Today’s author spotlight focuses on Sarah Wilson, a Kiwi (i.e. New Zealander)-soon-to-be-Brit mama who writes words of encouragement and advice to other mamas seeking more successful, joyful, and Spirit-led mothering of their kids. Sarah and I met through our writers guild and, although we have not yet met because of the distance, we have spoken and collaborated through the guild and via Facebook and email.
I have to admit that I’m fairly obsessed with Kiwis, in general, and New Zealand, specifically. It’s been a fascination since 1989, when I saw a poster in a college friend’s apartment of the amazing, verdant NZ mountains pouring down into the stunning waters of the NZ coastline. Instalove. (I don’t know which mountains; it doesn’t really matter to me, b/c I’m too far gone to care. I just want to be there.)
Clearly, Sarah’s book is about motherhood; but there’s much more to it than may at first meet the eye. For the next ten minutes, I hope you enjoy reading more about it in this conversational interview with Sarah. Please consider purchasing it, either for yourself or for a woman you know who’s involved in the early years of mothering who could use a little coffee conversation concerning heart matters with someone a few years ahead of her. Perhaps consider gifting it along with a box of tissues and a bar of dark chocolate…
Q1: What sets this book apart from other parenting books?
If you take a look around Amazon.com, your local bookstore, or other book sources, you’ll see there’s no shortage of books on parenting, mothering, and, for Christians, how to parent/mother in godly ways. So, my first question for you, Sarah, is, “Why another book on parenting and mothering?”
Sarah: Well there seem to be many pressures on families today. New mothers have to navigate a minefield of conflicting advice and often parent without close support networks around. Consequently, many mothers of young children sometimes feel unable to trust their instincts. This book offers hope and healing to mothers of young children who have overwhelmed hearts – those, like me, who have sometimes felt alone, fearful, discouraged, or just plain weary in their journey through early motherhood. This book discusses what it is like to be a mother of young children today, and encourages mothers to trust in God’s abundant grace, developing confidence as they parent their little ones. Each chapter invites the reader into important discussions, from the pressures and expectations that mothers grapple with, to mess, miscarriage, marriage, and postnatal depression. This book aims to minister to the hearts of all mothers, whether they are married or parenting alone, staying at home or going out to work. A must-read for any mother immersed in the terrific yet testing time of raising little ones, and for anyone who wishes to thrive rather than just survive in the trenches.
Q2: Behind every book, there’s always a story. Why did you write Heart Matters?
Sarah: When I had my first child 8 and a half years ago, I longed for a book that put into words what I was feeling and experiencing. Of course I loved motherhood, and it was amazing, but it was also much harder than I ever imagined it would be. It was a steep learning curve! I decided to write the book that I needed to read in my early years of motherhood.
That is so needed, Sarah, by so many early-motherhood women who wonder if they’re doing it “right” or whether they’re even sane.
Q3: Clearly, you’ve written this, then, for early-years-of-motherhood women. True?
Sarah: Yes, this book is for anyone in the trenches of early motherhood. If you are a Mum that has it all together, then you don’t need to read this book. But if you have ever felt weary, struggling, or in need of encouragement (isn’t that most of us?), then it is my hope that this book would be a balm for your soul.
Q4: How would you sum up Heart Matters in one sentence?
As authors, we both know you have to have your “elevator speech” down pat, just in case you have a 15-second ride on an elevator with a publishing house executive! So, what’s your elevator speech for Heart Matters?
Sarah: This book aims to encourage the hearts of mothers in the early years.
Natalie: OK, well that was pretty succinct… lol
Q5: What was the hardest part to write?
Sarah: Being vulnerable hasn’t come easily to this private person. Sharing my heart in the pages of this book has been a brave step for me.
Q6: How did you find time to write a book while parenting?
I researched and wrote my book over an embarrassingly-large number of years as my husband and I were growing our family, too, and I know: It. Ain’t. Easy.
Sarah: I’ve squeezed in writing in the small pockets of time that I have available – when the children are at school & kindergarten, and late into the night.
Natalie: I totally get that! Many-a late night I spent burnin’ the midnight oil. And the wee-morning-hours oil, along with whatever daytime-hours oil I could sneak in, too. And pretty much whatever oil there was to be found in this house metaphor. Coulda used the Shunamite-woman’s miracle…
Q7: What is your next book going to be?
Sarah: My next book is going to be about restoring hope in depression.
Natalie: Excellent. Many people, including Christians, face this beast in one way or another and to greater and lesser degrees. I look forward to knowing what your message of hope will be.
Q8: How does Heart Matters relate to human trafficking?
Natalie: We share another common interest, which is that of abolishing human trafficking and all forms of human slavery. It’s something we’re both quite passionate about and desire to effect change through our work, both in our field of writing and through our platforms as authors. Aren’t you doing something with your book toward this effort, too?
Sarah: Yes, by purchasing a copy of my book you will help free people from slavery. All royalties will be donated to A21 campaign – a campaign to abolish modern day slavery. You can learn more about the organization the donations will go to at www.A21.com.
Natalie: Awesome. Thank you, Sarah, for both your time in this interview about your book and for using your book for an even greater good!
Dear readers, now you know what I meant by “more than at first meets the eye.” Consider who might receive encouragement from Heart Matters in Early Motherhood and please do consider gifting it, perhaps for one of the upcoming holidays, during which time many mothers of young children s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e with unmet expectations, hopes of perfect holidays dashed, and what to do with too many toys. You might be a vehicle of real, true encouragement for them
Heart Matters in Early Motherhood is available in paperback and ebook, here.
Sarah J. Wilson is a wife and mother to three little lovelies, a “Director of Domestic Affairs,” currently living in Dunedin, New Zealand, but about to move with her family to England! A psychologist by training, she practised in special education before her children were born. Since her children arrived on the scene she has taught a little at the local university, completed Christian counselling and prayer ministry training, and has led the prayer ministry at her church. Sarah is a keen blogger and a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild. Other interests include playing music and having fun with graphic design, photography and all things creative.