March is Women’s Appreciation Month on Lone Star Inspirations. One of the coolest things we are doing is interviewing women who are doing extraordinary things. This week’s interview features author, speaker, blogger, and pastor Carrie Lloyd, author of Prude: Misconceptions of a Neo-Virgin. You can check out her blog Her Glass Slipper and her official website: www.carrielloyd.org.
I do feel obligated to say that Carrie Lloyd is a pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California where I went to seminary. While I did not personally meet Mrs. Lloyd, after this interview, I sure wish I had. This interview was done over an email correspondence. Her comments are in bold.
Where are you originally from?
London, England (although originally born in Manchester)
Do pieces of that place’s atmosphere or culture still affect your writing?
From London? Yes. It’s the most cosmopolitan city in the world or at least on a par with New York, so I would say he English language and how we play with words – both from my career in advertising to the plays I used to spend my evenings off watching were vital to how I piece my writing together now.
Is that where you started writing?
I started writing from a very young age, journalling and writing terrible poetry – but the desire to express through words and sometimes dance was vital for me.
Many say that writers were readers first. Do you remember a book or two that motivated you to write?
Dare I say it? David Sedaris was a favourite writer of mine – his humorous essays were second to none.
What was an encouraging word someone gave you when you began writing?
My creative director in advertising used to usually throw objects and insults at me. But he found some of my writing on my desk, threw it down and said ‘you should write more. It’s quite good.’ As one of the top art directors on the world, his words and talent finding held weight.
Did you study writing at university?
No. Entertainment management is what my degree is in. I wanted to be a producer in the art industry, but plays, scripts, lyrics, articulation flooded my everyday.
When did your desire to write become infused with journalism, or was that always the plan?
I had no desire to write for a newspaper given the pace in which they work, but when a friend who was a journalist suggested I write for an editor friend of hers about my faith and how it could possibly work with fashion, the big for writing for glossy mags began. That article still is mounted on my wall.
When and why did you come to America?
I had closed my business in advertising and I had always wanted to live in California. I decided that I wanted to try for a job in the film industry in LA. After the job climate was bad after the financial crisis, I detoured via Bethel to visit friends. I loved what they stood for and decided to study for a year at their school.
Was it a culture shock?
Yes. And no. England didn’t let me emotionally express myself quite the way I wanted to, the stiff upper lip caused me to feel, on occasion, crazy. So I was relieved and felt more at home. And yet the American Dream made me a little intimidated, I wonder if we should all calm ourselves and put a cap on it.
Has living in America affected how you write?
I think that belief that anything is possible has helped my ability to push different methods of writing, to push my voice to be more confident and even fight for my voice when editors might try to change it.
You are a proud Christian. When and why did you come into that faith?
I’m a proud Christian? Did you get that from my writing? Ha. I guess I am, although I’d prefer to be humble. I came to faith from atheism. My parents were baptist ministers so I was a pretty religious kid, I abandoned faith when i questioned if I had a second hand faith and so went on my own journey of finding my own decisions. Not that my parents ever forced this on me. By the end of my twenties I came back to faith and decided to embrace it fully into my life.
The full story and encounter of what bought me back is too long to answer here.
You’ve written on blogs, for numerous periodicals including The Huffington Post and Premier Christian, when do you feel was your breakout as a journalist? Any particular publication that comes to mind?
Company magazine – which was my first published article. Mainly because it was a secular fashion magazine
Your blog, The Glass Slipper, is filled with great articles for singles. What motivated you to start the blog? Why the focus on singles?
I had just written an article for Grazia and told the editor I wanted to be a staff writer for them. She told me I should start blogging, but I didn’t know what my USP would be. SHe told me to write about Christian dating – as it was interesting even for humanists.
You recently published two books The Virgin Monologues and Prude. How did it feel to see your name on the cover of a book?
Surreal. Humbled. Thankful. I still don’t think it’s hit me yet. When my friends scream and jump around seeing my book, I smile and thank God that He trusted me with the task.
Tell us a little about the inspiration for each book. Where did it come from?
Her Glass Slipper intrigued my publisher in the first place and asked if I had thought about writing a book. I had been given prophetic words but thought they were just cheap shots because I was already a journalist. The email from the publisher came, I asked him to give me 48 hours to let me think of a concept for the book. That night God gave me a dream for The Virgin Monologues. Prude was an extension of the sexual purity side of The Virgin Monologues more in-depth and more memoir based. Prude is being published in the US so my writing and spelling of course had to be bilingual almost for the transatlantic move.
The work can be hard sometimes. You’re a journalist, author, blogger, and now a pastor. How do you manage it?
I have no idea. There’s intense grace from the Lord in this season. My managers at Bethel Church have said no one has been a full time revival group pastor and an author at the same time. My social life has certainly suffered. But I try hard to not let my group suffer lack from my levels of responsibility. Time management is pretty key, deadlines are key, but I have had to learn the ability to say no where the Lord isn’t on something.
Do you have any advice for women who are seeking to become a writer and/or journalist?
Certainly start blogging. It’s a great way to learn to be vulnerable. Gain an internship on a press floor to see if they could manage it – but above all know yourself and your voice.
Did you have a strong mentor who encouraged your writing?
Dawn O’Porter was one of my first friends to encourage me and she was a great voice in feminism for Britain.
Is there a particular woman whose life inspired you during your journey?
Dawn was one, and my boss Graham Fink, who was my creative director when I worked in advertising.
Any final thoughts you would like to share to women who are stepping into their future?
Finding your identity outside of another’s opinion is possibly the most vital key for writing, because without that, you will never know what you’re fighting for.
That concluded our interview, though our correspondence was brief, I don’t mind saying that Mrs. Lloyd was a very graceful and enduring woman and I want to thank her for participating with this interview.
Aside from her publishing books, writing articles, and blogging, she also works with Moral Revolution, so be sure to head there and don’t forget to find Prude: Misconceptions of a Neo-Virgin and The Virgin Monologues on Amazon or your local bookstore.
Up next, you’ll hear from minister Brooklyn Lindsey. She is a youth pastor, kids minister, social justice reformer, and so much more.