Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Marsha Roberts if you’ve not already had the pleasure. Marsha has penned a book that is not only delightful to read, but it is an inspiration to all of us who’ve never quite fit into the “mold” set before us by society. Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant is the title of her funny, touching, and loving story story of her life told as parables for living a happy and fulfilling life.
I’m so happy you’re here to talk about your writing, Marsha. I’m enjoying your book, and it’s always a great honor and pleasure to get to know the authors behind the words. I have a very specific vision of myself as a writer–that’s why I use the photo of the old manual typewriter for Author Wednesday–so I always like to ask authors about their visions. What is your vision of yourself as a writer?
Great question! I think of myself as a spinner of tales; it’s just that my tales happen to be true, pulled from my life – good times, bad times, adventures, hopes and dreams, and dogs! Telling someone about yourself with total honesty can be and should be very personal, almost intimate. When I write my stories, I imagine the reader sitting across from me, and I feel like I’m talking directly to my companion, the reader.
You’ve accomplished that very well. Reading your book makes me feel as if I’m sitting at the kitchen table with you, sharing a cup of coffee. Did you try to convey a particular theme to your readers?
My main theme is how incredibly magical life is. In my experience, there are times in life when the magic is so clear and vivid that it just about slaps you across the face! Then there are those times where it seems to have totally disappeared. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that we forget how miraculous our very existence is. I know, I’ve done it many times. My book is about the crazy amount of faith that it takes to find the magic (the joy!) in our lives every day. Finding it and keeping it.
That is such an important message for everyone. I’m curious about the title. How did you choose it?
HA! I know it is an insanely long title! OK, it happened like this. First off, it was called The Parable of the Tomato Plant because at a very low point in my life, I found this little story I had written about the unlikely gift of tomato plants from a surly neighbor and the unexpected lesson that came out of it. I wrote it down on a few legal pad pages and tucked it away in a drawer I rarely used. I totally forgot about it, but it was waiting for me and was there at the precise moment I needed encouragement. One of life’s many little miracles. That “parable” was the beginning of my book, but it grew into something much bigger than I had initially intended. In a way, it had a life of its own. When I finished the first draft, it was like God was tugging at my sleeve, “Marsha, it’s not enough, you have to go deeper, you have to share more.” And so I did and that’s when it became Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant.
I love it. After reading some of the book, I think I know where the “mutinous” part originates, but please share with others why you used that particular word.
The little girl on the cover? That’s me. When I came across that photograph, the first word that came to mind was ~ mutinous!
Yes, that certainly is conveyed in that look. Are you going to write more in this genre?
Absolutely. I definitely plan to write two more books in the “Mutinous Boomer” Series, but not just yet. I spent most of my adult life as a producer, first with films and videos, but mainly stage. My husband is Bob Rector, who you have also interviewed about his incredible book Unthinkable Consequences. He wrote and directed our theatrical production Letters from the Front, and I produced it. This beloved show toured American military bases all over the world for fifteen years. In fact, a lot of the stories in my book revolve around the miraculous nature of that project. Letters has been on leave for a while (which gave us both time to write our books!), but now it’s time for it to be on active duty again. The show has always been described as “healing,” and we know that the troops, their families, and the veterans need us now more than ever. And we miss them. In the coming months, my focus will be on getting our show on the road again. Which will give me more stories to tell!
I loved Bob’s book. And what a wonderful project to be able to put together as a couple. You two are the golden couple! We all get those reviews, so tell me the best thing that’s ever been said about your book from a reviewer?
Well, if you mean an “official” review, Kirkus Reviews called my book “An optimistic look at the magic of life.” Perfect! But, if you are referring to reader reviews, there’s the one who said she loved my book so much she read it twice and the guy who called it “5* Soul Candy!” But, I think the one who summed it up the best was author Diane Harman who wrote, “This is simply a wonderful book which offers hope to everyone who has ever struggled with almost any human condition. Confessions belongs on the nightstand. When hope is not at hand, it can be.”
I was just thinking that this book is a wonderful one for restoring faith. I’ve been bookmarking like crazy. What else do you want readers to know about Confessions?
I’m very pleased to announce that Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant book is now available as an audiobook! For many years, the star of Letters From The Front was a wonderful actress by the name of Della Cole. Della and I have traveled the globe together entertaining American troops. I share some of these adventures in my book, and since Della was actually there during many of them, she is able to bring a personal warmth to the narration that you rarely hear in an audiobook. Just like you said eariler, reviewers have often commented that my style of writing is like sitting down with an old friend, sharing life lessons over a cup of coffee. Della’s approach to the narration definitely captures that tone, and I couldn’t be happier that she’s my “voice.” She’s fabulous!
That sounds like a wonderful partnership. Marsha, it’s been a pleasure to have you stop by today. I wish you and Bob success on all your future endeavors and hope you’ll both keep in touch.
Thanks so much for having me here on Author Wednesday, Patricia. You are a lovely host!
About Marsha Robert: After years of producing Corporate Theatre for clients such as IBM and Coca-Cola, Marsha Roberts developed, produced and marketed Letters From The Front, the only professional theatrical production to tour military bases around the world. This heartfelt show touched hundreds of thousands of lives, toured stateside and abroad for fifteen years, was the first play ever to perform at the Pentagon and became known as The World’s Most Decorated Play. The daunting process of getting this never-been-done-before production off the ground and onto a worldwide stage gave her a keen awareness of what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles and find the miraculous in the commonplace. She shares many of her experiences in her inspirational memoir Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant.