Author Interview with Simonetta Carr

This week’s author interview is with Simonetta Carr. She is the author of our upcoming book, Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them: Schizophrenia through a Mother’s Eyes and also Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata, which is part of our Chosen Daughters series.

  • Question #1 — Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes. I learned to read and write when I was 4 and one of my first and favorite presents was a small typewriter. As a child, I used to write and illustrate short stories, just for fun. I threw them all away at a time when they just seemed like clutter. In school, I used to get top grades in writing. It was actually the only subject where I got top grades.

My mother, an Italian teacher, used to take advantage of my interest by asking me to write thank you letters and correct her students’ essays (they were my same age). I also wrote lots of poetry. When I was commuting by bus or subway, I often stared at interesting people and wrote a short poem about them, just like an artist would sketch their features.

 

  • Question #2 — Do you have a specific spot where you enjoy writing most?

At my desktop. I type a lot faster than I handwrite, and I have older files and the internet at my fingertips. My working space is a very large walk-in closet which is annexed to my bedroom. When we bought our house, and saw this huge closet with two windows, we immediately turned it into something else. At first, it was a bedroom for our youngest child (and only daughter) when she was very young and needed to be close to us. When she moved out, I turned it into an office, but I also keep my clothes there.

It’s quite cluttered, with huge piles of books (besides those on shelves). It would drive a Feng Shui practitioner crazy. The neat, clean, working spaces of some of my friends have caused me occasional doubts about my system, but then I saw a photo of B.B. Warfield in his study overcrowded with books and felt perfectly vindicated.

 

  • Question #3 — At what time of day do you write most?

I write whenever I have time, but my favorite and most productive time is early in the morning. Sometimes I can’t sleep and write at 3:00 am for a couple of hours (then I go back to sleep). Words flow easily at that time.

 

  • Question #4 — How do you deal with writer’s block?

By denial. I grew up with writing assignments, first in school, then in journalism. As a homeschooling mother, I coached my kids as they wrote their essays. There was writing to be done and I just did it. I never heard of writer’s block until I came to the States and, since it didn’t seem helpful, I dismissed it. I don’t know if pretending it’s not there works for others, but I just treat writing as a task, like washing dishes, and it gets done.

There are of course times when I don’t know what to write. Some subjects might be difficult, or I might have written so much about them that I feel I have nothing left to say. When that happens, I might read something other people have written and consider new angles. But all this works only for non-fiction. Writing fiction is quite different and I imagine writer’s block is very real in that case, because it requires a larger amount of creativity.

The time of the day also matters. I don’t even try to write when I am tired.

 

  • Question #5 — Is there anything you would like to add that you have not been asked about?

I’d like to add a word of advice from my mother, who was also an author. She said, “Don’t write unless you have something to say.” That’s the best writing advice I have ever received.

 

  • Question #6 — Favorite flavor of ice cream?

This is probably a weird answer, because I don’t usually like ice cream or sweets in general. I do like Italian gelato because it reminds me of my childhood. When I find it, my favorites are hazelnut, coffee, all fruity flavors, and flavors with some alcohol in it, like rum and raisins (Italians have a variety of those). Berries and lemon are a common Italian combination of gelato flavors that takes me back in time.


How can readers discover more about you and your work?


 

31-Day Devotionals for Life Series

In the 31-Day Devotionals for Life series, biblical counselors and Bible teachers guide you through specific situations or struggles, applying God’s Word to your life in practical ways day after day. We currently have 6 available and will have 3 new books releasing in May and 3 more in October.

Available Now

1. Addictive Habits: Changing for Good by David R. Dunham

$9.99 | 96 pages | SAMPLE CHAPTER

Addictions begin with a choice—but come to trap and define you. These daily devotionals refocus us on the God who can restructure lives and disentangle sinners from enslavement.

“God has given Dave a tremendous gift for writing succinctly and yet powerfully, and here he keeps the gospel and God’s grace at the center of one of the greatest epidemics in our land: addiction. . . . Dave’s book is biblical, practical, hopeful, and focused on our Savior. I highly recommend it.”

—Brad Bigney

“As he writes with the warmth of a pastor’s heart, Dunham’s keen expertise in the area of addictions shines through. Carefully balancing a myriad of factors that make up addiction, David plays the part of a wise friend and helper for those who need it most.”

—Jonathan Holmes

2. After an Affair: Pursuing Restoration by Michael Scott Gembola

$9.99 | 104 pages | SAMPLE CHAPTER

Counselor Michael Gembola offers daily guidance, reflection questions, and practical action steps for those who have repented of an affair and want to move closer to God and their spouses. 

“Inviting and compelling. It is as if Michael is a good friend who knows you and knows exactly what you need. He will bring you into the meaningful words of God that give you direction, and he will set your pace so that you persevere with hope.”

—Ed Welch

“Written so that the person swirling in guilt, shame, and . . . family-altering decisions can know that God will meet them right where they are.”

—Brad Hambrick

3. Contentment: Seeing God’s Goodness by Megan Hill

$9.99 | 96 pages | SAMPLE CHAPTER 

The world pressures us to fulfill our desires—but God tells us to master them through contentment. This practical daily devotional helps us cultivate thankfulness in situations that fuel discontent.

“Contentment is a cultivated fruit, learned through study and practice. These daily readings refocus our attention off of ourselves . . . and onto the goodness and faithfulness of our God. It’s a needed and helpful book, and I highly recommend it.”

—Melissa Kruger

“Megan Hill comes to the rescue with a practical daily devotional full of how-to’s and why-to’s [and], more importantly . . . the ‘who’ of a daily relationship with Jesus Christ.”

—David Murray

4. Doubt: Trusting God’s Promises by Elyse Fitzpatrick

$9.99 | 96 pages | SAMPLE CHAPTER

Are you discouraged by doubt? Elyse Fitzpatrick submits evidences for belief and God’s promises to those with little faith. Gain encouragement through her takeaway truths and invitations for personal reflection.

 “Whether you consider yourself to be strong in faith or are floundering in your doubts, please read this book and gaze at the face of Christ as he is revealed in God’s Word. Elyse’s counsel is clear and compassionate, because God’s Word is clear and compassionate.”

—Gloria Furman

“Nobody who I know writes with more gospel sanity, spunk, and savvy than my friend Elyse Fitzpatrick. This little gem on doubt only confirms that conviction.”

—Scotty Smith

5. Grief: Walking with Jesus by Robert W. Kellemen

$9.99 | 88 pages | SAMPLE CHAPTER Grief_interior_small

The Bible assures us it is normal to hurt—but possible to hope. This devotional helps you be honest with your grief, find comfort, and even bring comfort to others.

“Grief can become suffocating. You long for a friend to help you connect God’s Word with your overwhelming feelings of loss. Bob Kellemen is that friend, skillfully helping readers to rise above their anguish in his remarkable new book. . . . As one who understands loss, I highly recommend it!”

—Joni Eareckson Tada

“This warm devotional is helpful and encouraging. . . . Take a walk through the earthly journey of Jesus and listen to his gracious, redirecting words of hope and comfort.”

—Paul Tautges

6. Pornography: Fighting for Purity by Deepak Reju

$9.99 | 96 pages | SAMPLE CHAPTER

Are you caught in the “voluntary slavery” of pornography addiction? While books and monitoring software may have failed you, Deepak offers a more effective weapon: a greater love for Christ.

“Deepak Reju . . . walks alongside you throughout the month . . . [and] provides you with the necessary insight and practical application to break pornography’s hold, helping you to better glorify God in your daily living.”

—Kevin Carson

“Plainspoken, searching, practical, humble, and hopeful—this could be just what you’ve been looking for in your struggle for something better than fantasy.

—Mark Dever


Coming in May 2019

— Anger: Calming Your Heart by Robert D. Jones

Approximately one out of one people struggle with anger. Biblical counselor Robert Jones guides you through Scripture’s teaching—showing how to calm your heart, reconcile with others, and grow in grace.

— Assurance: Resting in God’s Salvation by William P. Smith

Does God truly love you? Are you really saved? These daily devotionals draw on the promises of God’s Word that assure you of his gracious love and care.

— Fearing Others: Putting God First by Zach Schlegel

Does the approval of others have too much power over your life? Freedom is possible! Pastor Schlegel’s scriptural meditations, reflection questions, and action steps gradually unfold the biblical solution.


Coming in October 2019

— Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace by Paul Tautges

Forgiveness: Reflecting God’s Mercy by Hayley Satrom

Money: Seeking God’s Wisdom by Jim Newheiser


 

BOOK HIGHLIGHT — Finding a Vision for Your Church: Assembly Required by Michael A. Milton

Finding a Vision for Your Church: Assembly Required by Michael A. Milton

256 pages | $14.99 | Paperback | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Kindle/Mobi: $9.99 | iTunes/ePub: $9.99

About

The church is more than a building—it is an assembly of people joined together across distances and even through time to fulfill God’s purposes in the world. Each local gathering of that assembly needs a vision to help its members accomplish the work God has called them to do.

But how do you inspire your church to create and follow through on a vision?

Mike Milton provides tested, biblical ideas to get everyone in the church involved in a plan to help the congregation grow. Each chapter develops an awareness of what needs to be done, provides questions for review, and includes prayers by elders and ministers of churches that have put these ideas to use.

 

Endorsements

“Mike Milton has brought to the table not only his extensive experience in leadership and lessons learned in pastoral ministry, but more importantly faithful, biblical insights for the spiritual vitality of the church. . . . I’m extremely excited about this resource, which I highly commend to you.”

—Harry L. Reeder III, Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama

“Instead of doing ministry as everyone else does or as some other stale pattern suggests, why not let the Master of Ministry instruct us? Dr. Milton knows that Master well, and it shows.”

—David W. Hall, Senior Pastor, Midway Presbyterian Church, Powder Springs, Georgia

 

The Author

Michael A. Milton

Michael A. Milton (PhD, University of Wales; MPA, UNC Chapel Hill) is a Presbyterian minister, educator, and a composer. The retired Chancellor/CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary and retired Army Chaplain (Colonel), Milton serves as the James Ragsdale Chair of Missions at Erskine Theological Seminary. He is president of the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership and Faith for Living. He is a songwriter and recording artist, and the author of numerous books. Previously he was the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee and the founding pastor of three congregations.

 

One Year Daily Devotionals

Looking for a new daily devotional to read through in 2019?

1. Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions for Spiritual Refreshment by James Montgomery Boice

Grace Books: $13.99       WTSbooks: $16.66        Amazon: $16.66  


2. Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin in the Psalms by John Calvin

Grace Books: $11.04     Amazon: $16.10  


3. The Story: The Bible’s Grand Narrative of Redemption by Jon Nielson

Grace Books: $8.99       WTSbooks: $13.49        Amazon: $19.74  


4. My Grandmother Is . . . Praying for Me: Daily Prayers and Proverbs for Character Development in Grandchildren by Susan Kelton, Pamela Ferriss, and Kathryn March

Grace Books: $11.69       WTSbooks: $15.20        Amazon: $15.20


 

Our Top 30 Books from 2018

ANOTHER YEAR IS IN THE BOOKS!

HERE ARE OUR TOP SELLING BOOKS FROM 2018.

Books marked with *** before the title are 2018 releases.


1. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul David Tripp

2. When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Manby Edward T. Welch

3. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief by John M. Frame

4. ***Catching Foxes: A Gospel-Guided Journey to Marriage by John Henderson

5. Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp


6. Preparing for Marriage God’s Way: A Step-by-Step Guide for Marriage Success Before and After the Wedding by Wayne A. Mack

7. ***For the Love of Discipline: When the Gospel Meets Tantrums and Time-Outs by Sara Wallace

8. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel by Edward T. Welch

9. ***Streams of Mercy: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Barbara R. Duguid edited by Iain M. Duguid

10. Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Three Volume Set by Francis Turretin


11. The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard

12. Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone, Revised and Updated by Elyse Fitzpatrick

13. Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols by Brad Bigney

14. ***The Whole Counsel of God, Volume 2: The Full Revelation of God by Richard C. Gamble

15. The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church by Timothy Z. Witmer


16. War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles by Paul David Tripp

17. Introduction to Hebrew: A Guide for Learning and Using Biblical Hebrew by William Fullilove

18. ***The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of Israel by James Montgomery Boice

19. Strengthening Your Marriage by Wayne A. Mack

20. Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem by Robert D. Jones


21. The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus by Stephen Smallman

22. ***Help for the New Pastor: Practical Advice for Your First Year of Ministry by Charles Malcolm Wingard

23. A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John M. Frame

24. How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology by Jason S. DeRouchie

25. The Complete Husband, Revised and Expanded: A Practical Guide for Improved Biblical Husbanding by Lou Priolo


26. ***Diehard Sins: How to Fight Wisely against Destructive Daily Habits by Rush Witt

27. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers by Jim Newheiser

28. The Genesis Flood, 50th Anniversary Edition: The Biblical Record and its Scientific Implications by John C. Whitcomb & Henry M. Morris

29. The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship) by John M. Frame

30. The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) by John M. Frame