Welcome to another edition of Meet The Author Monday. This week we are going to talk a little bit with K.C. Dreisbach, author of Trials of The Working Parent. This Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist tackles the tough topic of balancing parenthood with a career. Per usual, my comments/questions will be in BLUE and K.C. will be in GREEN.
Thanks for stopping by K.C. The issues you tackle in your book are near and dear to my heart, being a working parent myself. Before we get into that, let’s talk about some of your earliest experiences with reading.
Although reading is one of my absolute favorite hobbies now, it wasn’t always. As a child, I struggled to read. I’m not sure if it was because I was learning to speak two different languages at once, or if it was due to an undiagnosed learning disability, but my kindergarten teacher at that time didn’t make things any easier. It’s a long story, but I experienced significant amounts of emotional and psychological abuse from that teacher…. And I never said anything about it. I grew to hate school, lying desperately to avoid having to go. Eventually, my parents switched me to a new school, and there, my 1st Grade teacher was able to detect that I had been abused.
Sounds like someone who shouldn’t be teaching. But I am glad that things got better for you. With the abuse uncovered, where did things go from there?
Reading was an uphill battle, and even though my reading skills improved, my hate for it didn’t change. It didn’t matter what my parents did, I hated reading and writing with a deep, loathing passion. Things didn’t change until my father gave me a gift that would be a game-changer for me. That gift was a copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I didn’t even look at it until a year later when the series became hugely popular. All my friends were reading it, so I decided to give it a try. I was hooked! And after that, I became an avid reader.
Rowling definitely knows how to put together a story. She is one of my favorite current authors. Have you stuck with fantasy or do you have other favorites now?
Definitely fantasy, especially epic fantasy. But I’m open to pretty much all fiction. I struggle a little more with non-fiction, but I’ve read some stuff I enjoy in that category too.
With the earlier struggles you faced with reading and writing, what made you decide to cross the line from reader to writer?
Truthfully, I wrote my first short story when I was in 3rd Grade as part of a class assignment. My teacher was so impressed by it, she passed it on to my principal to read. This was the first time, but it wasn’t the last. In each grade, there was always an assignment that revolved around writing a story. I think the next one that I received attention for my writing was in 7th Grade, where I had to write an alternate ending to a short story.
Eventually, I started writing regularly in my spare time, and I completed my first novel when I was about 20 years old, after working on it for 5 years. I never attempted publishing it, but it was truly a wonderful feeling to complete it, and it inspired me to work on my next project.
So, to answer your question, I don’t think there was a “moment” really. I think it was more of a gradual transition, slowly evolving from non-reader to writer.
An incredible journey given your literary beginnings. I’m glad you saw your way through the initial difficulties. What is your preferred genre when you put fingers to keys, or pen to paper?
I definitely dabble in many. My current published work is a non-fiction book on parenting while maintaining a career. I am a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, so I’m currently writing about parenting and family relationships. But, I also write fiction, though I haven’t attempted to publish any of it. I hope to break into publishing my works of fiction within the next few years, however.
I hope you will as well. There is always room for a fresh voice, especially in fantasy, at least in my humble opinion. Tell us about your journey from writer to “published writer”.
I think the biggest journey for me has been the writing. Trying to find an opportunity to write with two young kids and a full-time job has proven to be quite challenging. I’ve written a few fiction novels, but none that I have felt ready to share with the larger world yet. The first book I truly felt ready to publish was “Trials of the Working Parent.” It was scary though because it was a very personal book in many ways. I pulled back the curtain on so many topics surrounding parenting, and I disclosed so much about my own journey as a parent, that publishing “Trials…” left me feeling a little naked. So, you can imagine my relief when it was pretty well received by readers.
It looks like a book I need to pick up myself. I’m guessing based on your topic for your book that you have more experience than just as a therapist. How do you spend your non-writing time?
I’m a pretty busy person. By day, I am a Clinical Supervisor for a group home for boys. I also provide training opportunities in my community to universities and local school districts on different topics in mental health. Most importantly, I’m a mom of two kids, my five-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son. They keep me pretty busy when I’m not working.
You truly are ‘working parent’ just like you wrote about. Do you have anything else you would like to share before we direct readers to your website?
When “Trials…” was first released, I was asked by a blogger why I wrote “Trials…” in the first place. It didn’t take me long to respond. I wrote “Trials of the Working Parent,” so that other moms and dads could see they were not in this struggle alone. Being a working parent is very difficult, the amount of guilt you feel all the time is very real and overbearing. “Trials…” was meant to help parents realize that it’s “ok” to not be perfect, it’s “ok” to have a job you love, and it’s “ok” to feel overwhelmed by parenthood.
Thank you for sharing your story with us K.C. and I hope you will come visit us again when you have those fantasy works ready for other eyes. I’d love to share them with my readers.
If you would like to keep tabs on K.C. you can find her at the following links. Give her a follow and encourage her to share her fiction works with us as well.
Website(NonFacebook if applicable): http://www.kcdreisbach.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kcdreisbach
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