“I felt strongly about sharing my experiences with others to perhaps inspire people to know that you can be down and out on your luck, but you can prevail. I hope to show some of today’s parents you can break the chain of abuse that has gone on from one generation to the next.”
-Kim Hemphill on his book, “I Remember the Time…”
Q: Your book covers some really personal things about your life. What inspired you write this book? How long did it take you to decide that your story needed to be told?
Yes, there are some very personal issues revealed in my book. Some are very painful and some still hurt today; even after six decades. I felt strongly about sharing my experiences with others to perhaps inspire people to know thatyou can be down and out on your luck, but you can prevail.
I hope to show some of today’s parents you can break the chain of abuse that has gone on from one generation to the next.
I also wanted to bring “giving back” to the front burner. I have mentored 6 people who were down on their luck as I was. They all went on to be successful professionals with a second chance in life.
As I got older and looked back on how I did some things right and other issues not so right, I realized however I did learn from all these experiences. I am a vocal person and like to express my opinion. The best and most practical application is to be an author and put it down in writing. I want to take my past experiences and convert them into revenue to help several causes: children, our veterans, our police officers and our elderly. These are the closest to my heart.
Q: What challenges did you have while writing it?
Well, there were different types of challenges. The first was the pain that I had buried for over 50 years was dug up and re-experienced. At times there was more crying and pain than there was writing.
Another challenge was my confidence in my writing ability due to lack of any formal education. So as I practiced and studied, it improved. I still have to say thank goodness for my editor!
Another issue for a self-publisher is that there is so much offered on the Internet that it becomes over-whelming. There is so much information/offers that conflict with each other; you do not know what direction to take. There is so many people hawking their programs that it is hard to detect who really knows what they are doing or just attempting to preform a cash-ectomy on you, and really not offer anything of value.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from reading your book(s)?
In this first book I want to inspire people to believe that they too can go on and become successful no matter how they were raised. I want to help bring child abuse to the front burner and show that it can be defeated. I want to help children that are abused or neglected. The book I Remember the Time… is the first of a series. I am donating 20% of the profits to advocates who care for abused children.
Q: What have you found to be your greatest life lesson?
Now that is a tough question so I want to say this first:
“ Winners never quit and quitters never win” (Vince Lombardi). If you quit, so do your dreams. I have never met a successful person who quit their passion.
Kindness and love is so much more powerful than anger and hate; plus it is so much more enjoyable for all parties involved.
Q: If you could live in the story of a book, which one would you live in?
American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood. I was a little boy watching Clint in his roll as “Rowdy Gates”. He made quite an impression on me. He was my hero! I wanted to live back in that time–the 1860s. Clint Eastwood is still my hero. Look at how he grew and developed into a hero to millions of people.
Q: When you’re not writing what do you do?
I have been a Real Estate Appraiser for 40+ years and my son has aspirations of taking over the company. My ambition is to continue training him and mentoring him as the transition takes place. My wife Carol and I ran our company for 35 years and now it is a great opportunity for our boy to take the reins.
Q: What else do you write?
I am now working on my next book Remembering Those who Gave Back. This book brings to light those “angels on earth” who stopped and helped people in need. This has a special place in my heart, as I was the recipient of very special people who saw a young man in need of help.
Q: What’s your “writer studio” like or where do you feel inspired to write?
I like to sit in my easy chair where there are no distractions and it is very quite. There I can think and write as my thoughts flow. This room has lots of windows and the natural light and sunshine is abundant. It is important to me to have the right environment to totally relax and enjoy the moment. When writing I have nothing on my mind but the topic that I am composing at that moment.
Q: Of all the characters you have written/written about, do you have a favorite?
So far I written non-fiction so the “characters” I have described are my family members. My brother Craig, who was killed in Vietnam in 1969 after just 2 weeks at 19 years old is my favorite person in my book I Remember the Time…. He was such a kind and caring friend of mine.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer and how long have you been writing professionally?
I have wanted to write for the last 20 years or so but life and a busy schedule continued to disrupt my intentions. Then I got started and the rewards and positive results started to happen. Publishing is no different than any other accomplishment in life; you have to learn how to do it correctly. My advice is to go at a slow pace to start and make the right decisions. It is so much more enjoyable than making mistakes and having to start over. It can be very destructive to ones confidence to make too many costly errors in the start of any project, as this is when you are the most vulnerable.
I am now 65 and am on my second book and my second year of writing. I have truly enjoyed the journey and all of the kind people I have met along the way.
Q: Where do you think book publishing will be in 10 years from now?
The self-publishing world has turned this industry upside down and right side up. The good ol’ boys club in publishing has been shattered and put in its proper place. The tight control on how a book was published 10 years ago is gone. Now, a new novice author can get his/her work out and build a fan base. With social media and hard work from the author, they can succeed. Just keep in mind you still have to do two things: quality and lots of hard work! I think this trend over the past 5-6 years has gained a lot of traction and will continue to develop in the same direction.
Q: How can people help fight child abuse?
Now this question could be an entire book! I would say there are several ways and to name a few:
- Starts right at home. Don’t use physical, mental or sexual abuse when raising your children. If you hear about it happening in other households, report it immediately. If your spouse or anyone else in the household is hurting the children, you must protect them and take appropriate action.
- You can contribute cash to worthy causes or established advocates for child abuse or neglect. I would not donate without some confirmation that 80-85% of the money actually gets to the intended cause. Administration costs should not be over 10% and marketing costs another 10%. The worthy ones have independent third party audits annually showing were the funds are allocated. These reports are made available to the public. There are great organizations for charity and then there are some, who in my opinion, are deceptive. Just do your “due diligence” so your hard earned money goes to good use.
- Contribute your time. Check out your local area for children and women’s shelters. Children’s hospitals are another great place to give.
- If you belong to a club and have the ability for fundraising, this can be a group effort that will be a lot of fun and very rewarding to the club and the recipients.