For more info on Nana's Bible Stories:http://www.nanasbiblestories.com
Guest Author Roberta Simpson tells why we are never too old to be used of God:
Your personal story is one of obedience. You didn’t plan to become an author. Tell us about some of the challenges you faced from family, friends, etc. on your journey.
Answer: Challenges do come, and they come often. Some years ago, I did a writing seminar, here in Barbados. I remember being so excited, as I did want to write, but up until then, I had only written articles for the newspaper, and a few plays for church.
The gentleman who read and corrected all that I had written scribbled all over them with a nasty little red pen. On the bottom he wrote, “You can’t write!” I shrugged and thought, “I have five kids to raise and I have lots to do, so never mind!” He was a very influential man in Barbados – in fact, he was a well known Pastor! Lesson to be learned in this? When God says you can do it, even a well known Pastor cannot get in the way with his negative comments!
Years later, when I knew God spoke to me about writing, I felt excited and flew home (I mean drove!) and started to write. I believe what was important at that time, was obeying God, and not listening to man!
Friends and especially family have totally encouraged me on my adventure, and this is really special!
The seven stories featured in Nana’s Bible Stories are biblically correct – but, you have a unique style of storytelling. You have created stories within stories. Would you please explain why you used this style?
Answer: When reading the Bible, I tend to stop and meditate on what I have read, and often, especially looking at characters in the Bible, I wonder how they felt, where they lived, etc. My heart always went out to the leper who Jesus healed. For instance, did he have a family? His heart must have been broken at having to leave home. I believe other people—including children—might wonder the same things…so I thought it would be interesting to develop stories around the stories.
I do a lot of research and I insist on maintaining the actual story from the Bible. I do not remove the tiniest meaning from the Word!
I had a wonderful time writing “A Father’s Miracle.” Here is a little boy, who I invented, who just loved his Abba – Daddy. His dad gets sick and has to move away from his home, and all he loves. I wanted kids to be able to identify with this child. It could have been them, and many kids face this sad experience – maybe not leprosy, but sickness and death!
I believe kids will be encouraged and inspired, like the little boy, and pray for loved ones who are sick, and have faith that they will be healed by Jesus, who is the same today as He was yesterday!
Your family has a rich history…tell us a little about your parents and grandparents.
Answer: My life was very interesting with the parents and grandparents that I had. A lot of it was wonderful, but there were difficult times as well. I loved my life as a little girl. My father was a big band leader in England, and we had two pianos in our house. A grand piano in the living room, and a small piano in his music room. Music was such a huge part of my life, and I remember performing in front of his friends, singing and dancing! I even went to a few of his performances, which was a great treat, especially when I went up on the stage with him.
My mother was very beautiful and made a few movies with my father. My grandfather and grandmother were the last Rajah and Ranee of Sarawak. My grandmother, who was JM Barrie’s inspiration for “Wendy” in Peter Pan, was quite a character—she was an artist and an author as well. She took me to many interesting places, many of which she should not have taken me, like scary movies!
When I was around 9 years old, my parents got divorced and I thought it was the end of the world. She remarried to an American Colonel, who for a while was my hero, as he could get unlimited candy, coca cola, and chewing gum! Unfortunately, he was not a hero and that marriage also ended in divorce.
We learn difficult lessons in life, and I can relate to many people because of the things I had to face, including World War II, and being hated and singled out for being Jewish. Through all of the pain and heartache, I loved my family very much.
Some of your royalties from Nana’s Bible Stories will be going to children’s charities. Please explain.
Answer: While we were working with Jane Seymour on her narration, we learned about all the wonderful work that she was doing on behalf of various children’s charities. It was touching to see first hand the work that is being done and actually meeting some of the young people who are benefiting from her charity work. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of my book will go to these charities, including City Hearts in Los Angeles.
I am also involved the Children’s Trust in Barbados. They do a marvelous job of helping, sick, and underprivileged children on this island.
It is a great joy to be writing, knowing that the Lord is blessing children both spiritually and financially through Nana’s Bible Stories.
Do you think we ever become too old for God to use us?
Answer: Absolutely not, not, not! As long as we have breath we can be used. As long as our heart is ticking, we can move out of our comfort zone! Even if bad health or accidents get in our way, we can pray, pray, pray!