-- World of Writing Interview # 31
Rachel Jeanette Hall Stolle was born and raised in a little town called Jefferson, in North East Texas. As an individual, she has endured economic hardships, sexual abuse by a internal strife. Today Rachel is a 29 year old Baylor University, Texas. graduate, teacher, poetic monthly staff writer, and a budget-conscious stay-at-home mom in Waco
Rachel's first Christian Children's Picture book is set to be released September 12, 2010: Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?, and has many other books planned for this series. Find Rachel at: http://auntloubooks.weebly.com
Q: How would a good friend describe you?
A: My husband of eight years, Jason, is my best friend in the world. I sat here pondering this question and I realized, "JUST ASK JASON!!", so I did. He sat pensive for a moment and his first adjective made me grin from ear to ear--beautiful. I absolutely adore how our relationship has grown and changed with the years. After birthing two children (80lb pregnancies each) one of which ended with an impromptu c-section and an eleven pound (10lb 14oz, i give myself the other 2 oz) baby, he still truly sees me as being as beautiful as the day we met. I giggled at his response and said, "no, really". This is what he came up with. A good friend would describe me as loyal, kind-hearted, thoughtful, and dependable.
Q: What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives? How do you plan to accomplish your goals?
A: My long-range goals as a Christian Children's Book Author are to create a series of picture books that help parents incorporate scriptures, and bible stories, into the every-day explanations they give their children. I am a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. My oldest is four, and very inquisitive. I find myself daily responding to her insightful, innocent questions with the best intentions, but sometimes I fall short and talking to her in a way that she finds engaging. This book series is my attempt to do both.
My short-term goals are to successfully complete the five books that I have already written. I write when I feel led, and through the years I have created five wholesome children's stories in anticipation of sharing them with my children and family.
Q: How do you determine or evaluate success?
A: I find it so very ironic that this question appears here. I just days ago wrote my very first one-page article for Poetic Monthly Magazine with this very title. It will appear in the October issue. Feel free to see more of my work in future months at poeticmonthly.com
Here I sit enjoying a calm evening with the hubby, after a long and crazy day. The television is blaring a home improvement show, and we sit anxiously hoping for the phone to ring with an offer on our home of seven years. The girls are settled into bed after a day at pre-school, and two long and torturous hours driving around the area waiting for our home to be viewed. Finally my mind slowly relaxes, forgetting about the worries of the day. This is where I find myself, contemplating success.
There have been many benchmarks in my life that I believed I would experience success once I met them—today I realize that success is something you define for yourself, not something that can be achieved by checking the traditional ‘life-steps’ off a list given to you by this world.
Granted, some things on my checklist are far from average, but it is a checklist nonetheless. I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor, check. I am a nationally ranked HS mascot, check (had to throw this in there just for its sheer randomness). I am a HS graduate within the top 10% of my class, check. I am a college graduate, check. I am a violent crime survivor, check. I am a wife, check. I am a homeowner, check. I am a teacher, check. I am a mom, check. I am a stay-at-home mom, check, check, check, check, and check (that one counts more!). And now I am a published children’s book author and illustrator, check. These are all things that I am proud of, and at a time in my life I would have thought that these things defined me and/or my ‘success’.
I felt a tug on my heartstrings today as I listened to my first radio interview (with poetic monthly blog radio mind you), plus found my book listed at both Barnes and Nobel, and Books-a-Million—success for me is allowing all of the bad and nasty things I have ever experienced to be turned beautiful. I realize now that I have a mission, not just a checklist. I have a mission to reach others with my message of hope, faith, peace and love. I have a mission to teach my children, and hopefully others via my books, that there are things so vastly more important than just income, or status, or degrees. I define my success by my faith. This world is fleeting, but if I can reach one heart and one soul with my message of healing, and lead them to find their home—what better thing could I ever do?
So this is my commission to you, aspiring or current authors—just start. Start looking over your checklist, and your life. Decide for yourself what your definition of success is and go for it. Find your story and share it. You never know, it just might lead someone home.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My life experiences, and a very strong Christian role model in my childhood inspire me to write. I credit my earliest foundations in Christianity to a wonderful woman named Lousie Ritche. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service, and passed away in 2009 from Alzheimer disease .
“Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is my first published work. It aims to help children who have experienced hardships or trauma in their lives to understand that God is by their side.
I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor. I experienced eleven years of intermittent abuse at the hand of a distant family member. I am also an adult attempted kidnapping turned carjacking survivor. You can see my account of that terrible day at http://auntloubooks.weebly.com/the-day-i-was-nearly-kidnapped-and-carjacked.html. I truly felt led to make "Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?" my first and most-important work.
Q: What is your opinion of the world today?
A: This is such a very loaded question and I have very mixed feelings on this topic. As a Christian I see hope, peace and love present in our world today in so very many ways. There are wonderful people living among us today, just as there are the truly hurting and lost. While there is great good taking place and many people still willing to help a fellow neighbor, there is also great evil, self-centeredness, destruction and perversion. I do not, however, believe that any of this sets our world of 'today' apart from our world of 'yesterday'. I just think we hear more about the negative than ever before.
I guess my most accurate and direct answer would be that I see great unmet potential in the world today just as at anytime in our history.
Q: What is your contribution to society?
A: My books. My honesty. My heart. ...I desire to be as transparent and honest about my life as possible. I believe that this action alone will facilitate healing and change. If I can reach one child with the message of salvation and healing then I feel that I will have accomplished my life goal.
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blogs, and more at: www.brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or purchasing a book - each book sold raises funds for charity as well!