Monday, August 6, 2012

Interview with Marcia Moston

I recently reviewed Marcia Moston's Call of a Coward: the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife.  Marcia was graciously agreed to an interview for my blog.  I'm super excited to share it with you, because the story behind the publication of her book is as exciting as the book itself! And don't forget to stop by here and leave a comment for the chance to win a copy!

Please tell us about yourself.

Although I hold degrees in sociology and Christian education, most of what I’ve learned has been by the proverbial seat of my pants. I’ve taught English in a Christian high school, worked with orphans in a Mayan village, led mission teams to Central America, delivered Yellowbooks, stuffed vending machines, and lived in everything from tepees to parsonages.

I love to share the stories and lessons I’ve learned along the way about what a very real God can do with the smallest of our offerings. My first and most dear word from the Lord is Be still and know that I am God—Psalm 46:10.

Your writing experience is unusual in that until 2008 you’d never written anything, but by 2011 you had a book contract with Thomas Nelson. How did that happen?

I am grateful to have experienced such abundant grace and blessing on my work. When we moved to the South a few years ago, I had a singular image in my mind: buy a house with a pool where I could sit and write. Although I didn’t know what I would write, nor did I know how to write a book, it was as though my story’s time had come, and I needed a nesting spot.

I took a writing workshop taught by the editor of the city journal. At the end of the class, she offered me my own weekly column. That’s when I realized I could write something that people would read.

I continued to take workshops and go to conferences. In 2010, my manuscript won at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. I also won a self-publishing package, but turned it down because I felt constrained to wait.

Later in the year, I entered the Women of Faith Writing Contest and won a self- publishing package from WestBow Press. Unbeknownst to me, Thomas Nelson was looking at my book, and a month after it came out, offered me a contract.

What made you decide to become an author?

Unlike my fiction writing friends, I never had voices carrying on in my head (at least not the kind you talk about) or flashes of the perfect plot. But threading throughout all the other things I wanted to do in life (astronomer, archeologist, doctor) was the idea that someday I’d write a book. Of course, as Sholem Asch so succinctly points out: “Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.” A few years ago I realized I did.

Tell us about Call of a Coward-the God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife.

It’s about laying aside your hopes, dreams, and fears to follow God even though where He’s leading seems to require credentials you lack and courage you don’t think you have. And about discovering just how personal and gracious He is. Here’s my opening:

The problem with promising God you’ll follow Him wherever He leads is that you just might have to go.

I suspect it would be easier if you were certain of His calling—like stepping out the door and seeing the lilac bush on fire and hearing a voice commanding you. But when it’s your husband who is delivering the message—well, that leaves a little room for wonder.

At least that’s how I felt when my husband rocked my comfortable middle-class afternoon with his belief God was calling us to pack up and move to a Mayan village in Guatemala.

Permission link: Excerpted from Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle Class House-Wife. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.

How did you reconcile the fact that your husband felt called to Guatamala before you did even though you had both surrendered your life to follow where God would lead you?  Do you have any advice for a wife in that situation?

When I was first married  after a long time on my own,(as a non Christian) I heard my pastor say "Ladies, give your husbands the space to make a mistake. Trust the Holy Spirit with your own lives." I've always remembered (haven't always practiced though) that advice.  It took us almost two years to get get in a place where I could agree to go to Guatemala.  I thought about how I would feel standing before the Lord and saying "sorry, I couldn't let my husband do what you put on his heart cuz I didn't like it." I've always run to the Holy Spirit with my concerns and trusted him to either change the situation or change me. Actually last Sunday a pastor from Africa spoke at church about his school for pastors. When I saw my husband's eyes light up I went into "No Way!" mode. I immediately had to turn it over to the Lord--dumped all the reasons why it wasn't a good idea...then WAIT.

In Call of a Coward, you vividly describe the difficulties of shopping for food in Guatamala. One of my favorite scenes is where you write about buying beef directly off the side of a dead cow. Did any of your experiences in Guatamala change your perspective on food?

We didn't eat pork or pig products for at least a year after returning. That's because we saw what the pigs in the village ate.  I did develop a love affair with black beans, rice sofrito and limonada.  Now I mix limeade with seltzer, but it's not the same. Hot sauce, beans, rice and chicken and tortillas are still my favorite foods.  On get-the-mail week we'd drive a few hour to a tourist town Panachel where we had a post box and there I ate at a little place that served yogurt (we seldom had dairy because we didnt have a fridge) with tropical fruit, fresh squeezed limonada and a bagel! That was my all time favorite meal. I still remenber sitting under the tropical foliage of the outside patio and having that breakfast.

Are you working on a second book?

Yes. My working title is Going South-the God of my Mistakes. When we moved south, we didn’t expect our plans to go south too—but it’s really a story of hope.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

It was with fear and trembling that I put my name on the same line as Moses’, but the story is not about me or Moses; it’s about the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Thank you, Marcia, for taking the time to answer my questions!  If you want to learn more about Marcia, her ministry and her book, please visist her website www.marciamoston.comCall of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors or from your neighborhood bookstore. 


  1. Is Marcia local? She seems like such a delightful person.

    1. Addy, yes, she lives in the upstate. And you're right - she is a delightful person!

  2. A thoroughly enjoyable exchange--thank you both!


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