New author Emma Broch Stuart (aka IFW Editor Wendy Chorot) shares her passion for seeing women and men released from bondage and healed from relational wounds. Her newly released book, Broken Umbrellas, takes the reader on her personal journey from the pit of despair and brokenness to the healing arms of Jesus. Along the way, she allows the reader an intimate look into the relationship baggage she hauled around most of her life—even crossing the Atlantic with it—before surrendering to God’s radical healing.
1. Tell us a little more about your nonfiction.
Once upon a time, brokenness claimed so many areas of my life, and every one of those areas were relational in nature: bitterness and shame from past intimate relationships; wounds and scars from abuse; insecurities from relating with women I felt had it together when I did not; feelings of failure as a mother. It was all relationship stuff. When I realized that humanity tries to relate with one another in spite of their brokenness, God asked me to write about my own personal struggle with broken areas of my life. And voilà! Broken Umbrellas was born.
2. What was the driving force behind writing Broken Umbrellas?
This is a good question. I feel most people are really bad at one thing in life like sports, or math, or sewing. For me it was relationships. Even becoming a Christian didn’t save me from a broken marriage. And I kept asking myself, “Why can’t I get this right?” And God showed me that when we have unhealthy hearts, we have unhealthy relationships. (That goes for friendship relationships, too.) Then he took me on an incredible 13-month journey that healed me in the most radical way. I wrote Broken Umbrellas because I don’t believe I’m the only one who has struggled with relationships.
3. What do you want your readers to take away from reading your book?
Hope. Pure and simple, yet profound hope. Hope for all their hurting relationships and a desire to be healed, healthy individuals. I want my readers to see—and believe—that God is bigger than any brokenness they have suffered or caused. And I pray Broken Umbrellas is a tool to bring my readers into a deeper knowing of God, the only one who can heal them.
4. What writing projects are you working on now?
I’m working with WhiteFire Publishing on a fun and inspiring piece called Barn Doors. Barn Doors is a collection of short stories about everyday life and how God speaks to me . . . and how I hear him. It releases next spring.
I also have a children’s series with DeWard Publishing called The Keeper Series. “The Windkeeper” is the first in the series and looks to be ready for this fall. An illustrator has it as we speak, bringing my words to colorful life. “The Starkeeper” will follow, and “The Rainkeeper” will complete the series. One way God speaks to me is through the pages of his Word, and I incorporate that into these stories.
5. Where can readers learn more about your book?
Broken Umbrellas is for sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle version, which you can find HERE.
6. How can readers connect with you?
I LOVE connecting with people! Readers can find my blog on my website: http://emmabrochstuart.com/
They can also find updates on my Facebook author page:
Or by emailing me:
7. Where did you get the name Broken Umbrellas?
At my precious grandson’s funeral, I spotted a broken blue umbrella flapping in the winter wind. The woman holding it was oblivious to the fact that snow was falling on her. When she moved her broken umbrella to offer protection to the man beside her, my heart was overwhelmed with the symbolism of humanity doing the same thing—“protecting” (or loving, serving, relating) in spite of our brokenness.
8. Tell us about living overseas.
I credit a lot of who I am today on my experiences in Europe. There’s something about getting out of your comfort zone that forces you to relate differently, engage in the world around you at a different level. And most importantly, see beyond yourself. I have dipped my toes in the Mediterranean, hiked mountains in the French Alps, drank wine with my baguette and cheese, breastfed under the Eiffel Tower, and made a complete fool of myself many times as I butchered the language. I have been misunderstood, ignored, lost in a big city, and served fish with the head still attached. But I have also been kissed by complete strangers, given free bus rides when I didn’t have exact change, served delicious cuisine, and most importantly, blessed with knowing Christ at a deeper level. My daughter was born there, my first grandchild buried there, and, while there, I collected more than a decade of memories—both good and bad.
Living in a foreign country shows you just how strong you really are.
9. Why did you choose to write under a penname?
Because Broken Umbrellas gives the reader a very intimate and vulnerable look at my past, I chose to write under a penname out of respect for the people I speak about. Of course, I did not have to, and if any of them were to read my book, I have written it in a respectful way that they should not take offense. And I have decided to keep my penname for all of my writing projects. The name Emma Broch Stuart is very special to me; it is the middle name of each of my three children.
As a bonus to this beautiful interview, Emma Broch Stuart is giving away a free copy of Broken Umbrellas to one of you! All you have to do to qualify is leave a comment on this blog. Next Monday, a winner will be randomly selected and contacted by Jessica Nelson (in the form of a reply to his/her comment in this blog) with further information about how to collect his/her prize.
Thank you again to Emma Broch Stuart (and Wendy Chorot) for granting this beautifully poignant interview!