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Monday, March 19, 2012

Backstreet Abortion and an Author Interview

The issue of women’s rights is a major topic during this presidential campaign. Your trilogy: Life is Never as It Seems, It’s Not Over Yet and Secrets Unraveled, all address this issue. Why did you decide to write a fiction book with women’s rights as a major theme? 
I’m a strong supporter of women’s rights and I have a daughter and two granddaughters. I want them to have all the rights and liberties they deserve as a person and a woman. The first book in the series Life is never as It Seems take place in the 60’s, a time of turmoil and change. The Women’s feminist movement started in 1961. In the late 60's, I was a freshmen in college. I know from firsthand experience how difficult it was for a woman to be recognized for her value in the home and society so, I decided to write about it. Through the eyes of the main character, Lindy Lee, the reader sees how women are treated, abused and denied their rights.  This is further demonstrated in Margaret Johnson’s story in Secrets Unraveled.  Margaret has to suppress and deny her dreams to be a pastor.  In the 60’s it was unheard of for a woman to be a pastor or even wear pants to church.  I choose to use fiction to show these hypocrites.  Hopefully, besides entertaining the reader, my books will enlighten them about social issues.
In Life is Never as It Seems a backstreet abortion takes place. It was frightening. Can you share your thoughts about this scene?
I wanted to show how unsafe backstreet abortions were and women should never be put in a position to have to return to them. It frightens me when I heard authority figures make ridiculous statements such as putting an aspirin between your legs or don't look at the ultra sound. There is the emotional component that you read about in Life is Never as It Seems where the young woman is pressured into having a backstreet abortion. The reader is able to live each step of the horrendous experience with the character. In the sequel, It’s Not Over Yet, you find out the consequences. This chapter gives a realistic view of what would happen if the law changed regarding contraceptives and abortions. I see it as a warning, don't go back there. 

In all three books, you have several strong women characters, giving character sketches of each, but then there is Margaret’s grandmother in Secrets Unraveled who is emotionally and physically abusive to her. Can you tell us more about this character?  I received lots of fan mail about Grandma Hattie. Readers were upset with her treatment of Margaret. However, she served a strong purpose of showing why Margaret acted the way she did.  You could say that Grandma Hattie was part of the root cause of Margaret’s misery. Nevertheless, Grandma Hattie has a story too and most abuse is generational. There are women who don’t support women’s rights because they have been brainwashed.  Grandma Hattie is one of these women. In Secrets Unraveled the reader gets to see both the strong and weak sides of feminism and how is influenced Margaret. Personally, I was very fortunate to know both my maternal and paternal grandmothers and to had a close loving relationship with both. For the book, I had to do research into the psychological aspects of someone being raised by an abusive person. 

Will you write about Grandma Hattie’s story or any of the other women in the trilogy such as Betty Goldstein, the civil rights attorney and minister, Cissy the Booster or Diane, the other woman?

 Perhaps in the future, right, right  now I have started a new science fiction series and young adult series.

Life is Never as It Seems

It's Not Over Yet

Secrets Unraveled

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