Interview with Richard Wallace Klomp

When did you first start writing?
My mother was an avid reader and her love of books rubbed off on me. As a middle school student I thought there couldn't be anything much cooler than writing books that took people away to wonderful new worlds. I started writing poetry and wound up studying Journalism--thinking that would give me a legitimate career as a writer. I worked as a reporter for a small weekly newspaper and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications with a Print Journalism emphasis. Because I was married I soon learned that I couldn't support myself, much less a family on the pay that was offered, so I entered grad school. My writing skills helped me do well in that program. I spent three months in Germany doing an internship for a US sporting goods company researching why they weren't selling more tennis rackets. I missed my wife and toddler son, and realized that I was passionate about what makes people tick--how our minds function and how we deal with challenging situations.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have two older brothers and two older sisters. Several years ago, my oldest sister died suddenly from an undiagnosed brain tumor. She left behind 6 children. It occurred to me that each year lots of children experience the same kinds of shock, loss and pain that my nieces and nephews faced. I realized that the death of a parent isn't the only kind of potentially-traumatizing event that children might experience as they are growing up. I felt that my education, experience, skill set and passion prepared me to create a series of children's books--the Sometimes Series--to help concerned adults initiate a constructive conversation with a child they cared about who was experiencing a life-changing event.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
To me it's all about freedom. The freedom that I as an author have to identify a potential problem, conduct relevant research, carefully craft a written vehicle to help people address the problem, and put it into their hands quickly and relatively inexpensively. Readers have the freedom to peruse a vastly-expanded collection of work to find exactly what they're interested in and need at that moment in time--quickly and relatively inexpensively. Feels like a major win-win situation to me!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords helped transform a draft on my laptop to a fully-accessible, easy-to-read eBook. Helped me move from a dream to a plan to reality. I'm very excited about the potential audience Smashwords is serving up each day. I hope avid readers are excited about the offerings Smashwords is serving up for them too.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
As a Licensed Professional Counselor and cognitive-behavioral therapist, I derive great satisfaction (and often joy) from providing tools they need to get themselves unstuck to the people I work with. I view the "Sometimes Series" that I am creating as a similar way to positively impact my brothers and sisters of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds and countries.
What do your fans mean to you?
As a father of two sons and two daughters, I have poured a tremendous amount of energy into educating them about ways to live your life that tend to lead to peace and not worry, illumination and not darkness, hope and not hopelessness, and a sense of self efficacy and not helplessness. Now that my children are grown and have children themselves, parts of our relationship have changed, but I still care deeply about the quality of lives they lead. In an adult-to-adult relationship, we strengthen each other. It might sound corny, but I have a similar sense of collaborative interaction with my fans. I try to provide them with different ways to act and different ways to think to obtain different and better outcomes, and I am changed in the process. I am grateful to be able to continue to learn and grow myself. I am indebted to my fans for that.
What are you working on next?
The second book in the "Sometimes Series" addresses the sensitive subject of child abuse. The third will focus on how to support a child who has lost a parent.
Who are your favorite authors?
My mind has been nourished and expanded by many different authors at different ages and stages in my life. For example, I remember being enthralled by stories from Aldous Huxley and Isaac Asimov. And there was a time when I was engrossed in works by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I embraced many of the ideas shared by M. Scott Peck and Chiam Potok. In grad school I studied and was energized by Albert Bandura and Aaron Beck. Part of my professional life was shaped by the thinking of Tom Gorman, Michele Weiner-Davis and Wendy Ulrich. I've currently got over a half dozen partially-read books on my nightstand and I'm enjoying meeting a whole new crop of talented, deep-thinking writers!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The potential to make a difference in somebody's life.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My wife and I love to travel and hike. We've enjoyed trekking along parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and other fun hikes in Georgia this year. Because my wife, who took a 36-year break from college, spent 7 weeks in Geneva, Switzerland, finishing an internship that included attending meetings at the UN there, I visited her there for a week and then we spent a week in Rome early in 2017. (Italy now is one of my favorite places.) I am super proud of her for earning her Masters in International Policy Management. We hope to be able to unite our fairly-unique talents, education, expertise and passion to positively impact the trajectory of refugees. Since my grandfather came to America from the Netherlands when he was only 11, I am very sensitive to this important issue.
How do you approach cover design?
I have developed a collaborative process with a seasoned, creative, patient, designer. I provide her with a representative photo that resonates with me for the cover and she does the rest. We bounce drafts back and forth and usually within about three or four versions we've got a finished product of which I'm proud.
Published 2017-10-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sometimes People Treat Newcomers Badly: How to Talk to Kids About Immigrants and Refugees
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 10,280. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Social Issues / Emigration & Immigration, Nonfiction » Psychology » Interpersonal relations
While America is a nation of immigrants, there still are places in this land where people who come here from other countries are not welcomed. This story focuses on the experiences of one girl to illustrate some of the misconceptions and prejudices that can fuel fear, ridicule and even persecution. It also points the way to peace, understanding and acceptance.
Sometimes We Are Hurt By Traumatic Events: How to Talk to Kids About PTSD
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 7,500. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Health & Daily Living / Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries, Nonfiction » Psychology » Mental health
In today's interconnected society we are almost instantly aware of destruction, disasters and deaths around the world. What impact does this barrage of information have on children? In this book, one boy faces a big problem when his dad returns from war and brings PTSD symptoms into his family. We learn there are many causes of PTSD besides war. There also are successful treatment approaches.
Sometimes People Discriminate Against Others: How to Talk to Kids About Racism
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 11,050. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Social Issues / Prejudice & Racism, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Civil & human rights
Prejudice, discrimination and racism confront too many children in the world today. Caring adults can apply the example in this book of a girl who experiences these behaviors to facilitate a constructive conversation with children they care about who may be worried about similar negative situations. Relevant quotations from a diverse group of wise individuals highlight choices children can make.
Sometimes People We Love Die: How to Talk to Kids About Death
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 8,790. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Social Issues / Death & Dying, Nonfiction » Parenting » Family tragedy
It can be very difficult to speak with a person about the death of someone they love. In this book we see how caring adults help a child deal with the death of her dad. While each situation is different, this story helps us see some typical emotional responses, common challenges and productive strategies. It shares insights in the form of relevant quotations about death from some great thinkers.
Sometimes People Don't Treat Children Right: How to Talk to Kids About Child Abuse
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 7,550. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Social Issues / Sexual Abuse, Nonfiction » Psychology » Child Abuse
In this book, a young girl has a terrifying experience at the home of one of her friends. Somebody she thought she could trust touches her inappropriately and it begins to change the trajectory of her life. When she eventually tells a friend and then family members about what happened, they are able to share insights and encourage her to take actions that help her regain control of her life.
Sometimes Terrorists do Bad Things: How to Talk to Kids About Terrorism
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 8,890. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Children's Books » Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings, Nonfiction » Psychology » Mental health
Discussing a sensitive subject like terrorism with a child can be challenging. It’s not easy to reassure them, reduce their anxiety and help them feel more calm. This book was written by a licensed professional counselor and father of 2 sons and 2 daughters. He shares a simple story with important points and principles to assist caring adults help a child feel more safe and less distressed.