We’ve got several great books lined up in the next month for you, and today’s novel is no exception. While author Katie Ganshert is new to me, the themes she writes about in No One Ever Asked aren’t anything new. If you’re passionate about implicit bias, adoption, and/or issues of race in general in our country today, DO check out the interview and leave a comment to win a copy of the book. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? I’m a wife, a special-needs adoptive mama, and an author born and raised in eastern Iowa. My husband and I have two kiddos (a son and a daughter) and a labradoodle named Gus. I taught 5th grade for four years before staying home to raise our kids and write full-time. I’ve written several novels, along with short works of fiction. I love having coffee mornings or wine nights with friends, date nights with my husband, reading books by the fire, watching my children in their extracurriculars, and sleeping.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? No One Ever Asked is a story about three very different women whose lives are brought together when an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors. Camille Gray is the wife of a corporate executive, mother of three, and a long-standing PTO chairwoman. Jen Covington is a newly adoptive mom who’s struggling with a happily-ever-after so much more difficult than she anticipated. And Anaya Jones is the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. It’s a story that explores the implicit bias impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human?
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? A couple years ago, I was listening to an episode on a popular podcast called This American Life. The episode was titled, ‘The Problem We All Live With’, featuring investigative reporter, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who covers race in the United States. She was sharing about a modern-day integration story, wherein a Missouri school district comprised almost entirely of low-income, black and brown students lost their accreditation, triggering a law that allowed these students to transfer to a mostly white, affluent school district nearby. The podcast included several sound bites from a town meeting held in one of the affluent district’s high schools, and the pushback from the parents was shocking. I couldn’t believe it was from 2013. It was a story that captivated me about a topic that impassions me. So when it came time to write my next novel, this was where my heart kept returning.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? I hope the last page of No One Ever Asked will find hearts softer than the first. I hope eyes will be opened, defensiveness will crumble, and ears will be more willing to listen. I hope my words will give readers more empathy for the “other”, whoever that other may be.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? This story really brought home to me the fact that no one person, myself included, is all one thing or the other. All of us are complex people with complex histories and experiences, which indelibly shape the way we look at ourselves, others, and the world around us. I also learned that racism runs deep in the fabric of our society, and if we’re ever going to honestly address that, we have to be willing to listen to perspectives and experiences that are unfamiliar and different from our own.
How and where can we find you on the internet? The best place to find me is my website: www.katieganshert.com. Sign up for my Stay in the Loop email list to get the latest news straight in your inbox, and be a part of exclusive giveaways. I’m notoriously horrible at remembering to send out news, so you definitely don’t have to worry about me crowding your inbox. I’m also around the Facebook, and the Twitter and Instagram too!
I’m in the middle of Katie’s book right now, and it’s a fast read …not because it’s brainless, but because it’s that good. Leave a comment for Katie if you’d like to win a copy of her book. Also, visit Instagram in the next couple of days for more ways to win!
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