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It’s been said that first novels are oftentimes drawn from real life experiences. We write from what we know whether it’s pieces of real life, or inspirations from what we read, hear, or see, so it would make perfect sense that in part novels have at least a little of the author in them.
But how much real life is too much, and should a person worry about offending someone? Is it the healing process that’s more important, do we blame it on the art of expression, or just say, “Ya, should’ve been nicer.”
Today I’m putting these questions to one of the most delightful authors you’ll ever meet, Joy Redmond. She’s opinionated, funny as heck, sassy, and smart as a whip. I see her coming up the walkway now. It couldn’t be a more perfect day for this with a light breeze sending whiffs of heaven from the flower garden.
Kathleen: Joy, so nice to see you. Come on over and take a seat at my table. Here’s a tall glass of iced tea for you. Lemon, hold the sugar, right?
Joy: Just how I like it, thanks.
Kathleen: Okay, so now that we’re settled in I’m sure everyone’s excited to hear the inside scoop about your novel Give Me Wings. But you’ve also written a number of other novels. Your latest is: DarkHeart of Hampton House. I took a peak at it, and I have to say it looks really good. I know that it gets dark. You realize I’m a scare-dee-cat when it comes to horror or gruesome stuff, don’t you?
Joy: DarkHeart of Hampton House, it isn’t spooky. It won’t cause nightmares. There is some strong language, steamy love scenes, and some violence, but no more than you see and hear on TV. Some of it is not as bad. The reader gets to look into the life of a young boy and see why he becomes a killer. Lance Jackson: Raised with seven other kids and loved by no one. Consumed with feelings of worthlessness and abandonment. The more he is abused by his foster mother, the colder and angrier he becomes inside. At a young age he is told that he has a dark heart. As a teenager, he is mentored by his boss who introduces him to drugs, alcohol, pornography, women, and racism. He doesn’t learn about love and doesn’t know what love is. At the age of 18, Lance runs away, leaving the orphanage behind. He travels west in search of happiness and a life of his own making where he can put to use all that he has learned. This is where the killing begins…
Kathleen: Well, I know you’re a great writer, and it sounds like you’ve done a thorough job on this. I know what I read so far was riveting, and I’m just going to have to read the rest.
Joy: I hope you do, Kathleen. You won’t be disappointed.
Kathleen: It’s a promise. But right now I’d like to talk about a book I have read, Give Me Wings. This book really got to me. I couldn’t get enough. The Character Carnikko was a delightful, precocious little girl, bold and precious at the same time. Do you mind telling your readers where the idea for this book came? She wasn’t just another girl though was she?
Joy: Give Me Wings is based on my life experiences. It isn’t an exact with every word, as I had to draw from childhood memories. A lot of the story is from info that I gathered from family members, who had a different version of what I asked them about. So, I pieced it together the best I could. That’s why I wrote it as fiction. And it would have been hurtful to many if I had used real names of characters and locations. Sometimes, we have to protect the guilty in order to protect the innocent. I will say I do have a good memory and some of the happenings are etched into my brain and I can see and feel them as if it happened yesterday. The dialogue was the hardest part putting together. The happenings are exact.
Kathleen: Well, you did a tremendous job. One of the things I loved about the book was her relationship with her father. Their story was heartwarming and fascinating. Did you always know that you were special to him? How do you feel he impacted you as a person?
Joy: Yes, I knew I was special to Daddy. The greatest impact he had on me was how children need an explanation to life’s happenings. Adults feel they are too young to hear about many things, but if I asked Daddy a question, he gave me the answer and didn’t soft soap a word. Daddy was my first love and also the first man to break my heart. He also taught me that there are times when a parent has to step out of their child’s life in order to give that child a chance for a better life than they ( the parent) can offer. It’s sand and very hurtful for the parent and child, but it’s an act of unconditional love.
Kathleen: I’m really taken by your story, Joy. Your father hurt you, but I feel you learned from him too. You carry part of him with you. He broke your heart because you loved him so much. Why do you think that so many people are driven to write about their past?
Joy: I can only speak for myself, but it was a purging and I also hope that my story might enlighten readers about how hard life is for some children and how they take for granted that children might have an easy life, as they did. I hope readers will become more aware of what’s happening with many children and be willing to lend a helping hand. Look around. Reach out. All children need love, and praise and the necessities of life. Many never get it.
Kathleen: You are so right about that. And I think everyone should read this book. It’s fabulous. I want to thank you for being my guest. And I’m looking forward to seeing one of your books, or more, on the New York Times bestseller’s list.
Joy: Thank you for having me, Kathleen. I’ve greatly enjoyed it. Getting at least one of my books to the bestselling list is my biggest dream. I have a screenplay writer who is itching to write the script for Give Me Wings. Fingers crossed. It could happen.
Kathleen: Good luck on that. I really hope it happens. Readers, check below to buy Give Me Wings & DarkHeart of Hampton House.
Buy: GIVE ME WINGS
Buy: DARKHEART OF HAMPTON HOUSE