Questions about Telling Your Story for

Divine Call:

How Women Leaders Overcome Ministry Challenges

by Lisa Ackland Carriere and Cliff Williams

(1) What happens when we talk?

At the beginning of our conversation we exchange some friendly hello’s. Then the one who is interviewing you—Lisa or Cliff—starts the recorder and asks, “How did you get started on your faith journey?” We ask you other questions as well, and you talk for as long as you need to.

(2) What happens after I tell you my story?

We transcribe what you said, word for word. Then we make what you said into a story in your words. The story will be a short autobiography.

(3) Will I get to see the story before it goes into the book?

Yes, definitely. We will send it to you for your approval.

(4) What if I change my mind after I talk to you?

You have the right to make changes to your story up until the manuscript goes to an agent or publisher, and you have the right to withdraw your story up until that time.

(5) What guarantees my anonymity?

We send you a confidentiality agreement, which states that we will not reveal your identity to anyone at any time without your written permission. Also, we change your name and identifying details. When you look at the story, you can make sure that it does not reveal your identity. The publisher will be bound by the confidentiality agreement. If you wish not to be anonymous, we will honor that.

(6) What do I get from telling my story?

You get the satisfaction of knowing that your story will help others to understand what women pastors experience or what women who have been prevented from serving as pastors, teachers, or leaders in Christian contexts experience. You also get the satisfaction of encouraging other women who want to become pastors, teachers, or leaders.

(7) What do you, Lisa Ackland Carriere and Cliff Williams, get out of doing the book?

We get the same satisfactions you do, plus the satisfaction of doing something we believe in.

(8) What qualifies you to do this book?

We listen. Lisa has taught English and written books, and Cliff teaches philosophy and has written articles and books. The combination of listening, teaching, and writing works especially well for an interview book. For more about Lisa, visit her Web site at

Also, Cliff has done two other interview books: One More Train to Ride: The Underground World of Modern American Hoboes (published in 2003 by Indiana University Press) and Choosing to Live Again: Stories of Those Who Stepped Away from Suicide (in preparation). The process of doing these books involved interviewing people, transcribing the interviews, then making short autobiographies. We are doing the same for this book. One of the endorsements for One More Train to Ride summarizes what Divine Call: How Women Leaders Overcome Ministry Challenges will exemplify: “Williams does a splendid job of capturing the words and tone of his subjects, providing a wonderful and often moving insight into the daily life and philosophy of the modern hobo.”

(9) When do you expect to be done?

We expect to be done by the end of the summer of 2015.

(10) How do you two know each other?

Lisa took two courses from Cliff when she was a student at Trinity College before transferring to Wheaton College in the early 1990s. Later, after earning a masters degree in English literature, she returned to teach at Trinity College as an adjunct professor of English, where Cliff continues to teach part-time after stopping full-time teaching there in 2012. Cliff also teaches at Wheaton College. For more on this question, click here.

(11) How can we contact you?

Write to us at

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