BookLife Talks with Carolyn L. Austin
A sponsored Q&A with the author of 'Prayers of My Mother: Volume 1'
Can you describe Prayers of My Mother for readers unfamiliar with it?
Prayers of My Mother: Volume I is a book filled with powerful Scriptures, relatable and poignant anecdotes, and edifying prayers. My male readers comment that it gives them present-day application for the Scriptures. Prayers of My Mother is designed to encourage anyone struggling with life events to have faith and believe in the power of prayer. It was written for everyone, despite their religion or beliefs, and introduces Scriptures to those unfamiliar with the Bible. Prayers of My Mother also depicts how the same flaws, mistakes, and regrets that we experience today were also experienced by people during Biblical times; and that the same parallel choices, rewards, and consequences still apply.
What was the process like creating Prayers of My Mother?
Prayers of My Mother was created from my daily email devotional called Prayer Share. It started when a childhood friend wanted my mother to pray with her while going through a painful divorce. My mother, who was once a strong prayer warrior, now has Alzheimer’s disease and is no longer able to pray for others. Therefore, I volunteered to pray in her stead. The first prayer to my friend was a text message. Within months, the distribution grew and so did the topics. The text messages evolved into a daily email. My Prayer Share recipients provided feedback stating they felt encouraged and uplifted. Consequently, I was inspired to write Prayers of My Mother to help others.I began the writing process by compiling the most popular devotionals, sorting them by the chapter titles and subtitles I created. However, unplanned was including my personal anecdotes, events I had forgotten. Only then did I recognize how much God had touched my life and I found my purpose! Prayers of My Mother is not only a book, but my legacy! It was clear that the book is at least one answer to my mother’s prayers—that her children have a relationship with God.
When pulling all of the material together, was there anything that you left out that you wish you could have kept in?
Yes. I did not want my first book to be too long, so I decided to split it into volumes. Volume II is almost finished! I have also begun writing another book, Don't Eat Your Vomit!, a concept introduced in Volume I. I hope to complete both books in late 2020.
You’ve had various careers in your life. Did they help prepare you as a writer?
Absolutely! Preparing for each line of work had its own challenges, some of which I recount in Prayers of My Mother. However, my investigative report writing afforded me the greatest opportunity to develop and hone my writing skills.
What’s next for you?
Besides working on my next two books, I am creating a workshop entitled "Don’t Eat Your Vomit!” My target audience includes Christian and non-Christian readers. Thus far, I have shared features of my workshops at several speaking engagements including book signings, churches, and women’s empowerment events. The most recent topics were, “Your Assignment,” “The Power of Prayer,” and “Straddling the Fence.” My goal is to continue speaking at book and other conferences/retreats where I can inspire the young and old, and provide a new perspective regarding life’s challenges, trials, and tribulations.