I write about my love affair, my sprawling close family, the unusual and intriguing people God brings into my life, and funny stuff. Once in a while I write about being Mennonite.
That’s how Lucinda J. Miller (Luci for short) introduces herself on her blog. Luci is a young, conservative Mennonite woman from a Wisconsin farm who attends a small church with well-used hymn books. Yet she declares that she wants “to be big, real, Heard.” She says so in her memoir published in July 2017.
I interviewed Luci last week about her experience of writing and publishing her first book. You can listen in here:
Why did you write your memoir Anything But Simple?
I wrote it because I love my place and my people and want very much to make them real to others. I look at these people sometimes and just love them. I feel so blessed to be a part of them. I feel that my culture is unique and that I have a rich heritage of faith. I want to share these things with the world.
What is the main theme of your book?
Simplicity of heart and spirit, and the journey to find that.
You are a busy teacher. How did you find time to write your book?
During my years of teaching at our little church school, I taught only four days a week, Monday through Thursday. That extra Friday gave me the time I needed to work on this book
What is your favorite scene or chapter in the book?
I like one of the final scenes in the book, where Dad and I are scrubbing dirty roasters and talking. Dad is wearing blue plastic gloves and scrubbing with an SOS pad. I love that about him, and I love the closeness I felt in that moment.
What does your family think about your book, revealing as it does some family secrets?
My family has always been a very private family, and that is why their abundance of support for my open and vulnerable style of writing takes my breath away. When I asked my dad for permission to write about some of the things I wrote, he basically told me, “Write whatever you want; just get a book published.” He knew how much my writing meant to me, and he wanted me to succeed.
What will readers learn from your book? What is the takeaway?
Well, people being what they are, everyone will take away something different. But my personal hope for this book is that readers will be able to see for themselves the difference Christ makes in a life and to realize the preciousness of simple, Christ-centered faith.
You have recently completed a book tour organized by your publisher, MennoMedia. What has surprised you most about meeting readers?
I was surprised at how so many people from so many different walks of life could relate to the story in one way or another. Some people whom I would never have guessed were anything like me said it felt like I was telling their story. That probably surprised me most.
What else do you think readers would like to know about you?
Hmm. I am thirty years old. I think they would like to know that, because everyone is always fascinated by age.
About your book?
That it is only the first of many. I don’t intend to stop writing.
More about Lucinda Miller
Reading Lucinda Miller’s debut memoir is a lot like going for a walk in a Mennonite meadow, cows mooing in the distance, family flocking around the ripening apples on family trees. But it is more: It pushes forward like a coming of age novel: childhood, adolescence, young adulthood. And it plumbs deep, the writer fathoming her faith and her place in a larger, neon-lit world, which beckons.
Read the rest of my review here.
A Book Giveaway!
Yes, you can receive an autographed copy of Luci’s book. Here’s how:
- Comment on this post now or any time during the next week.
- The giveaway will close one week later on Wednesday, September 13 at 12:00 midnight.
- Only comments posted on this blog will count as an entry. Winner will be chosen by random.org I will announce the winner here and by email.
You are most welcome, Elaine. Lucinda’s Mennonite background is similar to mine in close community, but we were definitely less plain. Lucinda seems to embrace the dress code while I chafed at it. In my memoir draft, I am grappling with communicating how important the degrees of plainness were to my family and church back then.
Aww..just stumbled across this now!! But, I guess since I’m not in America…I’d not have qualitfied anyhow. Blessings
Aw, Anna-Grace. Yes the author sends books only within the USA. The winner was announced on this post: https://marianbeaman.com/2017/09/20/dark-light-where-do-you-write/
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