Friday, January 11, 2013

#AuthorInterview Kenneth Brimhall Cross-cultural stories

Today, I am pleased to have Kenneth Brimhall, an author living on the US/Mexican border who writes cross-cultural fictional stories.

Tell us about your background.
I lived in Iowa twenty-five years, on the South Texas, USA, border for thirty years, and I married a Guatemalan, so my two published works deal with Midwestern Caucasians, Americans of Mexican descent and Guatemalans One book satirizes a border high school (an absurd short novel) and the second ties corruption in Guatemala to corruption in South Texas (a border mystery). They are issue-oriented with a lot of realistic detail. I'm working on a cross-cultural romance (Caucasian-Guatemalan) set in Guatemala, which should be ready to publish next year, plus what I hope will be a Kindle short about a cross-cultural family, also Caucasian-Guatemalan.

When did you start writing?
I started writing in college in Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA, way back when (the 70's). Is it really that long ago? And I honed some stories into a series--which I still have,by the way--then life took over (unemployment) I got sidetracked, I joined the Peace Core, got married, returned to the states with a baby and got a job as an English teacher on the Texas-Mexico border, where I lived for thirty-two years. I'm in San Antonio, Texas, USA, now, retired, still married to the same lovely woman, Adela, with two adult daughters.

How did you get back into writing again?
I took up writing again seven years ago, and failed to get any attention, until I finally self-published on Amazon and Smashwords in 2012. I have two books published now, and plans for two more. I'm trying to introduce myself to the reading public on Twitter (@HynehKen) and Goodreads and have met some wonderful people like Rachelle Ayala. I look forward to a great 2013.

Sounds great. Let's talk about one of your works, Letting Them. What is it about?

An epidemic of indolence threatens to swamp a South Texas high school.  Two geezer teachers, Calvin Sizemore and Emir Rubio, battle to survive. . . .

What inspired you to write this book?
Frustration.  I kept reading the newspapers, watching TV shows, talking with leaders in the community, and no one seemed to have a clue why schools were failing.

What will happen if parents and the state fail to recognize drug abuse, gang violence and teenage pregnancy as an epidemic?
We will decay from within.  Crime will grow.  Common decency will decline.  Respect for one another disappear.

What is your personal opinion?
In many cases, drug abuse, gang violence and teenage pregnancy are symptoms of a much greater problem: ennui.  Students not only are bored, they are spiritually empty.  They have lost their souls.

Books about ghosts, vampires and teenage slaughter won’t help.  Young people need something to believe in: religion, human rights, something.  Schools need to stop letting students freeload.  Here is where the ennui divides and grows.  Engage these students.  Put pressure on them.  Do something as early as possible, even when the child is in kindergarten.  Don’t wait until all the student cares about are cheap thrills and entertainment.

I agree. The most important skill young people need to develop is critical thinking so they won't be hoodwinked by politicians. Thanks for visiting, and I look forward to your upcoming romance.

1 comment:

  1. I love this interview. Thanks for introducing Ken Brimhall to me. I agree that we need to start raising awareness to these epidemics and make a change. Letting Them sounds like a very needed book.