It’s Tuesday around these parts and you know what that means: Author Tuesday returns! I have a whole lot of writer friends who’ve pushed out a whole lot of books (because books, you see, are kind of like babies) – and I can’t WAIT to continue to showcase their personhood and their words. Check back every Tuesday over the next couple of months; read the story behind the story, and enter to win whatever they’re graciously giving away. And, of course, spread the word!
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? My name is Esther Emery. I’m a writer and the daughter of two writers, and an off-grid homesteader in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. For three years I lived in a yurt (a round wall tent) with my husband and three children, but now we live in a cabin that my husband built himself.
Let’s talk about your book; what, in a nutshell, is your book about, anyway? What Falls From the Sky is a spiritual memoir, telling the story of how I dropped off the Internet for a year and how that experience changed my life and my heart. The title refers to my constant habit of looking out the windows. When I didn’t have computer screens to turn to – because I was off of this kind of electronic entertainment – I looked out glass windows, and my soul began to connect deeply with the patterns of the weather.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? I was a mess when this whole adventure started. I took a year off the Internet as much as a lark as anything. When everything is all messed up anyway it seems more logical to do crazy things. But even when I realized that the experiment itself was going to force me to take time and space to seek healing in my life, I hung on and got through and found my way to a beautiful truth that broken things can and do get better. I wrote my story to share that hope, that it isn’t over until it’s over, and transformation is always possible.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? I’m not sure that my story needs to change anyone. But I hope it feeds into the reservoir of strength and hope. I believe very strongly that we all are guided from within. It takes a lot of courage to believe in that, and also to have the humility to accept that guidance. But when you can hear and see that someone else has broken through some of those obstacles, it can nourish a kind of collective strength and resilience. That’s what I’m here for.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing your book? Well, this story is for the writers. I had an amazing editor at Zondervan, named Stephanie Smith. She writes a newsletter called the Slant Letter. And the real alchemy, of transformation for me, was catalyzed by her. I already had a book when I got to her, but she asked of me that I reach deeper, be more truthful with it. She asked me to courageously enter my own story without being maudlin or sentimental. I literally cried. I literally threw up. But after that process I understood so much more what had happened to me. And I understood how much compassion and peace is possible for me, even moving forward as a human and a Christian woman and a writer.
How and where can we find you on the Internet? I have a website at estheremery.com, which is a good overview of everything I do. I have two YouTube channels. The one called “Esther Emery” has some storytelling and some talks, but mostly a lot of instruction in homesteading and pioneer skills. And the other YouTube channel, called “Fouch-o-matic Off Grid,” is my family’s story of moving off the grid and building our own home. I’m pretty active on Instagram, so I’d love to see you over there!
Friends, I’m reading Esther’s book right now, and I can’t recommend What Falls from the Sky highly enough. It’ll bring you back to Walden Pond and remind you that your cell phone is just an inanimate object, and it’ll probably bring you closer to God, too. It’s LOVELY and gorgeous and All The Things. And I’d love for you to have a copy of the book for yourself! Enter by leaving a comment telling Esther why you’re excited to consume her words; contest ends at midnight (PST) on Sunday, April 16th.
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