Author Paige Strickland wants adoptees to know that they are not alone or wrong in their feelings.
Paul Collins–Tell us about your background. Who you are, where you are from?
Paige Strickland- Hi Paul, I am a Spanish teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve been in education for 30 years. I tutor and work at Curves (™) and teach Zumba (™) after hours, I am married, have two daughters, one son-in-law and four cats. I enjoy reading, writing, art, gardening, travel, The Cincinnati Reds and spending time with family and friends.
Paul Collins–What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the readers will take away from the experience?
Paige Strickland- Akin to the Truth mostly addresses themes of identity and acceptance. There are also elements of grief/loss, and an unexpected father-daughter element in the story. The father-daughter twist sets this book apart from the other adoption memoirs I’ve read and studied.
Paul Collins–Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke for the reader?
Paige Strickland-I want adoptees to know that they are not alone or wrong in their feelings. I also want adoptive parents to understand that searching for a biological family is not a betrayal, and birth parents are not forgotten. Many adoptees feel they need to search to gain completeness. I want readers to appreciate all aspects of life and find ways to make the most with what they have.
Paul Collins–What prompted you to be an author and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
Paige Strickland- Any time a teacher in school gave a “creative writing” assignment, I enjoyed it and had good results. You might say all the praise and appreciation from my Language Arts / English teachers in school encouraged me to keep writing. For whatever reason, I’ve also always been drawn to books, TV and movies about others who aspire to be writers or teachers. When I was in grade school it was Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Frank and The Waltons. Later, it was movies like Finding Forrester, The World According to Garp, Freedom Writers, Julie and Julia, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Stand and Deliver, just to name a few.
Paul Collins–If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
Paige Strickland- During my writing process for Akin to the Truth, I read comparable adoption memoirs by adoptees. One of them was Beneath a Tall Tree by Jean Strauss. I loved her directness and use of humor, even when she describes her unfortunate circumstances. I chose her work not only because she’s an adoptee but also because she is about my age, so the historical culture would be similar. I also wanted to see how she referenced events. Another adoptee’s memoir I researched and enjoyed was Jan Fischler’s Searching for Jane, Finding Myself. Fischler is also an Ohio adoptee whose acquisition of unammended papers was a lot like mine.
Paul Collins–Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
Paige Strickland- My work in progress? It’s about my experiences at a teacher and substitute for over 30 years. (maybe more since I plan to be in education a while longer.) My plan is to share funny anecdotes, memories of school events and reflections about remarkable students who touched my heart and shaped me during my career. I was inspired to write about my school / work life because it is something I honestly enjoy and feel dedicated to continue. Being a teacher has been my goal since 2nd grade. It’s a huge part of my life in spite of all the state-imposed regulations and cut-backs. I keep fighting for a place in this industry during lay offs and the inconsistent policies being forced upon educators.
Paul Collins–How can your readers contact you? Or buy your books? Or where can they sign up for a newsletter.
Paige Strickland- I have a book blog
Paul Collins —Thanks for taking the time for this interview. All the best!
Paige Strickland- Thanks Paul. Same to you. Thank you for this opportunity!