Author Q&A: Authors striving to help others

You may know local storyteller, minister and poet Stephen “Pete” Sebert as Jacob Brown. But you may not know him as a published author.

Sebert has published a book about love along with fellow author Barbara Youngblood Carr titled “Love is…Whatever Love is meant to be.”

Using poems and letters, they share stories, songs and sayings from both of their families about dating, marriage and daily family life — including the good and the bad times, Sebert said.


Sebert and Carr hope to use the book in family life retreats with churches and at community centers in Texas. Sebert said it will be core to a series of Texas train retreats where families, or groups, ride an Amtrak train to a chosen destination.

“While on the way I will tell a couple stories and sing songs of my family and loves,” Sebert said.

He will then ask the groups questions relating to what was discussed and invite them all to think it over while riding the train.

They also plan to do retreats for senior centers in Austin, Texas, titled “Songs and Stories in the Key of Love.”

Stephen “Pete” Sebert
Stephen “Pete” Sebert
Barbara Youngblood Carr
Barbara Youngblood Carr

Q: What inspired you to write it?

Sebert: Deep desire to share love of our families and hopefully help others be reminded of their own loves, losses and renew their love as well.

Carr: Help people understand what patience, joy and love is all about.

Q: What’s your day job?

Sebert: A storyteller who gives tours, workshops and retreats for Kitchen Table University, my company, and I drive a children’s train for Just Train Fun as Mr. Pete, a storytelling engineer in Texas.

Q: What are your connections to Brown County?

Sebert: (Brown County was) my home for 13 years. I am a member of the Brown County Historical Society, Lions Club, Nashville Christian Church and the pastor of Duncan Community Church. I am Jacob Brown, tour guide and storyteller for Brown Country Tours. Sebert’s company in Brown County was {span}Brown Country Tours and Weddings. As Jacob Brown, I was an ambassador from another time. He told the stories and tales of Brown County pioneers, artists and these amazing hills. I have also officiated at many weddings for 10 years. I served as interim director of Brown County Chamber of Commerce in early 1998. I was a teacher’s aide at the former Nashville Elementary School from 1997 to 1998. I worked 10 years for Christole, an agency for individuals with developmental challenges. I was an innkeeper at Orchard Hill Inn from 1997 to 1998 and wrote for the Brown County Almanack from 2004 to 2007. I see Brown County as Brown Country, located on the edge of the village forest in the Hoosier state of mind.

Q: What’s your writing ritual?

Sebert: I write best in mornings after quiet time for two to three hours. I read and edit in afternoon. Poems can come any time day or night and get recorded in a journal always within reach, even at night by my bed.

Q: In what environment do you work best?

Sebert: Often by a window where I can pause to look out to listen and gather my thoughts. Many poems are about what I see and feel as I look out a window, whether on a train, bus, car or the libraries I inhabit.

Q: What’s the last book you read? Do you have a favorite?

Sebert: I last read “Emily Dickinson’s Collected Poems.” My favorite changes, but the book I’ve read the most throughout my life is the Bible. It’s very alive to me. A book I treasure and reread is “Abraham Lincoln: Theologian of American Anguish” by Elton Trueblood, a Quaker author and also the mentor of my mind. The best Brown County “book” that gave me the spirit, stories and songs of Brown County is the first two CDs by Slats Klug.

Q: Where can people buy this book, and for how much?

Sebert: The book can be ordered online at and the cost is $20 with free shipping. A book can also be ordered by calling me at 512-552-5521 or by ordering it from I will also ship it for free.