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At the young age of sixteen I began having children and waited until I was eighteen to start a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Making sure that one of us was always home with my girls I worked opposite shifts from my husband until the girls were in school.
Having decided to be a stay at home mom I volunteered at as many school functions as possible including sports, plays, field trips and in the classroom, eventually homeschooling them during their high school years, with the help of an online program.
I had the great fortune of volunteering for the AmeriCorps program tutoring low income families on everything from the importance of technology to the importance of an education. I have had several opportunities to speak on behalf of the AmeriCorps program for city councils and large nonprofit organizations.
As a teen I was offered an opportunity to speak at a Washington State Funding Council on the behalf of the youth workers program and the importance of letting teen mothers have the resources available to do on the job training. I have volunteered at homeless shelters and city wide clean ups. I ventured out into the work field a few times working in banking and grocery retail.
I have also had the great fortune of working side by side with my husband in the carpentry field for many years. Working as his laborer and learning more about carpentry than I ever thought possible was hands down the best job I ever had.
For the last few years I have stayed home and recovered from the pill addiction but have recently began working seasonal and temporary jobs to get back into the working world. My goals are to somehow put my experiences as an abused child and a recovering pill addict to good use and become a speaker or a volunteer of some sort. I am still working on that and where to begin. As of now I am proud to say that I am an author and look forward to writing again.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Washington State? I am proud to finally realize my dream of becoming an author from Washington. My life has been full of obstacles and challenges that could have deterred me from writing but instead gave me a reason to write.
My first book just happens to be true stories that occurred in Washington State. I am proud to be able to share my story and hope that it will encourage others whose challenges in life may be preventing them from achieving their own goals.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Writing has been a passion and an escape for me for as long as I can remember. I remember my fifth grade teacher reading some of my writing and saying “you should become a writer.” “You write well beyond someone of your age.” That was the moment that I told myself that someday I would tell my story.
I still never considered becoming a real author as a possibility. The most encouraging person who ultimately pushed me enough was my husband of twenty five years. Danny knew from day one that this is what I wanted to do and he supported and pushed me until I finally did it. He is the inspiration that never let me give up.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My childhood was the reason I began to write. I had so many secrets and so many stories but was not allowed to say a word to anyone. I began to write poems as clues or hints to anyone who might read them. To my shock nobody ever saw the things I wrote and nobody came to my rescue. I read books almost every day until my teen years and then I stopped reading and writing. I thank God for making me a survivor and letting me have the courage to begin my writing with such a personal story.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I never wrote with the intention of getting my book published. I began writing again in my thirties as a tool to heal from my childhood and my addiction to pain pills. The idea of actually publishing my book began as a joke. I would tell people that I was going to send in my diary to a book publisher and most people would humor me by agreeing it was a good idea. The more I said it the more I became convinced that I would prove to them that I could do it. I still didn’t believe it, but sat down one day and submitted a manuscript. Of course I had to google what a manuscript was.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? For me the most rewarding experience of writing was getting all that I had been holding inside down on paper and realizing that I could do this if I really wanted to. Recovering from the past and looking forward to the future for the first time was so exciting and scary that I almost backed out. Today I try to fit in writing with my hectic life but someday I will get to do this full time.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? My publishing journey has had many ups and downs. I was so uneducated in anything that had to do with writing that I made a few errors in trusting people and signing contracts, so most of it wasn’t rewarding. After struggling with what I should do, I began getting inspirational messages from family and friends saying thank you for sharing your story. That was the reward that I was seeking. It was never really about the monetary portion of my journey.
I wanted to help people especially women who had similar stories and might be afraid to tell them. One day out of the blue a long distant relative reached out to me and told me that after reading my story her and her daughter where finally going to tell their own stories of abuse and they wanted to finally deal with the effect it had on their own life. That was the moment I decided that my journey had just began.
How many published books do you have? I currently have only one book. I do have a few blogs though.
Please list the titles of all your books: Post Trauma: Facing my Pain and Embracing Change
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I had my publisher help me with a title after I wrote it. It was my journal to begin with.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? This book is a biography and a memoir. I just wanted to tell my story.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Post Trauma: Facing my Pin and Embracing Change
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? To give hope to others and to point out to abuse survivors that sometimes life comes back to bite you when you least expect it, but facing it head on and dealing with it can be the difference in being a survivor and being a statistic.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? I would say do your research and don’t expect things to happen overnight. Be patient and persistent. Never give up and it’s never too late to start.
Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is V.C. Andrews because I could relate to her stories.
Post Trauma follows the first two years of a woman who has unknowingly become addicted to prescription pain pills through years of prescriptions.
When she reveals this to her family and begins the process of getting clean, her family endures several tragic deaths. Suffering through physical and mental withdrawals, Renata was unable to be supportive and had to rely on her family when they needed her most.
Renata Kell reveals the heart-wrenching experiences of her struggle and her family's grief and anger as they step up and inspire her to stay sober.
After a period of journaling, Renata's mind began to get clear only for her to have a total mental breakdown. She sought professional help. Upon discovering her PTSD, Renata went against counselor's' advice and wrote down flashbacks of severe physical and sexual childhood abuse.
Post Trauma portrays the wounds that led Renata down this dangerous path and the secrets for which, now revealed, she is finally finding healing. This tremendous story of faith reminds of the need to lean on one another and accept the changes in our lives.
What could have turned out to be a tragic scenario has become an inspiring tale of a family full of love and determination to save each other.