KRISTIN LYNN MITCHELL, M.Ed. was born in Washington, D.C. She was formerly educated in the District of Columbia Public School system, from grades K-12. Because of her immense desire to become an educator, aiding in positively changing the lives of students in the District of Columbia, she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Spelman, Kristin became a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., following in her mother’s footsteps.
Kristin always excelled academically. She graduated from Spelman number ten in her class, Phi Beta Kappa, and with high honors—summa cum laude. After graduating from Spelman, Kristin was accepted into Teach For America, and began her career as a high school, special education teacher at Anacostia Senior High School in Washington, DC. During her first year of teaching, Kristin set out to pursue her Master of Education in special education from George Mason University. Kristin graduated from George Mason with a perfect 4.0 GPA and high honors. Kristin credits her success to her mother, Erica J. D. Jones, and her earnest desire to teach to Ms. Griselda Y. Rutherford, her fifth grade teacher.
Kristin currently resides in Washington, D.C., with her pet tortoise, Brylen, and is still striving to make a positive change in the lives of students who reside in the southeast quadrant of Washington, DC.
BPM: What motivated you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
My relationship with an ex-boyfriend was my inspiration for writing, He Wasn’t My Daddy. The demise of this relationship catapulted into a platform that is relevant to millions of women across the globe. This platform is that of being a “fatherless daughter.” This relationship allowed me to realize that I was a “fatherless daughter” and that I had, “daddy issues.” Thusly, I began to realize the importance of having that father figure in your life, and the detriment that can be caused when that presence is absent, as in my case.
BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
Absolutely! In this book, I am speaking from a very personal place. I am telling, “Kristin’s story, based on Kristin’s perspective.” My story is all about my upbringing, being raised by a single mother, and being a, “fatherless daughter.” I speak to how not having the presence of a father figure in my life affected me, how it caused me to cling onto situations and people and look for that unique love in all the wrong places.
BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What separates this story from the millions of other books on the shelves? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
You know, this is a story about love, loss, abandonment, and restoration! It truly takes you through the journey of a “fatherless daughter.” It is written in a way that bonds “fatherless daughters” across the world. It connects us by teaching and allowing the reader to see that so many of us share the same and/or similar stories, as it relates to this platform. It provides real-life examples of how to reach a happier ending; and most importantly, it’s expression of vulnerability and emotional exposure makes it easy for readers to relieve some of the shame and/or guilt for the decisions that they might have made, as a result of not having that father figure.
He Wasn’t My Daddy is honest, holds nothing back, and allows for others to witness that it is okay to expose all, in an effort to heal open wounds. Yes, it will be available on Nook and Kindle.
BPM: Give us an insight into the relationships discussed in the book. What makes each one so special?
The two biggest relationships that I discuss in the book are the relationship with my ex, L.B. and the relationship between my father and I. Where do I begin? My relationship with L.B. was my first real, “adult” relationship. I would have moved Heaven and Earth for that man. There was something about the genuine care and concern that I believed he felt for me that drew me into him. I mean, I don’t recall ever feeling as if a man felt that type of genuine care and concern about me before. He wanted the best for me, he cared about my well being, he was interested in my finishing undergrad; he just wanted the overall best for me. No wonder I latched on! I quickly and unknowingly, placed him on a pedestal: one so tall that I left no room for him to fall – no room for error. I believe this is where I subconsciously placed him in the role of a father figure. He became my “everything!”
After L.B. and I broke up, and I began to experience an, “emotional rollercoaster.” During the aftermath, I began to realize what I had subconsciously done; but it took me four long years! I realized that I did have, “daddy issues” and all this time, I was looking fort L.B. to fulfill that role. I mean I had never had my father around growing up. He was imprisoned when I was so young. All those years that I missed out on having my father around, affected me in a very subconscious way. All this time I thought that I was just looking for and yearning for L.B.’s love; when all the while, I was yearning for the love of my father; the type of love that L.B. would never have been able to give me, no matter how hard he tried. Needless to say, the book definitely speaks to my father and my estranged relationship and the journey that we are on to build what should have always been there.
BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Wow! This book delves deep. He Wasn’t My Daddy speaks to various topics, platforms. The primary one being that of, “fatherless daughters.” Additionally, I discuss mental illness, suicidal ideations, sexual promiscuity, love & relationships, and self-esteem. Writing this book was definitely therapeutic for me. It allowed me to uncover a LOT of deep-rooted baggage that I was blindly carrying around. Being able to share my story and connect with other women in the same and/or similar circumstances is a pure blessing!
BPM: What was your biggest challenge writing this particular book?
The biggest challenge I face while writing the book was having to relive some painful situations and recall some painful memories. It took a lot of strength to get through writing many off the chapters, as they are true reflections of my life and recant very painful experiences that I have endured. However, in an attempt to deliver something that was as authentic as possible, I had to ensure that I captured all of what I experienced and felt in my life, especially during those pivotal times. I'm hopeful that readers will appreciate this emotional sacrifice.
BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers?
I want readers to take away that if I can make it, Lord knows they can too! I mean, the struggle is definitely real, and there will be days that seem unbearable. However, I want to be the voice that says, “You can make it. Don’t give up and stay the course.” Look at the bright side, having the opportunity to reconnect to your father, or any parent is a blessing. It allows you to learn more about yourself, repair other broken relationships, set realistic expectations and ways of being for romantic relationships, and it opens up so many doors for emotional healing.
Lastly, I want readers to realize just how much not having a relationship with a parent can affect romantic relationships. We wonder why we as women put up with so much from the men in our lives; here is a good reason why!
BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would you like to accomplish after the book is released?
To me, success can’t really be defined or measured. Success is your personal satisfaction with self, both professionally and personally. That is very different for everyone and depending on where you are in your life, it can change for the individual as well. Don’t try to be successful; if you’re anything like me, you will run yourself into the ground trying to keep up with yourself. Rather, work toward accomplishing whatever realistic goals you set out for yourself. That’s it, that’s all!
BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have?
I believe that the most important quality a writer should have is transparency. I do not believe that you can truly affect change, inspire, and uplift people if you do not bring a strong sense of transparency. People want someone that they can relate to, someone who is not afraid to be vulnerable and share their story; with the hopes that someone else can benefit from it.
BPM: What are your expectations for this book?
My expectations for this book are two things. The first being to continue to spark a nation-wide and worldwide dialogue about, “fatherless daughters.” It is important for women to understand that there are millions of other women out there who understand and have fought this struggle and that they are not alone. It is equally as important for them to realize that often time their personal and romantic relationships have a great potential to be negatively affected as a result of being a, “fatherless daughter.” Often time we do not realize the detriment that is caused, the cycles that we perpetuate and how the decisions we make are predicated on those primary relationships we build with our parents; and as daughters with our fathers. Perhaps, continuing this dialogue will open the eyes of many to this issue.
My second expectation of this book is to travel the world, being a voice for and connecting to women like me! What a more fulfilling experience? Let’s talk, allow me to share how made it through my darkest times, my mental illness, my suicidal attempts. Allow me to share the steps that my father and I have taken to mend our relationship, and how that has tremendously benefited my life and helped to uncover so many other broken relationships; and most importantly, allow me to share how the grace of God has kept me.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
The best ways to discover more about my work and me is to follow me on social media and invite me to speak at panel discussions and various events.
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