Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Kathy Picard, age 55
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, raised with Bio Mother and Stepfather who sexually abused me from 7-17 years old. No College background, Graduated from Cathedral High School in 1981. Grew up with 3 half-sisters. My Aunt Judi was the Mom in my life that gave me the love and care that I lacked from my bio mother.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Our book that me and my husband Gary wrote has received a Gold Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest for 2017 International Book Awards.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Six years ago, to share my story to all that I can. I truly believe it will help many survivors of sexual abuse along with others such as educators, teachers, therapists, nurses and doctors and all students going to school in these fields. Colleges and University’s too would be benefited by hearing me speak and having the opportunity to purchase my book to take home with them. Police Officers it would help them in both their profession and some in their personal lives.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When starting to work with my husband Gary and Editor Valerie Utton on this book 6 years ago.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My speaking out and knowing that I could continue my message of having a book to share more detail of my personal life.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My Mother always called us “Idiots” or “Assholes so it’s amazing we girls even knew our first real names, then the subtitle is exactly what the story is about.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I always believed to be honest and tell the story EXACTLY as it was done! I didn’t “beat around the bush”.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In my own life-unfortunately
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No just to travel to where I speak which I wish it was daily to be able to help even more.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
This was done by the Editor of the book Valerie Utton but the Flower girl picture is me when I was a young 5 years old.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s NOT your fault this happened to you, You’re NOT Alone, and You can survive and maybe even get the Justice I did by going to court.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
There are many NEW Authors out there today that tell their story of their abuse and I am glad that so many are sharing their stories to help others. Lisa Zarcone being one of them!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Our Editor Valerie Utton along with Former Police Chief Louis Barry along with so many of my supporters and friends.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No not a career as I am a public speaker but with this book it has become my career in life as I don’t work any longer this is my passion-job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Wouldn’t change anything but if I could have made the book longer. But this wouldn’t happen due to expense and time along with people don’t need a long book to read to be able to understand my life and get what they seemed out of it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
That writing a book takes a lot of time and patience with writing with your husband-soulmate.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Play me? Reese Witherspoon or Meg Ryan
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just do it! YOU CAN!!!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for reading my story and to please share to help many more. Do a review for me on Amazon for my book please/
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Honestly right now-nothing as I really have no time to do so.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think The Three Bears
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My 4-legged girl dogs Abby and Sophie some of the things they do crack me up! Sad stories that I read/hear about in the news, tv, and social media.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Oprah Winfrey, to share my book with her to bring to her girl’s academy in South Africa and other places. We all know that a “known” person like her could definitely help to bring my book to light to so many!!!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Walking, exercising and relaxing!!!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
True stories of course!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Desserts, and more Desserts!!! Chocolate. Colors blues and pinks and country music!!
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Speak!!! Relax and my husband wants to live on a lake!!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Not totally sure but something about my hubby and soulmate Gary and me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
http://kathypicard.com/public_html/ and can ALWAYS write to me at Kathychildadvocate@gmail.com
A Story ofSurvival, Courage & Justice
The Story of One Remarkable Woman’s Transformation From Victim to Survivor,
And Her Tireless Quest to Bring an End to the Sexual Abuse of Children
“Life with My Idiot Family: A True Story of Survival, Courage, and Justice Over Childhood Sexual Abuse” by Kathy and Gary Picard
“Kathy Picard’s book, Life with My Idiot Family, is a must read for anyone who finds themselves
doubting the ability of the human spirit to overcome extreme obstacles. Ms. Picard not only
overcomes, but uses her childhood pain as fuel for a life of activism with astonishing
accomplishments in the service of others.”
Author, “You Can Help: A Guide for Family & Friends of Survivors of Sexual Abuse
(Western Massachusetts – March 20, 2017) There is no denying the disturbing statistics of childhood sexual abuse. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, with children 18 years and younger, one in four girls and one in six boys is a victim of sexual abuse. For author Kathy Picard, the pain and lasting impact of this horrendous crime was an inescapable chapter of her life, one that shamed her into silence for many years. In her new book, Life with My Idiot Family: A True Story of Survival, Courage, and Justice Over Sexual Abuse (Lake Town Publishing – February 2017), co-authored with her husband Gary, Kathy Picard chronicles her abusive childhood, and the process of how she found her voice and used it to become a dedicated activist and educator, playing a transformative role in the way other survivors are able to seek justice.
A compelling read with disturbing twists and turns, Kathy Picard tells the story of how, at the age of seven, her sexual abuse began and became a painful and relentless part of her life well into her teens, robbing her of her innocence and childhood. Gradually, Kathy was able to find the courage to speak openly about what she had endured, in spite of the pressure and repeated denials of the family she grew up in, and became even more determined to seek justice.
One pivotal development in Kathy Picard’s question for justice required the monumental task of challenging the outdated statute of limitations for sex abuse crimes in the state of Massachusetts, an obstacle that “stacked the deck” against abused individuals who were unable to find the strength they needed to come forward by their 21st birthday. Too many victims and survivors need decades to confront the painful events they’ve suppressed and denied simply to get through their everyday lives. Kathy Picard’s persistent and tireless work of reaching out and petitioning legislators and other influential figures has been acknowledged by many leaders in the fight to protect victims of sexual abuse.
As an advocate for education designed to encourage children to speak out when they are confused, scared, or being victimized, Kathy Picard has formed alliances with other courageous survivors of sexual abuse, including individuals affected by the widely publicized sexual abuse of children by clergy of the Catholic Church system in Massachusetts.
“Life with My Idiot Family” will inspire people to speak out and add their voices to the nationwide cry for reform in the way sexual abuse is investigated and prosecuted in the U.S., and remind us all that one person can make a difference when it comes to preventing incidents of this kind from occurring and robbing innocent young people of their confidence, self-esteem and ability to trust.
Kathy Picard is an accomplished speaker who has made a difference in the lives of countless victims of sexual abuse crimes. With the publication of her book, she looks forward to connecting with an even wider audience, joining many notable celebrities and politicians in the fight to ensure that the victims of this terrible crime are treated with the respect they deserve.
About Kathy Picard
Kathy Picard is an author, speaker, educator and survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She has been honored for her advocacy work by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, received a citation from former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and was the recipient of the 2014 Pynchon Award, which is bestowed on individuals who have demonstrated exceptional community and civic service. Kathy also received the prestigious Founder’s Day Award from Zonta International, an organization dedicated to empowering women around the world. For the past fifteen years, she has organized and hosted numerous public events designed to raise awareness in all areas of child safety – and has spoken at police academies, colleges, universities and correctional institutions. She has been featured in numerous radio and television interviews, and was featured in Western Mass Women Magazine and other publications. Kathy Picard and her husband Gary, co-author of “Life with My Idiot Family” live in Western Massachusetts.
AIC College Adjustment Counselors Master Program
Asnuntuck Community College
Boy Scout Troop 138 Chicopee
Carl Robinson Correctional Institution
Chicopee Women’s Correctional Center
Cyberstation USA with Jon Lieberman
Domestic Violence, “In the Eyes of a Child” Event
Granby Auxiliary Police Department
Hampden County Correctional Center
Hampden County District Attorney Task Force
Holyoke Community College
Joanie Winberg Happy Wednesday Talk Show
Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys and Girls Club
Ludlow School Committee
Monson Free Library
Northwestern County District Attorney’s Staff
Palmer Police Department ~ Community Development
Smart Start Preschool Presentation for Daycare Providers
Springfield College Presentation for Intervention Crisis Class
STCC Police Academy
StoryCorps Archived at Library of Congress
Track180, a higher degree of news
Western Mass Women’s Magazine
Westfield State College
Westfield State University
WHYN AM with Brad Shepard
Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley
2006 Unsung Heroine Award at the Boston State House from the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Enough Abuse Campaign Trainer Certification 2012
Amberwhistle Program 2008
Citation from Governor Deval Patrick for the Children’s Safety Events I hosted2008
Started Non Profit organization Little Voices Matter Inc.2010
Award for 10th Annual Massachusetts Missing Children’s Day 5.10.10 from John and Magi Bish
Talking About Touching Safety Curriculum Certificate 2009
Stewards of Children Certificate 2011
Early Childhood Conference Certificate 2011
Professional Development Training “Love, “Love, Limits & Lessons” 2009
American Red Cross Hometown Heroes Nomination 2009
Recommendation letters from…
Senator Edward Kennedy
Senator Scott Brown
Senator Stephen Brewer
Senator Stephen Buoniconti
Senator Gale Candaras
Congressman Richard Neal
Congressman John Olver
Speaker Pro Tempore Thomas Petrolati
Representative Rosemary Sandlin
Representative Todd Smola
Director for Governor Patrick, Elizabeth Cardona
Former Colonel /Superintendent of MA State Police Tom Foley
Victim Services Coordinator for Hampden Sheriff’s Dept, Monica Dominique
Assistant District Attorney, Maria Rodriguez
Palmer Chief of Police Robert Frydryk
Ret Granby Chief of Police Louis Barry
Sergeant Mark Smith of Granby Police
Recommendations from Reserve/intermittent Police Officers of GranbyPolice
Counselor Supervisor Carl Robinson Correctional Institution, Linda Kendrick
Male Inmates of Carl Robinson Correction Institution
School Psychologist Margaret Scully
Instructor Joe DeMars American International College
Adjunct Professor/Psychotherapist Audrey Murph-Brown
Counselor Kathleen Conley
Co-worker, Robert Tremble
Priscilla Pires, Licensed Social Worker
Members of Zonta Of Quaboag Valley Organization
Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno
Author, Prosecutor of child abuse, Jill Starishevsky
Student attending Intro to Human Services class at HCC
A neighbor of mine
Thank you for this opportunity!!!!!!