Saturday, January 5, 2013

Meet Brinda Carey

 First off, I want to thank you, Brinda, 
for taking the time to talk with me today.
Can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?

I’ll share some of my standard information first. I grew up in rural Texas during the 60's as the oldest of six children. Sexually abused by my father from a very young age, his relentless demands eventually resulted in two pregnancies. One child was stillborn; the other died in my arms a month before his third birthday. My book tells more about what my life was like growing up.

Since then, I have been married to my wonderful husband, Dennis, for 30 years and we have a great family. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from UTT and am a retired probation officer from Smith County, Texas.  

Now here are some things about me on a more personal level: 

I love to go on cruises. We just returned from one to the Southern Caribbean.

Favorite part of the writing process: The thing I like best about writing is when I just let the thoughts flow from my mind to paper without worrying about grammar or plot. My motto comes from Nora Roberts who said that it is easier to revise a bad page than a blank page.

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday! It is a time for family, traditions, and reflections on our Savior...and, yes, I love gift giving!

I'm a chocoholic! It is definitely my drug of choice.
Sesame Street was one of my favorite shows when I was young, to enjoy with my children as they grew up, and now to watch with my grandchildren. 

Color of Skittle- Purple/Grape
Type of music- Country
Food- TexMex
Color- Green
Pets- Dogs. We have two: A Springer Spaniel named Maggie Mae and Jasmine, a chihuaha and terrier mix.

When did you begin writing?

I believe the love of writing has been part of me most of my life. As a child, I found pleasure in perfecting my handwriting~ the thrill of a new tablet and the feel of ink gliding across a clean sheet of paper. My freshman year of high school, I had an English teacher, Sarah Morrison, who regularly gave us writing prompts and encouraged us to develop our imagination. I’ve often wished I still had the stories I came up with that year. 

It wasn’t until I retired from my position as a probation officer that I pursued my dream to write my memoir, Don’t Cry, Daddy’s Here, and be an advocate for other survivors of child sexual abuse. This was a long jump from the fictional stories of my youth. With increased counseling appointments  and the aid of a support group at Celebrate Recovery, I began this daunting task.

Most of my writing, even those of fiction, usually contain some reference to child abuse. I feel that it helps keep the public aware of this ongoing problem. Plus, you know they say, “write what you know.”

What inspires you to write?

Mostly, my desire to help in the education, prevention, and healing from child sexual abuse and spread awareness to the public. It’s going to be uncomfortable for some people, but as a society, we must take the blinders off and realize that everyone must play a role in preventing this from happening to the children in their lives. 

What do you do when you are not writing?

Read, of course I also love spending time with my husband; we often go to movies and dine out. I tell him all the ways in which the book was better than the movie and we both laugh as we recall the funniest parts of a comedy. It’s fun to spend time with my grown children and their families, serve in church and my community, do crafts and crochet, and shop…anywhere, but especially estate sales and flea markets.

How did you come up with the title?

I struggled with the title, actually. As I worked on the book, I knew that I wanted to share how I longed for a Daddy that may me feel safe and loved and how I found that in my Heavenly Father. Then, while writing the segment in my book where my dad rapes me while I cry and beg for him to just be my daddy, what he said to me resounded over and over in my mind: Don’t cry, Daddy’s here. At that point, I knew it was to be the title of my book.

Who designed the cover?

I wanted a young girl crying in a field, reaching up to the heavens. The background would be black and white to reflect her despair, while she, being an innocent child, would be in color. You and Janice Ernest both helped me have a clearer idea of what to present to Don Bristow, my photographer and graphic design artist. I took him sketches and photos of me as a young girl on the farm and asked a woman from church if she would approve of my asking her daughter to model for the shoot. This girl looked much like I did in my youth, but was living the kind of life I had always dreamed of. I assure you, she is a very happy and healthy child.

During the shoot, my husband was standing out by Don and at one point, he raised his hand and the shadow fell upon her. I recalled that Janice had mentioned something to this effect, but I had rejected the idea at the time. Yet, the shadow of a man’s hand upon her looked so right, so Don positioned Dennis and shot a few more pictures. It was one of these that I selected in the end before Don went to work on the cover.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Definitely~ HOPE! That no matter the harshness of our trials in life, whatever they may be, we can overcome adversity through the hope found in Jesus Christ. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing in your life?

Raising four of the most beautiful children on Earth! They are strong happy adults who are such wonderful parents to my gorgeous grandchildren. I’m so very proud of them. They bring such joy into my life. I thank God often for blessing Dennis and I with the ability to break the cycles of abuse we grew up in. The glory is truly God’s.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’ve partnered with Voice Today, Inc. and am currently co-authoring a workbook on intimacy for survivors of child sexual abuse and their partners. Having found it difficult to find children’s books that I’d want for my grandchildren, I am working on a series of children’s books. The first is titled Who Will Listen and others will cover topics such as boundaries and bad secrets. Dennis and I are working on a book about breaking the cycles of abuse and developing a close relationship when the spouse is an abuse survivor.

I have a novel that is in much need of revision at the moment. I’m planning on getting it completed and ready for publication by the end of the year. The working title is Twins. It is full of twists and turns as a young woman with two uteruses finds herself pregnant  by two different men…but, she has only one boyfriend. When it is closer to publication, I hope you will invite me back to tell you more about it.

That is all the writing projects I have in the works, but I am also starting a support group for survivors here in NWA and planning on having a healing retreat especially for these women. I’ll continue to give prevention workshops and attend speaking engagements. 

I’ll continue learning all I can about writing and sharing what I learn at conferences and writers organizations.

How and where can we purchase your book?

It is available in on Kindle.

Hardcover and paperback books are available at Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, White Bird Publications or you can go into any bookstore worldwide and they will order it.

Reader may receive a signed copy from me by sending a money order for $18 in the US or Canada, $27.00 outside the US to:

Brinda Carey
P.O. Box 2095
Bentonville, AR 72712

Please indicate the name of the person it is to be addressed to with your payment. 

Also check out Brinda's  short story Grandma's Cactus Garden on Kindle

Thank you again, Brinda.

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