!

How to find Emily C Reynolds and her book

Website: www.emilycreynolds.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2ntlN37

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nt9iEK

Dear Heavenly Father, we pause to remember You as the Giver of Every Perfect Gift. Thank you for gifting Emily for the purposes for which You have set her apart. Make her writing an instrument of Your grace. For Jesus’ sake.


9 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Emily C Reynolds

  1. Arletta

    I’m adding this book to my to read list. Enjoyed learning about Emily.

    1. Thanks for joining our circle, Arletta. It’s on mine, too!

    2. Emily

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Arletta! I had so much fun writing this book. Good luck in the drawing! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book if you’d be willing to share with me later!

  2. Emily

    I agree, Clarice! So many writers are their own worst critics. It’s hard, because our natural response is to compare ourselves to everyone else. If we keep our focus on God and stop looking around at others, it makes a huge difference!

  3. Great advice, filled with wisdom!

    1. Amen, Carlene. We have to keep reminding ourselves, though, don’t we? Thanks so much for joining our chat.

    2. Emily

      Thanks for joining us, Carlene! It’s so necessary to have like-minded, supportive individuals in our corner for encouragement, along with the iron-sharpens-iron times!

  4. I could so identify with Emily C. Reynolds and her writing journey. At long last, I write what I enjoy. I’m kinder to myself. I keep things in perspective. And I put it all in God’s hands. I wish you the best, Emily!

    1. Ditto, Clarice. What a relief, handing it to God and thanking Him for whatever He does with it. Thanks for stopping by, Clarice. You’ve blessed us today.


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