Post Title: Friday Friends – Spotlight on Chuck Carr.
What is your background?
I’m a country boy who grew up in the adventures of what country boys find themselves doing best. The hillsides of western Pennsylvania, on a family farm near Crabtree, is where I call home. I grew up learning everything I could about farming, went to Penn State University to learn more, and then farmed for eighteen years before an accident put a halt to it.
What type of writing do you do?
I like to write fiction best. I enjoy writing what makes people think. I want to challenge minds, cause people to reevaluate the things inside that they’ve learned over the years but don’t necessarily have a good reason for why they believe it. I like to attach real feelings to real problems in writing, to show people it is ok to be real, and to allow people to see that God understands what you are going through. Too many times we as Christians think that the men and women written about in Scripture were put on a pedestal, as if they were above the real-life feelings we face today. To understand that we are all human, and that God intentionally gave us a Bible full of messed up people just like us as examples, shows us that he is more than able to identify with us in what we are going through and save us exactly where we are.
How have your other jobs in life contributed to your writing style?
I think that being out in the countryside and being submersed in nature so often allowed me to be able to illustrate things easier with words. I love the beauty of the outdoors. I’ve spent a lot of time just watching the way colors blend together or contrast against each other. The hues that God used to paint this world with are quite amazing. The days that I have spent out on a tractor seat gave me countless hours to watch the way the world has been put together, how things interact, and how good it all is. I learned how to have a strong work ethic and motivation to make things happen.
What are your core values?
As a child growing up in the church, one begins to believe things just because that is the way it is, or always was, or that other important people around you believe the same thing. All those values were put to the test when my life began to get crazy, beginning in 2006 when my first wife was diagnosed with stomach cancer. One by one, my values were either challenged, strengthened, or tested. I discovered through these rough years that many of the things that we are taught or received, passed down from others, has a lot of “man” in it. Sometimes we need to “unlearn” some things so God can show us proper perspectives. So many of the things that the North American church does is followed through by habit, tradition, or a cultural preference. When we read the Bible for what it says, much of our faith can be boiled down to raw beliefs that are unmovable. Those are the ones I stand on. In the fifteen-year journey that God took me through in the dry wilderness of rough life trials, I think I got a better handle on what God really views as important and what he does not. I incorporate these values into my books. I am a big voice for having a “relationship” with God rather than a religion, living your life with purpose rather than for yourself, world missions, celebrating the unique creation God made you to be, salvation of the lost, and keeping yourself pure sexually for your wedding night. I write in a way that hopefully sends these messages out into a world but isn’t turned off by them.
How has Covid-19 changed your writing?
It has only given me more time to write. The downfall, however, was the disappointment of having some really exciting opportunities canceled on me. I was just getting scheduled to speak at a church and a signing at the local Barns & Noble store when our county turned red. Bummer.
What is the one thing you miss the most during lockdown?
Lockdown for me was much different than for most others. I sustained a brain injury in September of 2018 in which I am still recovering from. I was hit in the forehead by a metal gate at our dairy farm, fracturing my skull in two places. I instantly lost the hearing in my left ear. I also saw double for about five months and had my short-term memory completely erased. I had bleeding in my brain and the doctors were worried about fluid leak. I was bound to a chair for a long time. Eventually I walked with a cane, learning how to do everything all over again. Rehab was very difficult. I had to undergo cognitive, ocular, and vestibular therapy. I also was treated for vertigo twenty-some times. It was extremely hard for me to have a lot of noise and ruckus going on around me, and most of my days were spent alone in the quiet. Over time things got a little easier, but I still preferred to have a low-key atmosphere. When Covid-19 hit, I was so used to being by myself that the quarantine didn’t really bother me much. If anything, things became busier for me, as our two older children were now home from school.
What is your favorite getaway? Any particular reason?
I don’t find anything that compares to being near the ocean or on it. In my upcoming book Wonders In the Deep, I really enjoyed writing about my fascination with the coast, the sea, and navigating on it. I’m a beach bum, an old sailor salt, and a pirate all in one. The ocean is a place where I can understand God better, as I feel like the wind, the waves, and the power of the sea give me a glimpse of how awesome our creator really is. He draws a line for the tide and says go no further. He commands the stormy winds and waves to obey and they calm. His mercies are new every morning just like the sunrise that comes up and over the water. It’s just easier for me to grasp an understanding of God when I’m out there by the ocean. Writing a novel in that setting was pure fun.
How do you remain positive in the world today?
I have learned that the easiest way to brood misery is to befriend the habit of comparison. When we compare ourselves to others or compare our lives to what the lives of other people look like, we will for sure begin to drive ourselves into a place of discouragement. I’ve been there. It’s not a fun place to be. When we begin to be thankful for what we have, where God has us, and what he is doing with us, then our mood becomes positive no matter where or what we are surrounded with. Being content and thankful with the blessings that God has already given to us is a surefire way to elevate your mood. It is hard to drive a content and thankful person down in the dumps.
What are your writing goals by the end of 2020?
I have a book scheduled to come out late August titled All That the Locust Have Eaten. It is a memoir, a book written to show God’s redemptive power despite extreme adversity. I’ve been forced to ride a rough rode in life, and in the fifteen years driving on it God has taught me much. I would like to successfully launch this book debut because I truly believe that there are a lot of hurting people in this world that need to hear this message. Hopefully speaking opportunities arise and I can tell my story in person.
I also have written another fiction novel titled Wonders In the Deep. It is by far the best piece of writing I’ve produced this far. I’m totally excited to get it out, and hope to do everything possible to be ready for a release around the end of the year or early 2021.
What do you feel is your biggest success to date and why?
It has been a dream of mine to write a book for the last twenty years. Last February, I held The Convergence in my hands (my first novel). It felt so amazing to be holding something that I had waited so long to savor. To physically hold that first copy was an incredible feeling. Being a new author on the scene, I decided to give away as many ebook copies as I could. I wasn’t really concerned so much with money coming in. I just wanted the book to be in the hands of people who needed it. In the first few months after it was released, about two thousand copies floated around to people’s hands and eyes. I know this might not seem like a lot to some authors, but to know that that many people had received a copy of the message I wanted to tell the word, it was a very sweet feeling.
How do you approach a new book? What is your writing process?
I’m a visual person. I’m highly engaged in art. I like to map things out visually, and then build upon each event like someone painting. I like to paint the big shapes first, then develop things in detail as the book progresses. Finishing touches are last, usually after other readers take a glimpse.
What message would you like to leave with my readers?
I am living proof that Romans 8:28 is true. God has taken the seeming disaster of my life and has turned it around working it for good. I’m not saying he is finished yet, as I am a work in progress, but he definitely is working things out for me. I am truly blessed by what the Good Lord’s hands have done with me. I hope my life can allow others to see that when tragedy or adversity comes our way, we need to be honest with our feelings and run to God with them, instead of hiding our feelings or turning our back on God. Too many times we do that, when God is right there, being more than capable to help us in our time of hurt and need. I want to stand from the highest mountain and burn for all to see that Jesus saved me, and that he can do the same for you. There is no limit to the redemptive power the Lord possesses. Other than that, I would want others to know that each of us has been given a task that nobody can do better than yourself, and with everything you have, you need to do it for God’s glory. I want to live out the rest of my days doing exactly that.
To learn more about Friday Friends guest Chuck Carr, check him out on the following social media sites:
About Chuck Car:
As a former youth pastor, Chuck Carr has influenced hundreds of people throughout his life. Author of The Convergence, Navigating Grief, and All That the Locusts Have Eaten, he desires to help others live effectively despite hardships, as his testimony proves that sufferings can be changed into blessings. Losing a spouse in 2008, he strives to help those hurting from the same pain. A life altering accident in 2018 left him with a traumatic brain injury, and his vision and life goal has been refocused to help others heal from devastating traumas. Now remarried to a woman of shared life goals, he has chosen to live with purpose despite his injuries, being an inspiration to others.
You have just read “Friday Friends Spotlight on Chuck Carr” by Amy L. Bovaird. © July 31, 2020. All rights reserved.