Author Interview with Kim Michele Richardson, Author of "The Unbreakable Child"
Created By: BookBundlz
1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Danielle Steele. Ms. Steele has led a most fascinating life. A talented and dedicated writer, mother and humanitarian: she is truly an inspiration.
2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
Webster’s Dictionary, heh, because I’ll have my own personal chalkboard of island sand to write on. Peanut butter to keep me going. And chamomile tea to soothe.
3. What are your secret indulgences?
Gummi bears, a fresh bouquet of sunflowers and my sheepskin slippers.
4. What about you would surprise your readers?
I dated a rock star.
5. What is your perfect day as an author?
Hah! Writing 4,000 words and keeping at least 1,000 of those.
6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
Since I just completed: Claire in the Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon
7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
The Daughter-in-Law Rules, Sally Shields
Baby Let’s Play House, Alanna Nash
The Shadow Of The Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Janeology, Karen Harrington
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
I didn’t have any one favorite, but E.B White’s Charlotte’s Web stands out for finding the miracles in life’s simplicity.
9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
Sweeping Up Glass, Carolyn Walls
A Civil Action, Jonathan Harr
Left To Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza
Sixty-Six, William Haskins
About Your Book:
10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
The Unbreakable Child was written while I was engaged in the traumatic lawsuit, which is interweaved throughout my book. When the legal proceedings were finished, the book (an outline at the time) was given as a gift to the attorney in my book, William F. McMurry, as a gratitude for being the voice for those without, and to also show him his own self-worth.
11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
Since my book is non-fiction, it would probably be best to give your readers a glimpse:
The Unbreakable Child: a story that had not been told anywhere in the US, is my memoir about growing up in Saint Thomas-Saint Vincent Orphan Asylum in Kentucky, where children suffered brutal childhood abuses involving several nuns and the priest, all of which finally came to light in 2004 through a nationally recognized lawsuit. As a result of this suit, forty-four former orphans (including my sisters) and I became the first in United States history to receive monetary settlement from a Roman Catholic order of nuns, arising out of decades of institutional abuse
During the 1960’s, Saint Thomas Saint Vincent Orphan Asylum and the Roman Catholic Church abandoned true Christian values and subjected its children to unspeakable horrors. Its location in the back roads of Kentucky enabled the orphan’s caregivers to commit their sins from polite society and prying eyes.
It would be nearly fifty years before society could make right with the orphans of Saint Thomas Saint Vincent, but the damage was done and those responsible were all dead.
What happened next was a nationally recognized lawsuit against the Sisters of Charity and the Roman Catholic Church and a historic legal decision. The horrors were relived by all, but in the end justice prevailed.
I hope The Unbreakable Child will serve as a strong reminder so history never ever repeats itself. There are over 1,500 Specialized Homes in the US, and 1,000 plus Residential Care of Children Facilities (Orphanages) with over 60,000 children. And more orphanages are operating, being renamed to ‘Christian Group Homes’ due to the negative connation of the word ‘Orphanage’. With the increase of crime, drug use, poverty and the explosion of over population in prisons, those stats increase daily.
Although The Unbreakable Child references clergy abuse there is no doubt that the opportunity for abuses exists in any child care setting. Pedophilia and child abuse is not limited to any one group and not really a religious issue as much as it is a HUMAN issue.
More importantly; I hope Child care institutions, their employees, instructors, etc. will take a more active and aggressive role to arm themselves with education to prevent child abuse and to insure the safety of vulnerable children.
12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?
I was surprised to find that my most difficult sentence to write was a mere two word dialogue tag and that it was for me, my most emotional--powerful. I wrote it more for myself. Standing alone and if randomly culled from the book, the short sentence is meaningless to the reader. I’ve never discussed this sentence with anyone, but my agent picked up on it immediately, saying, “No matter how many times I read this sentence it still makes me cry ...”
About Your Writing Process:
13. What is your writing process like?
Early morning and late night hours when the house is quiet.
14. What gets you in the mood to write?
I write best away from my desk. I have a small, rural retreat with a 100-year-old cottage sitting on acres where I can go without interruptions.
15. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
As cliché as it is, it still works: Be the little engine that could. Remember rules are nothing more than guidelines. Be respectful and courteous.
Kim Michele Richardson, The Unbreakable Child, www.theunbreakablechild.com