Under the Red Velvet Cover: Conquering Victimhood and Breaking the Silence of Abuse, Corruption and Family Secrets – My Life Journey is my most recent book. It is my story about growing up in a Southern family that externally looks perfect, however was littered with abuse, denial, fear and many attempts of murder. I found safety in our African American housekeeper and bonded with her more than my own family. I go into detail about the abuse I experience in hopes that it will help others who have endured a similar past. I also chose to overcome victimhood and not allow my past to control my future and I share the humiliating and hilarious experiences that made me who I am today.
Tell us something about yourself.
I currently live in Atlanta Georgia. I grew up in Florida and lived in Alabama off and on through out my childhood. I am a successful executive at an amazing company, own a non-profit website that helps “non-traditional” families find resources for their children with special needs and focuses on adoption. I have two adopted sons, both were adopted at the age of 8. My oldest was adopted in 2004 and my second son we adopted in 2007. I have been writing articles for magazines and newspapers for over 10 years freelance.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was working with a therapist trying to piece together my childhood and young adulthood because I had blocked so much of it out due to the traumatic events that took place. As things started to flood back to me I would spend 18 to 20 hours doing nothing but writing about what had happened. I continued to work with my therapist to piece everything together and once I got to a place where most of the dots were connected she looked at me and said, “this would be a great book.” I agreed and then Under the Red Velvet Cover was born!
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
I published my book and had received three publishing contracts but they wanted me to alter or soften the book so that the message wasn’t so real. I refused to because that was the entire point. Sexual abuse and childhood abuse is an epidemic and to soften it to make it less real was not something I was willing to sacrifice. I decided to go with Authorhouse because their contract was very acceptable and I had complete control and didn’t have to change a thing.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I love writing and always have. It is freedom for me because you can be as real and as honest as you need or want to be.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
The writing part is easy, it is the editing, editing and the editing that gets a bit hard. I had to read and re-read my book about 20 times in total, pulling it apart, putting it back together to make sure the flow was right. I was fortunate to have some amazing editors that were true partners with me.
How do you do research for your books?
I went back to the police station where I had filed the abuse charges against my grandfather when I was 15. I discovered that the case had been thrown out and I started asking around and working with my Therapist to identify what had taken place and when. I went to my old elementary school and back to Selma, Alabama, where most of the abuse had taken place. I also went back to the beach where the final day of the abuse had happened.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
Yes, I am not alone is what I learned. There are so many people that are quiet about the abuse they went through because of the shame that goes along with it.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I love psychological thrillers mostly. I think that one of my favorite authors R.D. Zimmerman. I think he really grabs the reader and has done an outstanding job. One of my favorite books of his is Hostage.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes, I am working on my next book. It is about the adoption process and what we experienced with domestic adoption.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Yes, be wise about the contracts you have and always have someone else review it even if you have read it a million times.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I have a team of incredibly talented people helping me promote it. Drew Plant, is doing all of the PR work, I have an amazingly talented person doing my social media networking and Zenkal did my cover and website design. I am doing book signings kicking off on August 9th and the Decatur (Georgia) book Festival September 3rd, 4th and 5th as well as many other things in the works.