Today, I’m excited to introduce you to friend Marcia Moston, author of Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife. We’re in for a treat as we learn more about Marcia and her amazing journey.
Tell us about yourself.
Although I hold degrees in sociology and Christian education, most of what I’ve learned has been by the proverbial seat of my pants. I’ve taught English in a Christian high school, worked with orphans in a Mayan village, led mission teams to Central America, delivered Yellowbooks, stuffed vending machines, and lived in everything from tepees to parsonages.
Your writing experience is unusual in that until 2008, you’d never written anything, but by 2011 you had a book contract with Thomas Nelson. How did that happen?
I am grateful to have experienced such abundant grace and blessing on my work. When we moved to the South a few years ago, I had a singular image in my mind: buy a house with a pool where I could sit and write. Although I didn’t know what I would write, nor did I know how to write a book, it was as though my story’s time had come, and I needed a nesting spot. II took a writing workshop taught by the editor of the city journal. At the end of the class, she offered me my own weekly column. That’s when I realized I could write something that people would read.
I continued to take workshops and go to conferences. In 2010, my manuscript won at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. I also won a self-publishing package, but turned it down because I felt constrained to wait.
Later in the year, I entered the Women of Faith Writing Contest and won a self-publishing package from WestBow Press. Unbeknownst to me, Thomas Nelson was looking at my book, and a month after it came out, offered me a contract.
Many traditional publishers avoid memoir. Do you have any advice for someone who hopes to publish a memoir?
The first agent I approached told me no one would publish a memoir from an unknown. He suggested I turn my story into magazine articles. Although I didn’t do it at the time, I think his advice is good. Memoirists need the exposure magazines give.
My path to publication, however, was through contests. I also made sure my story was about something more than me. Thomas Nelson must have agreed because they categorized my book as Christian living/spirituality.
Tell us about Call of a Coward-the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife.
about laying aside your hopes, dreams, and fears to follow God even
though where He’s leading seems to require credentials you lack and
courage you don’t think you have. And about discovering just how
personal and gracious He is. Here’s an excerpt:
exceeded my worst expectations. Cliffs rose straight up on one side and
plunged straight down on the other. The dusty, rutted trail
between the two was wide enough for one vehicle. It was one
thing to ride a scary road with a husband you could yell
at; it was another to ride a scarier road with a stranger who said with
the same equanimity. “There’s a good view from the overlook
up ahead,” and “The brakes are bad, that’s why I have to
Hernando downshifted, pumped the screeching brakes and entered the
river. I couldn’t decide whether to look ahead at the
slippery rocks on the steep bank, look behind from where we
had safely come, or simply bury my head in my lap. If I needed a sign
from God, this was it. I decided there was no way I could
ride this road to go shopping, to get our mail, to find a
doctor, to do anything─ever. When, and if, I met up with Bob in the village, I was going to have to tell him so.
link: Excerpted from Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle
Class House-Wife. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas
Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.
How were you personally impacted working on the project?
events and later rewriting them helped me to see just how involved God
was (and is!) in my journey. I gained a deeper appreciation of his
grace, and then after the manuscript won several contests, including the Women of Faith writing contest, I realized it was a message bigger than
my personal story.
What do you hope readers will glean from your story, Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife?
A fresh confidence in the Living One who sees them. A sense of expectancy in encountering him. Both the story and its path to publication are examples of the possibilities of an ordinary life in the hands of an extraordinary God. I hope readers will be inspired and encouraged that whether they travel a thousand miles or a thousand feet, God can do exceedingly more than they imagine.
What advice have you found helpful to you as a writer?
To do my part—learn the craft, be open for critique, write with guts, and then rest in Flannery O’Connor’s advice: “When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God’s business.”
What or who has influenced you?
I’m sure influences from thousands of books are floating around my brain, but most recently, I’ve been inspired by the imagery and metaphors of the Bible, the essays of E.B. White and Annie Dillard, and the stories of Rick Bragg—people who capture the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Are you working on a second book?
My working title is Going South-the God of my Mistakes. When we moved
south, we didn’t expect our plans to go south too—but it’s really a
story of hope.
Is there anything else you would like readers to know?
It was with fear and trembling that I put my name on the same line as Moses’, but the story is not about me or Moses; it’s about the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors or from your neighborhood bookstore.
Visit me at http://marciamoston.com
I’m a tremendous fan of Marcia’s. She’s the real deal — an authentic and dynamic Christ follower. I encourage you to pick up a copy of her book and then would you consider leaving a comment on Amazon or other distributors, sharing your honest opinion of Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife?