Author Spotlight





I recently had the opportunity to chat with author Martha McLaughlin about her new book, Chemical and Christians. I’d love to have you get to know her, and check out her book. It’s such an important subject in today’s chemical world.


Martha, let’s start out learning about a bit about you. Tough question here: If you had to give up snacks or music while writing, which would you choose?

Despite the fact that my late husband and both of my sons earned degrees in music and my house has always been filled with it, I really prefer a quiet environment when I write. I find it challenging to manage two verbal tasks at once, so trying to put words together while vocal music is playing (or a television is on or people are conversing around me) isn’t something I enjoy. Instrumental music distracts me less, but sometimes relaxes me to the extent that I lose my focus. I don’t actually snack much when writing, either, but at least snacks don’t interfere with the writing process. I could easily give up both.

What was your funniest moment as an author?

I’m not sure anyone else will find this funny, but it amused me. The background is that I’ve often experienced “imposter syndrome” – the tendency to downplay achievements and feel somehow like a fraud. Once when I was serving as a missionary in South America I met someone who worked with another mission agency, and after I answered a few questions he said “Oh, you’re a real missionary.”  I stared at him in utter shock, because I had the completely opposite view. He was the real missionary and I was just someone commissioned by a mission board who was stumbling along, doing the best I could.

I’ve experienced the same thing with other roles. I was getting paid to write for over a year before I could comfortably say, “I’m a writer.”  Somehow in my mind, though, there’s a difference between writer and author, so when someone asked me if I was an author, I wasn’t prepared for the question. I was in the post office mailing copies of my book to friends and family members when someone remarked, “Those look like books. Are you an author?” and I froze. It felt like everyone in the building was staring at me while I stammered, “Um, uh, well” before finally managing to squeak out, “Yes.”

On the drive back home I replayed the scene in my mind and concluded that yes, I was technically an author, just not a real one. By the time I got back to my house, though, I’d started finding my thought process funny. I was mailing copies of a book with my name on the cover. The words and thoughts inside the book were mine. What exactly did I think a real author was? I’ve been practicing this and I’m going to say it now. I’m Martha, and I’m an author – a real one.

What is your favorite time of day to write, and why?

In general morning is my favorite time because I tend to be most clear-headed and energetic then. On the other hand, I like to write outside as much as possible, and the weather is best for that at different times of day depending on the time of year.

Does writing your book bring healing to you, personally?

Writing Chemicals and Christians was helpful for me in some ways, and challenging in others. It was good for me to delve into scripture and to remind myself of God’s promises and faithfulness. On the other hand, it was difficult to spend so much time being reminded of the challenges of chemical illness and the very real needs of the chemically sensitive community.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Chemicals and Christians so I could be a good steward of the information I’ve been forced to learn the hard way. Every day I see people being harmed by chemicals in the products they use, and it saddens me. I’m also grieved for the people with chemical illness who have no, or very limited access to church. Deciding to write the book wasn’t a decision I made lightly, but I became convinced that God was asking me to do it.

Martha, thanks for sharing with my readers today. I’m looking forward to reading your book!


About the Book

Book:  Chemicals and Christians

Author: Martha McLaughlin

Genre: Non-fiction

Release Date: January 31, 2020

“Just because you’re set apart doesn’t mean you’re set aside.”

Martha McLaughlin and her husband served as international missionaries for 10 years, ministering in a variety of ways, including helping to identify unreached people groups. When her physical breakdown forced them to return to the USA, she feared it was the end of her missionary journey. But instead, God told her, “Just because you’re set apart doesn’t mean you’re set aside.”

Today Martha feels called to try to help a different kind of unreached people group: the isolated sufferers of toxic illness, a growing but largely invisible population. Yet, like the canaries once used in coal mines to detect poisonous gases, they are a wake-up call to the effects of the thousands of chemicals used daily in our modern society.

Expertly researched and written, Chemicals and Christians: Compassion and Caution is loaded with valuable information and biblical counsel for hope and avoiding harm in our increasingly chemicalized environment. It provides steps for biblical health management, offers practical resources, and shows Christians ways to help.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

A professional writer since 2006 with a BS and an MEd, Martha has had more than 500 articles published. Alongside her husband, she served as a missionary in South America from the late ‘80s through the late ‘90s. A widow with two young adult sons, Martha lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and enjoys outdoor activities.



More from Martha

When people talk about taking the road less traveled, the implication is generally that there was a choice involved. I’ve made choices at times to wander down lonely trails, such as deciding to become a missionary and move to a country in crisis. Water and electricity were rationed, grocery store shelves were empty, a cholera epidemic raged, the president disbanded congress, inflation hit 10,000 percent, and active terrorist bombing shook our house on a regular basis. Most mission organizations and all non-essential embassy personnel left the country and those of us who chose to stay found ourselves on a very sparsely populated path.

At other times in my life I’ve ended up on roads less traveled not by any decision of my own, but by circumstances beyond my control. During my decade of missionary service, my health steadily declined and I was forced to return to the States to look for help. It wasn’t easy to find, but I eventually learned that Lyme disease, mold exposure, and the chemical onslaughts of a third-world mega city had overwhelmed my detoxification system. I discovered I could climb out of bed and function if I avoided anything that would make my full metaphorical barrel of toxins overflow. I also discovered that was much easier to do in theory than in practice because of the overabundance of untested and unregulated chemicals in common, everyday products.

My health condition introduced me to a world of chemically sensitive people, all of us living isolated lives, unable to safely access most medical care, shopping, schools, and churches. I’d been deeply saddened at having to leave the mission field and wondered why God had removed my ability to serve, but not the sense of call I felt. I gradually began to understand that I still had a calling, but to a different population. I felt God asking me to speak for people who are generally unseen and unheard. I want the Christian church to not only see us, but to find ways to open their doors and provide the spiritual nourishment and connection we so desperately need.

As I was discovering the needs of the chemically sensitive population, I was also learning how quickly it’s growing and how easy it is for anyone to join. I began to understand the connection between everyday chemical exposures and common mental and physical health conditions and symptoms. So the other side of my call is to warn healthy people, or those who haven’t yet connected their chemical exposures and health complaints, that it’s wise to be careful – that being a good steward of the physical body doesn’t just mean getting eating, sleeping, exercise, and relaxation right, but that avoiding toxins is a huge piece of the puzzle.

I’m not someone who always had a burning desire to write a book. I wrote it because I had something to say and a conviction that God wanted me to say it. I want healthy people to stay that way, and I want chemically ill people to be seen, heard, and reached with God’s love. My deep desire is for Chemicals and Christians to help save people from unnecessary suffering.


Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, June 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 23

Vicky Sluiter, June 24 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 25

Texas Book-aholic, June 26

My Devotional Thoughts, June 27 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, June 28

Splashes of Joy, June 29

For the Love of Literature, June 30 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, July 1

Lots of Helpers, July 2

Artistic Nobody, July 3 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, July 3

Godly Book Reviews, July 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 5


To celebrate her tour, Martha is giving away the grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.