Once Upon a Time:
A Collection of Short Stories for Those Trying to Find Their Way Home
By Samuel L. Blumenthal, Ph.D.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – “Storytelling is a fundamental part of being human,” says Christine Hennebury in Point of View on cbc.ca. She adds, “Stories let us share information in a way that creates an emotional connection. They help us to understand that information and each other, and it makes the information memorable. Because stories create an emotional connection, we can gain a deeper understanding of other people’s experiences.”*
Samuel Blumenthal, Ph.D. came to the same conclusion, but even more, believes God speaks to us through stories. “He always has, we have just not been listening very well.” The retired clinical psychologist switched from a long-term non-fiction writing project on his life and the gospel to writing this short story collection. He says, “A short story is like a parable, just one idea, told in whatever context you choose—a fairy tale, science fiction, or everyday life.” Blumenthal, who was born in a Reform Jewish home in the South, and came to faith in Christ in mid-life, added, “Over time, I have begun to wonder if people might learn more about the big questions in life, about God and His relentless pursuit of us, from fiction, than they ever will from just ideas, or even hearing your real story.”
The result is a new release from Redemption Press entitled Once Upon a Time: A Collection of Short Stories for Those Trying to Find Their Way Home. Blumenthal characterizes writing as an “act of faith, especially when the sole motive of your writing is to further the Kingdom by helping others in their sanctification.” This collection of Christian stories illustrates different gospel truths. He says, “I very much believe the gospel, and especially the call to sanctify ourselves can best be understood when seeing all of life as a four-chapter story—creation, fall, redemption, restoration.”
Blumenthal, whose thirty years as a psychoanalytically-oriented psychologist gives him a unique perspective on the inner workings of the mind and heart, hopes that readers will learn that the gospel, God, and the kingdom of God are present in all of life, every moment, if they would only look. He says, “Stories have always been about us, a mirror in which we can see ourselves—our hopes and dreams, but also our greatest dilemmas. Since the dawn of man stories have been pregnant with meaning, much of which has gone unnoticed. But if you are willing to slow down and listen more closely, stories will meet you in the very places you need them and guide you home where you will be healthy and whole.”
* Christine Hennebury, Point of View, Newfoundland & Labrador, “Storytelling is Not Just Entertainment. It’s a Fundamental Part of Being Human,” Mar 29, 2020, cbc.ca.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samuel Blumenthal is a retired clinical psychologist who grew up in a Reform Jewish home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he still resides. The proud father of three grown sons and two daughters-in-law, he has five grandchildren. After coming to faith in Christ at forty-five, he looks for every opportunity to speak and write about the God who pursued him with His love. Once Upon a Time: A Collection of Short Stories for Those Trying to Find Their Way Home is his first book.
Suggested Interview Questions
- You are a Jewish-background believer. How did you come to know Christ as savior?
- How do you think your work background and education as a psychologist gives you insight into human behavior that’s helpful for character development?
- At what point did you become interested in expressing gospel truths through the short story medium?
- What’s your path to publishing? Did you study writing or learn on your own?
- Before writing the short stories, you were working on a biography of your life. What’s the status of that project?
- Did you find yourself reworking parts of your own life story into any of the stories in Once Upon a Time?
- How did you decide on the title Once Upon a Time: A Collection of Short Stories for Those Trying to Find Their Way Home?
- Why do you think there are not more Christian short stories published?
- What is your hope that the truths found in the short stories will ultimately accomplish?
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For a review copy or to interview Samuel Blumenthal,
contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR,