Episode 162: Courtney Siebring Interview and How Each Life Is Important

In this episode, we interview Courtney Siebring whose book Little Spark of Life just launched in September. She shares so many good things in this interview! You won’t want to miss it!

Our Guest: Courtney Siebring

Courtney Siebring is a creative artist currently living in Colorado Springs with her husband and daughter.  Herdebut children’s book, Little Spark of Life is fueled by her passion for the unborn and their mamas as well as her own experience as a foster and adoptive parent. Her devotion to Christ, background in theatre, current work as a voiceover artist, and long-time practice of writing poetry informs the way she sees and interacts with the world. 

Show Notes:

(00:10): Introduction
(01:10): Little Spark of Life – about the story
(02:19): Excerpt from book
(03:58): Getting involved with the Pro-Life Community in Novia Scotia, foster care, and adoption
(05:50): Voiceover work
(07:14): Where to find the book/publisher
(08:19): The importance of imagination
(11:44): Closing and important links
(13:09): Giveaway details

Books Discussed in this Episode:

Transcript with Links:

Terrie:

Welcome to “Books That Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books that help us with everyday discipleship every day, sparking important conversations with our children. We’re so happy to be back from our little break. This is our beginning of our fall season on “Books That Spark” and we are so excited to be back. We have a very special interview starting today and we have several other exciting interviews coming up in the next few weeks, so we hope you won’t miss any of those, it will really bless you. Today we have a special guest. Her name is Courtney Siebring, she is a writer and a voiceover artist. We’re just very excited for her to tell you all about her brand new book. Well, thank you, Courtney, for joining us today, I am so glad you’re here.

Courtney:

Oh, thank you. Me too.

Terrie:

I want to talk about, of course, this is your debut book, right? This is your first children’s book being published.

Courtney:

Yes, it is.

Terrie:

And it launched on September 12th. Alright, tell us about this wonderful little book.

Courtney:

Well, this book leans in on a conversation between a pregnant mom and her little boy, and like most little boys, he is insatiably curious and she explains in a fun and an imaginative way what is going on inside of her and explains to him about the developing life inside of her and simultaneously reassures him that he and every life is special and unique and a gift from God.

Terrie:

Well, that’s wonderful. I looked at some of the comments on it and it says it’s a wonderful introduction to the sanctity of life, and like you said, that each of us is special and has a purpose. And I think what a treasure, what a wonderful story to have for children and to start from day one, them understanding how important life is.

Courtney:

Absolutely, yeah. It’s becoming more and more necessary, I think.

Terrie:

Yeah, for sure. In this book also, because I haven’t gotten to read it yet since it hasn’t launched yet when we’re recording this, so do you deal with the different stages of development in the womb? Is that part of it?

Courtney:

Yeah, absolutely, and I can read a little bit of it too, if you would like.

Terrie:

Yeah, that would be wonderful, sure.

Courtney:

I’ll just read a few stanzas for you.

Terrie:

Okay.

Courtney:

“God decided a new life should begin just like this. A near miss that explodes in a one-of-a-kind kiss. Two tiny bits from father, from mother combine. And this sparks a new sister or brother. All the instructions are written inside to create this new life when these two cells collide.” So you see, it starts at the moment of conception. It does go on, it talks about how never again will a person like this grace the world with her presence; she’ll never exist. It talks about the uniqueness of each person from the very beginning and then further on, it goes month by month talking about the development of the baby inside.

Terrie:

Oh, that’s so wonderful. I love that, and it shows so much. The science is in there as well as the spiritual, and I love that.

Courtney:

Yes, and I mean, the book started a long time ago, as books do. My daughter, who’s now nine since about the age of three, was obsessed with everything pregnancy and childbirth and was just completely fascinated by it. So there is an aspect of writing this book where it was for her, and when we were at the library looking for different age appropriate books to explore this miracle, we found some books that we enjoyed, but also came up short with what we were looking for. We’re drawn to books that have rich language and that are a little more on the poetic side, so to combine the science, the spiritual, and also the heart was what I set out to do.

Terrie:

Oh, that’s great. In your biography, you mentioned that you have been a foster mom and an adoptive parent. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey?

Courtney:

Yeah. Well, we lived in Nova Scotia for many, many years. We moved to Colorado Springs just a couple of years ago, and while we were there, we went through the process of becoming foster parents, and we had a few children in our care before our daughter came along, and yeah, by the grace of God, were able to adopt her, and now our time and attention is focused on her. And you know, as I was saying about the writing of the book was inspired by her fascination with pregnancy and childbirth, but also around the same time that I started writing the book, my husband and I became involved in the local pro-life community there in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s kind of a funny story. We were on a really long trip. We like to take camper trips sometimes, so we were on this month-long trip and three, four nights in a row, he was at one end of the camper. After we put our daughter to bed, I was at the other end of the camper on our phones doing research, and we checked in on each other the fourth or fifth night, “Hey, are you doing okay?” you know? And come to find out, he and I had both been researching abortion legislation in Canada and in the United States, and just comparing and contrasting and listening to podcasts and watching videos from organizations like Live Action and Students for Life and starting to educate ourselves. We were really shocked at what we found. We thought we knew, you know what I mean? So the book was also born out of that period of time in my life. It’s very much influenced by my experience, my husband’s experience as foster parents and adoptive parents. Yeah, it’s all connected.

Terrie:

Yeah, and helping children recognize that they’re not a mistake, that every child is a gift from God. And yeah, such an important lesson for every child. You also are a voiceover artist, right?

Courtney:

Yes, I am.

Terrie:

You have to tell us about that.

Courtney:

Oh, well, honestly, it started when I was three years old, which is another funny story, but my brother and I did radio commercials when we were three and five, respectively. We did that throughout childhood, and I’m actually still very, very close friends with the gentleman that we started all that with, and he is the one that, when I came back to it in my late twenties, early thirties, gave me some advice on how to set up my home studio, so that’s kind of cool. I’ve been doing it as an adult for the last 15 or so years. So my background is in theater, and when my daughter came into my life, I started focusing a little bit more on voiceover. It’s just more flexible than nightly four-hour rehearsals,

Terrie:

Right.

Courtney:

Yeah.

Terrie:

Well, that’s awesome. So you do mostly like commercials or…?

Courtney:

Yeah, commercial work is kind of your bread and butter. It’s funny because I’m a commercial muter. I confess, I don’t listen to them. So when I’m doing it, honestly, I’m just focusing on the craft because your listeners might be surprised to know, but there’s quite a bit of craft involved, even doing a commercial. But I’ve narrated some books, I had the pleasure of narrating the audiobook for A Little Spark of Life, which was a really cool experience, but I’ve done some books, I’ve done some narration for television shows and things like that. Those, I really enjoy.

Terrie:

That’s cool, and I just realized we never did say the name of your book, did we? Until just now. Little Spark of Life is the name of the book. It is available on Paraclete publisher’s website as well as Amazon, and it is available right now for pre-order when this airs. I believe it will already have launched, but just in case, it is available for people to order, so I wanted to make sure about that.

Courtney:

Yeah, absolutely. And when they pre-order through Paraclete Press, there’s a lot of fun freebies and coloring sheets and activities for kids, so that’s a great route to go when you’re pre-ordering the book in Paraclete Press’s website.

Terrie:

Yeah, that’s great. We interviewed Laura Sassi just like a month ago, and she has a book launching about this same time, and we sent them to that website too because she had a lot of freebies there. So I think it’s really neat, the things they do on their website. Yeah, it’s a good company. Well, Courtney, as we’ve been talking, you mentioned the power of imagination being important to you and in the creation of this book. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Courtney:

Yes, I can. One of the books that I have read since publishing Little Spark of Life is called Books That Build Character, and it’s a fabulous book, it talks about how literature is one way that we can employ our children’s natural sense of awe and wonder, and we can really capture their imagination for good, and there are a couple of quotes from that book that I really use as sort of guiding lights as I’m going through this publishing process, and one of them encourages parents to take steps to educate their child’s imagination because it’s a sure bet that his or her imagination will be seduced by the power of popular culture, if we as parents don’t. There’s influences coming at our children all the time. Nothing is neutral. We’re in the midst of this forward momentum all the time, and our children are as well, so just that encouragement to put before them books, music, media that inspires their imagination. Another quote from this book, something to the effect of “imagination is one of the keys to virtue”. So it’s not enough to know what is right, but you also have to desire what is right, and desire is directed largely by our imaginations. I know it sounds a little heavy, but I believe that there is a war on our children happening right now, and one simple thing that we can do to quote “win the war” is capture the imagination, and I like that idea because it’s not so reactive as it is proactive.

Terrie:

I love that. I’ve never really thought of it that way before. That’s really good.

Courtney:

Yeah, I believe it so strongly that whatever it is that we’re thinking on whatever it is that our minds are stayed on, that is going to come out of us, and those are the things that we’re going to be drawn to inside of our culture. So I made a point in Little Spark of Life to name “Baby” in the womb. Language is also sort of under fire right now. In certain circles, we’re not referring to the baby in the womb as a baby, it’s a pregnancy, so it was important for me in a subtle way, and it’s not going to directly register maybe with children while they’re reading it, but it will be this undercurrent that will be in their imaginations to know we can refer to the life inside of the womb as a baby, because that’s what it is. Preserving language, referring to children as boys and girls, things like that, so it was really important to me to create a book that called a spade, a spade, didn’t dance around language, and that way children can be encouraged to resist when language is being challenged.

Terrie:

It is, yeah, it’s being torn down, not just the language, but what it represents, the whole idea. So, ah, this is so great. I’m so excited that God put this on your heart and that you are able to get this book out. I hope that everyone tries to get it and shares it with those around them. It sounds so wonderful, and what I’ve read from on the website is just beautiful, so thank you so much for sharing with us today and for sharing your vision and the things that have prompted you to write this wonderful book.

Courtney:

Oh, you’re so welcome. Thank you for having me, Terrie.

Terrie:

Oh, I have really enjoyed this. Thank you.

Courtney:

You’re welcome.

Terrie:

Thank you for joining us for “Books That Spark,” where we encourage each other to live out everyday discipleship, helping to equip our children to follow Christ with their whole hearts. If you enjoyed this episode, please like and share on social media or leave a review on the podcast websites, it really helps people know we’re here and it blesses this ministry so much, and we just want you to know we really appreciate you for doing that. You can also leave reviews for the books that we talk about on this podcast. Every review is a tremendous gift, and you also know I have books out, and if you leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads for any of our books, you are giving us a great gift and we thank you for it. If you would like to find out more or would like to contact me, you can find me on my website, which is TerrieHellardBrown.com, and from there you can also link to all my social media, and if you would like to connect with Courtney, you can find her on Instagram at @Siebring_Creative, and that is spelled S I E B R I N G, underline, Creative, C R E A T I V E (@Siebring_Creative). So you can follow her on Instagram and you can find more information about this wonderful book, Little Spark of Life on LittleSparkOfLifeBook.com, and of course, you can go to Paraclete Press and find out more about this and other books we’ve talked about on our podcast.

Terrie:

I’m very excited to let you know that we are going to be giving away a copy of Little Spark of Life, and all you have to do to enter the drawing is to put a comment on this blog post and ask to join our Facebook group. I’m so excited about our Facebook group. It’s a very small group where we talk about discipleship for our children and helping them to learn the values that we as Christian parents want them to know. And so we would love to have you join us. If you find you get into the group and it’s not for you, that’s okay. You can leave. But if you join the group, you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing. So go to terriehellardbrown.com to our podcast blogs, and you can make a comment at the end of the blog post, and you’ll be entered in the drawing. And then when you ask to join our private Facebook group, you’ll be entered a second time into the drawing. So that’s two ways to enter the drawing: to go to our Facebook group, which is “Everyday Discipleship, Every Day,” and go to our blog post and put a comment at the end of that. Also, if you need the link to the Facebook group, it is in the blog post, so you can link right from there after you put a comment. It’s all very convenient for you. The drawing will take place on October 16th, 2023. So if you want to be entered into that drawing, please take a moment and just go over to my website, look at the blog post, and make a comment, ask a question, and tell Courtney how much you appreciate what she’s doing. We will certainly respond to your questions. We respond to every question and comment, and we would just love to hear from you. But we would love for you to also enter the drawing, have the possibility of winning this wonderful book, and to be a part of our Facebook group. We pray you feel empowered as a parent or caregiver to walk by faith and to embrace everyday discipleship every day with the children in your life.

Your Host: Terrie Hellard-Brown

Terrie Hellard-Brown writes and speaks to empower children and adults to embrace everyday discipleship every day. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids.

Her blog posts discuss living as a disciple of Christ while parenting our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of our lives to disciple our children everyday.

Terrie uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on “the spectrum”), 35+ years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 35 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers.

Her motto is “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be WONDERFUL” and keeps her childlike joy by writing children’s stories, delighting over pink dolphins, and frequently laughing till it hurts.

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