Meet Marcia Lacock, author of newly-released novel “A Tumbled Stone”

I am thrilled to introduce my readers to Marcia Laycock, winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. As her newest book, A Tumbled Stone is released, I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

  

Katherine: Marcia, both of your books examine a major contemporary cultural issue. One side of the issue calls it “A woman’s right to choose.” The other side of the issue calls it “The human right to life.” It is a prickly subject both politically and socially. Why do you want to write about this subject?

 Marcia: I believe this subject is close to the heart of God. He is always concerned about those who cannot speak for themselves or defend themselves. An unborn child is the epitome of this demographic. Unfortunately it is a subject that is too often swept under the rug, to use a cliché, and the innocent continue to suffer. I also wanted people to try to understand the stresses and difficulties a person with an unwanted pregnancy feels. I hope that after reading A Tumbled Stone the reader will have more compassion for these women. 

Katherine: How did you come to be a writer?

Marcia: I started writing short stories and poems for my dolls. They didn’t complain so I kept it up. 🙂 Then my aunt gave me a copy of Emily of New Moon for my eleventh birthday. I discovered you could call yourself a writer and determined that someday that’s what I’d be. It took many years but I published my first short story in 1990 and began writing articles for a local paper about that same time. I self published a compilation of my column in 2002 (a second edition was recently released), a second devotional book in 2005 and then my novel, One Smooth Stone won me the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award and was published. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was just released by Word Alive Press.

Katherine: Tell us how you come up with characters.  

Marcia: Characters often grow out of something I hear or see. For instance, the main character in One Smooth Stone developed after a woman asked me a profound question – “Can you imagine what it would be like for someone to discover that his mother had tried to abort him?” I did imagine and the character of Alex Donnelly emerged. He’s very much a composite of many people I knew while living in the Yukon, in Canada’s western Arctic.

Andrea, the main character in A Tumbled Stone, developed slowly as the book unfolded. She too is a composite of many people I’ve known, young women in search of their own identities who struggle to make the right choices in their lives.

Katherine: Where do you write?

Marcia: I share an office in our home with my husband who is a pastor. We’re church planting right now, so we don’t have a church building where my husband would ordinarily go to work each day. It’s been an interesting adjustment and a challenge for us both as we sit back to back at our computers. 🙂

Katherine: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, writing-related or not? 

Marcia: I’m probably most proud and humbled of the fact that my husband and I, in spite of all our flaws somehow managed to raise three wonderful daughters who are a joy to us in many ways. God’s grace is evident in their lives and I’m very thankful for them. There was a time when I believed I would never have children (see my website for the story) so to have three beautiful daughters and now two great sons-in-law continues to amaze me.

Katherine: In your opinion, what is the greatest danger or pitfall in the life of a writer?

Marcia: Believing that it’s your talent that changes lives. I’ve had many people tell me amazing stories about how something I wrote changed them in some way. It’s important to remember that only God can do that. He uses our words to affect His purposes. We’re just being obedient in putting the words on paper. It’s an incredible privilege and blessing to be used in that way.

Katherine: Why did you choose to write this book?

Marcia: To be honest, initially it was because I had to write a sequel! 🙂 But then as the book and the main character began to take shape in my head I got excited about what I could do with it. I wanted to write a book about a young woman struggling with an unwanted pregnancy and this gave me the opportunity.

Katherine: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

Marcia: That writing is a ministry. It’s a hidden ministry that takes hours of sitting in a room alone but the end result can be lives changed for Christ.

Katherine: Tell me a little about A Tumbled Stone.

Marcia: Andrea Calvert had to run away. She couldn’t stay on the farm, shaming her parents. She couldn’t face being pregnant and alone. She would take care of this on her own. As she struggles to make life-changing decisions, Andrea discovers a diary and the wrenching story about her family’s dysfunction.

Katherine: How does this book minister to readers?

Marcia: I hope A Tumbled Stone will prove to be a healing book both to those who may have had an abortion or are considering one, as well as to those who feel passionately about this topic. I hope the readers will come to a deeper understanding of God’s grace and mercy that is extended to all of us.

Katherine: If I met you in an airport where we shared coffee over a table in a crowded food court, what would you want me to remember about you as we hurried to our separate gates to board our flights?

Marcia: I guess I would hope that you would remember me as a gracious person willing to listen and understand.

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The more I learn about the author of A Tumbled Stone the more I see the way scripture shapes her work. Marci’s favorite scripture is “Let us consider therefore how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds.” (Hebrew 10:24) This verse inspired the name of her blog and much of the direction of her books.

You can learn more about Marcia at her website www.vinemarc.com or email her at Marcia@vinemarc.com

View the book trailer for One Smooth Stone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz1VG59-Aiw

                                       

         You can purchase Marcia’s books at www.vinemarc.com or go to http://tinyurl.com/7xun8nv where you can also purchase any of her books.



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Book Review — The Book of Esther by Deborah Bateman

 

Scroll of Esther (Megillah)

Scroll of Esther (Megillah) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always loved the book of Esther since about seventh grade when our Sunday School quarterly had her picture on the cover. It was an exquisite, very oriental image, showing the moment she touched the scepter of the king. I later learned what a courageous moment that was, and it stayed with me. Deborah Bateman brings this amazing moment to life in her day by day Bible study of the book of Esther, as part of a thorough look at the whole book. Each day’s study is short enough to be completed at the beginning of a busy day, including her excellent comments, the text for study – very handy, because you don’t even need to have a Bible with you – and three or four thought questions. You have time for this Bible study.

I appreciated the fact that Deborah spread her study over the entire book. Some people would have thought it necessary to avoid the gruesome executions or the terrible battles at the end. I have read studies that simply ignore those truths. Deborah clearly accepts a basic truth: God preserved the whole Bible for us to study and grow. The hard parts are just as important as the easy parts. It is exciting to read about the parties and the fine dress and decorations, but bloody, vicious executions are challenging for twentieth century students. She handles the challenge with grace, and every student will be blessed by the way she covers the entire story.

Deborah demonstrates that you don’t need hours every day in order to study and grow in faith. You simply need to promise yourself to complete one study each day and then keep your promise. You can do this Bible study in less than a half hour each day, although you may find it so interesting that you will want to spend more time in prayer and thought. If you have not yet found a way to make time for Bible study every day, I recommend Deborah’s book.

Book Review — Breaking Pride by Heather Bixler

Breaking Pride is a compact, uncomplicated book. It is highly readable, written in a conversational style. To read it is like visiting with a trusted mentor in the faith. It won’t take long to read it all the way through, and you should do that as a start. After that, you should read through each chapter devotionally. You could read and pray through one chapter each weekday for two weeks. It would be a good way to internalize the principles and start using the guidance for dealing with pride.

Each of the ten short chapters addresses an individual facet of our battle with pride. We think we know all about pride when we quote the proverb, “Pride goes before a fall.” Sadly that is only a glimpse of the destructive power of pride. It is easy to forget that Satan uses pride to draw us away from a life of service to others in order to focus on self. Pride builds walls between us and other people and between us and God. There are natural reasons for us to lean on pride as protection and defense. As you read this book, you will learn both the issues underlying the problem and biblical principles that will help you mature in humility and service. The verses at the head of each chapter sum up each principle in the process of breaking your pride without breaking you.

Breaking Pride is a valuable book for anyone who is serious about living faithfully Christ’s call to love others as we love ourselves.