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Tuesday 17 April 2018

ℚ♫ Accidental Jesus Freak - Amber Lea Starfire

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Accidental Jesus Freak: One Woman's Journey from Fundamentalism to Freedom (, MoonSkye Publishing, 362 pages), a Memoir.

"Amber Lee Starfire had a psychedelic-fueled conversion to religion that took her on the road and on the run through 1970s America and 1980s Europe.

Living amid a spiritual, fundamentalist Christian community, she reports from the front of being deeply embedded in a communal sensibility and on what happens when she decides to create her own destiny and find a life of her own." 
—  Marion Roach Smith, author of The Memoir Project, A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life.

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Amber Lea Starfire; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Accidental Jesus Freak ?

"I always knew I wanted to write about this period of my life — about the
Jesus Movement in the 70s and 80s, how so many of us got caught up in the religious fervour of the time. While my story is unique, many will recognize themselves in the struggle for self-identity and expression."

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Accidental Jesus Freak< you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"My cover was designed by an artist I found on 99Designs, Monique Aira Aslarona, who is also the designer for my first memoir, Not the Mother I Remember

Monique submitted the concept, and I fell in love with it right away — I felt that she really “got” the substance of my memoir in the artwork. I wanted this cover to be different, to not look like every other memoir out there with an antique photo on the cover. Monique achieved this goal with a cover that is bright and fresh and unique."
Why should we read Accidental Jesus Freak and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"In answering this question, I’ll let others speak for me. Here are a few excerpts of endorsements and Amazon reviews:
"Starfire’s memoir is not just a courageous look at one woman’s awakening; it offers wisdom for all of us on how to recognize and claim our authentic selves, and create not just happiness, but lives that fulfill our hearts and spirits."—  Susan J. Tweit, award-winning author, speaker, teacher

"Gripping and beautifully told, harrowing and lovely . . . Anyone who has ever sought their true path of Women in Red and Forged in Grace.

"Amber Starfire’s ability to bring home a young woman’s life through the trials of religious misanthropy, marriage and ultimately her quest for identity and meaning makes for a wonderfully compelling and timely competitive and recognized for their abilities in the world of work as well as in the privacy of their homes and within their personal relationships."

"A riveting memoir about finding the courage to be true to oneself . . .Her writing style is fluid and is filled with sensory details that pulled me in . . This memoir’s powerful message of personal empowerment and finding the courage to take back one’s life by being true to oneself will resonate with many readers. I highly recommend this courageous memoir." 
Can you tell us something quirky about Accidental Jesus Freak , its story and characters?
"In a way, the whole Jesus Movement and the way we lived was quirky — we were eccentric and full-on extreme in our beliefs.

We lived in religious communes and believed God could and would materialize food and money out of thin air.

Most of the characters kept their real names (I only use first names throughout the book), though I did change one or two when I felt it best to keep their true identity veiled."
Who would you recommend Accidental Jesus Freak to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Accidental Jesus Freak is for anyone who has ever struggled with figuring out who they are or how to live authentically. It’s for anyone who has surrendered themselves to someone or something else — whether it be for a relationship or a religion. It’s for anyone who has suffered or is suffering emotional abuse. And it’s for anyone who struggles with their faith."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Though I have dabbled in fiction and poetry, I am drawn mostly to writing memoir and nonfiction (self-help and books about journaling and writing).

I’m a voracious reader of all genres, from personal essay to literary fiction and to thrillers. And I do read a lot of memoir. I find reading about other’s lives — their challenges and how they overcome them — both fascinating and illuminating. I believe everyone has a unique story to tell, and I also think we have a lot to learn from how others process and grow from the events in their lives."
What is your writing process?
"I work full time at a highly creative job (which means I return home every evening tapped out), so even though I have never been a true morning person, I get up extra early every morning in order to write. In this way, with a goal of at least 100 words per day (that’s 36,500 words per year), I completed my memoir.

I continue to get up early each day to write, whether it be blog posts or responding to interviews, such as this. I believe if you want to write, you have to make it a priority and carve out the time to just sit down and do it."
What is in store next?
"I currently have another book on journal writing in the works, to be published later this year. It focuses on transforming your relationships by writing to specific prompts that are designed to help you gain self-awareness and consider deeply all aspects of your relationships."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I don’t currently have any pets, but I do have a wonderful, big family — four grown children and six grandchildren all of whom I adore.
Images from Good Times, published 14 December 2008
My sweetheart and I live a relatively quiet life in Napa, CA. On weekends, we enjoy bicycling the roads along the vineyards, which are beautiful all year round.
Rich and Amber at Bridge Overlook
Thank you for sharing!

An extraordinary story of love and faith and a unique window into the world of the 1970s Jesus Movement.

Accidental Jesus Freak
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting me and my memoir today! I'm so impressed with the research you did for the photos of the time. I look forward to the conversations. Any questions, anyone? :-)

Nikolina said...

Thank you for introducing me to this book, it sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading!