Interview with Kim Hemphill

Do you remember the first memory you had?
My first memory was at three years old as I was having 105 sutures to close a massive wound across my face. A train, on the side I happened to be sitting, hit the car I was riding in. The head on collision with the locomotive, in a matter of a second, turned me from a beautiful three-year-old blond boy to scarred and ugly child.
Where and how did you grow up?
I was raised in the Pacific Northwest. I had a very dysfunctional life as a child. Living in poverty and child abuse created a terrible climate for raising a child. My mother was handicapped and in very poor health. This left us children at the mercy of our father who hated his situation.

This escalated to the point of near destruction, as I got older. The senseless physical abuse and mental torture I endured from my father was unmerciful. As a child I was a bed wetter until I was somewhere near 10 years old. This added much stress to the already dysfunctional life I lead. I felt that, here again, I was not normal and a freak or misfit. The beatings and agony from my father went on for several years. My father had a much different approach on my bed-wetting. He figured that I was just too lazy to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. He reasoned that I would much rather lie in the bed and urinate all over myself. So his diagnosis and plan was that he would beat it out of me. This punishment did not work, and if anything escalated the problem. My father decided to ratchet up the beatings. He then took the approach that not only would he beat me, but would drape the soggy urine soaked blanket over my head, while he beat me with the belt. There would be times where I would have to stand there for 30 minutes or more breathing in the urine soaked blankets that had a stench of ammonia. These moments seemed to last an eternity. I developed into a hardened boy that desperately needed sociological help and mental health counseling, I received none. My life continued to spiral into a deep dark hole.

I went on to being homeless, living in a tent pitched in the forest and living off the land. My living room at 16 years old was a campfire and folding chair.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The descent into the dark hole of pain continued for many years. At times this descending path was a free fall and then it started to slow down. I managed to grab on to something in this crevice I had created and stopped from going any deeper.

At this point in my life I needed to overcome many past issues: child abuse, homelessness, lack of any formal education and mental health issues. I started in and by the grace of God I met some angels on earth who, along with myself, changed my life. I starting looking at myself in a new light and hope was born within me.

Despite all these limitations and issues I went on to have a professional career in the banking and the real estate industry.

I have invented and patented numerous products that are being sold across the United States. I created a company based on these inventions for the barbecue industry. Over the past 40 years I have founded and still own the three companies that are operating today.

I broke the chain of child abuse. I raised my son without ever raising hand. To this day we are best friends and he is my proudest accomplishment in life.

I have “given back” and honored my past angels on earth. I have mentored 6 people that were in the same situation as myself, total despair with no future. Through their hopes, willing not to give up, hard work and my help, they too have become professionals. They started out as labors just existing on little earnings. They developed into highly skilled pro’s earning six figure incomes and flourishing.

The determination to not fail, but be a winner in life, was strong within me. I read that Vince Lombardi once wrote, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” This has inspired me more than any other seven words written.
What are you working on next?
My brother was killed in Vietnam January 16, 1969, just after 2 weeks and 3 days of arriving in the country. I am very interested in authoring a book honoring our military. In 2002 I was reading the book Semper Fi Vietnam and while consumed in the book it revealed the battle where my brother Craig gave his life. It also pointed out the location of this incident. It did not take me long to get everything I needed to gain entry into a communistic country and I was standing in this very spot Craig was killed.
What was the greatest joy of writing "I Remember the Time..."
My greatest joy is describing how all the odds were against me yet I managed through the grace of God, some angels on earth and the strong desire to be someone of value, to become a success in our society. My goal is to perhaps have someone read my life story and realize they too can be a winner. Or perhaps it may show someone that they can break the chain of child abuse and be a better parent. Another thought is perhaps this story will bring to light that giving back is so rewarding!
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! Without them, as an author, I would be very lonely!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The little things that I enjoy and discover every day. Today it was the flowers that seemed to cleanse my soul. Others days it's the smile on my wife's face. Or perhaps it is the "I love you" from my son. One thing for sure, it's my dogs greeting me every time I walk into the room.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My favorite time is spending time with my son and wife. I am an avid Mariner and Seahawks fan. I enjoy wood working in my shop. Then my two female boxers are my babies and I spend a lot of time enjoying them.
Published 2016-09-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

I Remember the Time...
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 66,650. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
Ride along on a journey that starts from a disfiguring childhood accident to years of abuse and bullying, and ends with a life full of success, happiness, and love.