Sunday, March 16, 2008

Interview With Roberta - and Contest!

As promised, here is the long-awaited interview with Roberta Simpson, author of Nana's Bible Stories. She certainly doesn't LOOK like a 70 year old grandmother. Barbados must be good for the complexion. And letting you know up front, there's a contest connected, and the prize is a copy of her book, with CD narration, and the foreword by Princess Fergie. I'll let you know, at the end, what the contest entails. :) Without further ado, the interview:

It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to share some of my personal thoughts and experiences as a new author with you, Flea, and the Flea’s World ladies. I am so blessed to see the work you are doing to help and encourage each other!

There are so many gifts lying dormant in the lives of women—just waiting to be discovered or understood. I pray not only that my book, Nana’s Bible Stories will be encouraging to the children in your life—but, also that my personal story will be of encouragement to many of you as you pursue your calling.

Why did you decide to begin a career at the age of 70?

ROBERTA: I was not looking for a career! I thought that raising 5 children, and being a stay at home mom was career enough! It was as if the “career” found me! It is so exciting, and I love the changes that are happening due to this new career.

I loved being a mother, and one that was able to stay at home. (Actually, it would have been very difficult to find someone to look after five kids!) Although, there were times I would have just loved to shut my eyes, shut my ears and hide for several hours! But really, I would do it all over again. I am so grateful to my husband for letting me be a “stay at home” Mom!

God chose for us to be mothers, and what a wonderful joy it is to have children, no matter how harassed we are or how tired we become. We are raising little armies for Jesus! And how wonderful it is that God continues to use us long after our children are grown!

Your personal story is one of obedience. You didn’t plan to become an author. Tell us about some of the challenges you faced from family, friends, etc. on your journey.

ROBERTA: Challenges do come, and they come often. Some years ago, I did a writing seminar, here in Barbados. I remember being so excited, as I did want to write, but up until then, I had only written articles for the newspaper, and a few plays for church.

The gentleman who read and corrected all that I had written scribbled all over them with a nasty little red pen. On the bottom he wrote, “You can’t write!” I shrugged and thought, “I have five kids to raise and I have lots to do, so never mind!” He was a very influential man in Barbados – in fact, he was a well known Pastor! Lesson to be learned in this? When God says you can do it, even a well known Pastor cannot get in the way with his negative comments!

Years later, when I knew God spoke to me about writing, I felt excited and flew home (I mean drove!) and started to write. I believe what was important at that time, was obeying God, and not listening to man!

Friends and especially family have totally encouraged me on my adventure, and this is really special!

Your stories are told from the perspective of a child or an animal. Why is this beneficial to the child listening to the stories?

ROBERTA: I believe that when a child listens or reads the stories about other children, they can identify with the child in the story. I hope that they will say to themselves – “I could have been that boy/girl!” I also believe that they will see how much Jesus loves children, and they were always uplifted and loved by Him in the stories.

I just love animals, and so do children. It is fun writing about them, and I know that God was pleased and loves all He created and He sure created a beautiful animal kingdom!

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, wrote the foreword for Nana’s Bible Stories. Tell us how she became involved in your work.

ROBERTA: My husband and I have been friends with Prince Andrew for many years and were invited to Fergie and Andrew’s wedding.

We met Sarah the evening before the wedding and soon after they came to Barbados for a short holiday. Even though we do not see each other often, we have remained friends through the years.

I was speaking to her one day, after I had started writing my book. I asked her about the illustrator she used for one of her books, as I loved the illustrations. She was very kind, and really enjoyed my stories. She told me that when I was ready to publish she would write a foreword for my book. I am very grateful for this, and appreciate very much her offering to do this for me.

What words of encouragement would you give to other women who have been stay at home Moms, but now have the time and want to use their gifts and talents to start a career or business? Is it ever too late?

ROBERTA: Well, first of all, it is never too late. So I say to all you wonderful Moms, go girl go! I say God has placed wonderful gifts inside of you, which some of you may or may not be aware.

I did not know I had books inside of me! So I know God will take some of you by surprise. He will take you on a great adventure! Some of you know already what you want to do, and have obvious gifts that others can see.

Just give your life over to Him in a new way, and ask Him how to proceed in your new career. He will answer you!

Thank you for allowing me to share a part of my life and calling with you. If you would like to learn more about me or my book, please go to You may download one of my favorite stories, The Butterfly and the Cross—the story of the crucifixion as told through the gentle and tender eyes of a butterfly. I have also included a special devotional for the story which you may share with your children this Easter season. Cuddle up with a child and enjoy!

Still here? Yay! All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment! How easy is that? I'll pick a comment at random, blindly, and let y'all know on Wednesday who wins! Deadline for the contest is Monday, March 17th, at six PM, Central. Thanks for reading and playing. Until I write again ... Flea


faroutmom said...

Thanks for sharing this interview. I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want to be/do when I "grow up." As a stay at home mom, I sometimes wonder what gifts I have that I can use later in life. I will know one day, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring interview!

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

What an inspirational lady.

Anonymous said...

The day is coming soon when I have to figure out what I am going to do/not do. I hope it doesn't take till I am 70 to find out...

Wineplz said...

wow...that makes me feel a lot better that a woman found her calling at 70...there's hope that I might finally find mine (especially since I always thought I'd know by the time I was in my 30's).
She sounds like a remarkable lady.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I'm with Andrea. I started blogging because I was thinking, "This is it?!" Great post, interview, subject Flea, thanks. Happy St. Paddy's Day to you, may your home smell like that lovely corned beef dish :-)