Christine Roundy coauthored the book, A Time to Speak with Timothy Becker; here is a link to the book’s Amazon page:
Q: What is, A Time to Speak about?
A: A Time to Speak is about the sexual abuse of fifteen year old Timothy Becker by his parish priest. Not only does the book cover this eight month part of his life, it builds on his story about his adoption at one month old. Timothy also faces other challenges in his youth. He was born with a club foot and developed epilepsy in kindergarten, an illness that put him on phenobarbital until he was nearly sixteen. It is also his story of suppression – shoving all his horrific memories into the nether regions of his mind. But his suppression brings out multiple personalities, anger issues, and a will to survive when all his memories surge back some twenty-seven years later. A Time to Speak marks his healing as he finally comes to terms with the challenges of his life.
Q: How did you meet Timothy?
A: I met Timothy thru my husband. Mac drives for a transportation company and has picked up Timothy on several occasions and taken him to Park City, Utah where he works. Tim has spoken of his abuse on these taxi rides and my husband wondered if I was interested in doing an interview with him. I have written other biographies for people and I have written many fiction stories, two which have been published.
Q: What interested you about his story?
A: I was interested in Tim’s story because I believe that the perpetrators of any child abuse and molestations must pay the consequences for such vile behavior! Our little ones are put in a no win situation. Rarely does a child tell anyone what is happening to them. They are threatened not to tell. They are told that bad things will happen to their families and to them. In many cases it does. Nevertheless, it causes untold trauma to children of any age that they cannot comprehend it all. The trauma is ongoing.
Q: There have been a lot of books and films about abusive priests recently. What makes this story unique?
A: Tim’s story is unique in a few ways. First, those on his board of review within the Catholic Diocese which he attended, treated him as if he were a liar and mentally incompetent, stipulating that fifteen therapy sessions was charity only, and they hoped he got better. Second, He had the courage to put his name out publicly. Where other abuse victims were speaking out anonymously or giving only their initials, Timothy gave his whole name, and named his abuser. Newspapers across the nation picked up the story and it stayed in the headlines for a while.
Q: Do you use people’s real names in the book?
A: Tim and I debated this question. Of course we asked permission from friends and family members if we could use their names and they opted for privacy. Consequently, we decided that the only real name we’d use would be Tim’s. By means of public interest we could legally put in the name of his abuser, but we chose to change that name also. Who really knows how this story will end in the future?
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your writing?
A: I am a secretary by day and a writer by night. I work for my local school district in the Youth in Custody Department. I collect data and school records for incoming students that are in State’s Custody. We are concerned with the education of each student, whether they be five or eighteen, we make sure they are placed in the most productive environment. This job has not yet influenced my writing in any way. We can only see what may happen as the years go by.
Q: What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?
A: I think the most difficult thing about writing this book was when I fell very ill for about two months last winter and I had to stop working on it. It is a disconcerting topic. I think also that by reading it over and over again I became desensitized and I began to wonder if it was worth my time. Of course it was, and I don’t regret any time I spent on this book or this topic. These are stories that need to be told. These are horrors that need to be spoken about, and these are people who need a listening ear.
Q: What is your writing process?
A: My writing process? Hum! Mostly I dream my stories. I’d say my writing process is very haphazard. I jot things down. I type myself e-mails and add them in later. I’ll sit for hours composing right on my PC. Sometimes only a pen and paper are the right things to use. I think about my stories a lot! Many times I get my ending before the beginning. When I know the outcome, then I can figure out where to begin. Sometimes I’ll have a beginning waiting many years before I ever get back to it.
Q: What have you done to promote your book?
A: I have my own website where I offer my novels. roundycorner.wix.com/mysite Of course they are on Amazon.com. I offer free giveaways on Goodreads. I’m on Twitter and Facebook. I do book signings and have one coming up at Hunter Library on September 10, 2016 in West Valley, Utah. I have also engaged the services of Word Slinger which is where you found me. Thanks.
Q: Do you think the fact that the book is explicit may turn some people off from reading it?
A: Yes! I’ve had four people unfriend me on Facebook because of it. I have friends that have encouraged me to write it and haven’t purchased the book. I have friends tell me that they will never read it because it has some explicit scenes. That doesn’t bother me. Even though I worked hard to treat Tim’s experiences with respect and dignity, I know this subject is not for everyone. It’s a shame, though, when people hide their heads in the sand because they don’t like something. That’s the time to stand up and do something about it! As a Romantic fiction novelist, I do not write explicit sex scenes in my stories. Sexual tension, yes! Garbage, no! Just sayin’.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.