Today I am very pleased to welcome author Carmen Schober to I & R. Carmen (www.carmenschober.com), author of After She Falls and Pretty Little Pieces, is a wife and mother, a proud Cuban-American, and a woman of eclectic interests, ranging from gritty combative sports to feminine design shows. She writes unexpected romance novels for the modern woman, with relatable but inspirational heroines and heroes. When she's not writing fiction, she blogs about Christianity, motherhood, writing, and everything in between. She earned a master's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State, and she currently lives in Manhattan, Kansas.
Today, Carmen is going to talk to us about her latest novel Pretty Little Pieces and she is giving one eBook copy away! Carmen, welcome to Interviews & Reviews!
How many books have you written?
I have written two. After She Falls was my debut novel in 2021, and Pretty Little Pieces was just released last week. Both are contemporary Christian romances blended with women’s fiction, and they were published by Bethany House.
How exciting! You are off to a great start. What inspired you to write Pretty Little Pieces?
The premise of Pretty Little Pieces is that the main character (Georgina Havoc) is “the next Joanna Gaines” until her life falls apart. A lot of different inspirations went into it, but I originally had the idea of “the next Joanna Gaines” because I met an adorable Christian couple at our local Farmers Market and thought “they could be the next Chip and Jo.” The finished novel veers off in a very different direction, but that was the first seed of inspiration.
It's amazing how and when inspiration strikes. Is there a message that you want readers to grasp?
Something I always want readers to grasp is that God is present in our everyday lives. We tend to compartmentalize spiritual things and separate from the physical, but the truth is that all of life is spiritual. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we must respond to our Creator, and how we respond comes with very high stakes. That’s why I use stories to show readers His power and plan even in the “normal” parts of life.
That's so important. How were you saved?
I was saved at a church service when I was six years old. My parents were with me, and they observed me sobbing at the end of a sermon. They were very shocked and concerned at first, but then they realized my heart was being moved in a powerful way. Although I didn’t fully understand what I was hearing at that time (and it took many more years for me to become a mature Christian), I know that’s when I received the Holy Spirit because I’ve never stopped caring about God since then.
What do you do when you aren't writing?
I spend time with my precious family. My husband is wonderful, and we have three sweet kiddos aged 4, 2, and 1. I also enjoy watching home renovation shows, boxing, and napping. You can never get enough naps when you have three small children!
Wow! I'm impressed you get any writing done at all because the general rule for moms is - you nap when the kids nap, right? So, what is your favourite Bible verse that keeps you going?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
As I get older, I understand what Paul was talking about—that the Christian life is both a gift and a fight. We cannot passively participate or give up. We are called to lives of self-discipline, transformation, and victory.
Amen to that! Thank you, Carmen, for sharing with us today.
Congratulations to Joan Arning!