Just in time to help spread the word about my attendance at the Dekalb Library Author Fair tomorrow, Mysterias Blog posted an interview of me today. Here’s one of the answers I gave, but I hope you will click through to read the whole interview.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
The volunteers and staff at The Night Ministry in Chicago were influential in helping me see the importance of reaching out and how much of an impact compassion and acceptance can make in someone else’s life. If I have to name three people in particular, I think it would be three homeless young men I met while I volunteered with TNM. Eric was my first lesson in how to give unconditional love. He was messed up, involved in male prostitution to feed his drug habit, yet so kind and vulnerable that I couldn’t fault him for that. I could see there was more to him than the struggles he was going through. Then there was Chris, who was bi-polar but so smart. He was always the first to be there for his friends and anyone he felt was being treated unfairly. He and I studied for his GED and he finally got back on his feet and I’m sure is out there still standing up for those less fortunate. Then there was Anthony. He had some sort of learning disability and had had an abusive childhood, but he was always the happiest young man you could ever hope for. His positive outlook on life never wavered for long, and his smile always cheered me up when I was feeling down.