Monday, October 1, 2012

Guest Post from Kimberly Gould on Contemporary History

Contemporary or Historical?

When I started writing Thickness of Blood, I knew it was set in the past. The girls wore dresses and were told not to run. A girl might not feel like she could tell her parents everything. A family might shun a teen for getting pregnant. I put those ideas together and tried to find a time that would work. I wanted the girls to have some independence, so that brought me to latter half of the twentieth century. After the fifties, but not as late as the eighties.

I instantly had a genre problem. Anything written at the turn of the twentieth century and even a little later (up to the second world war) would be classified as historical fiction. Anything written from the nineties and more recently, with ample electronics and technology, is contemporary. But what about those decades in between?

I did a quick Google search to define the two genres and found Contemporary History. It's usually listed as a course title or relating to a thesis in, you guessed it, history. As soon as I saw it, though, I knew that described my book.

My story took place in the seventies. Feminism was strong enough that men would crack jokes to make light of it, but not strong enough that a girl could wear slacks to school. Disposable pregnancy tests were an innovation. Roe vs Wade was still new, but abortion was a possibility a young girl might not even know was open to her.

In the midst of all that societal turmoil, I through a wrench at several young girls, in the form of sexual and physical abuse. Each girl succeeds or fails by the family she relies on. Indeed, even the abuser is defined by his family. One family is taxed by having too many children and has nothing to offer their daughter. Another is wealthy but cold and distant and won't accept a bastard grandchild. The abuser grows up in a household of abuse, not surprisingly, and the gruff father is shown to be callous to survive an abusive wife.

The final family, and the one with ties stronger than blood, is George's. He loves his wife and daughters dearly and would spoil them if he had the money. As it is, he spreads himself even thinner by taking on a fourth daughter that he won't see turned onto the streets. It is in this family that healing thrives. With such a bleak story, I had to have some light to give the reader hope. Both Daphne, George's daughter, and Lila, who he adopts, are able to move past the abuse onto successful lives.

Blurb for Thickness of Blood

George is obsessed with finding the man who raped his daughter. Searching the southern states in the 1970s, he tracks down James but also finds Lila, another girl victimized by his daughter’s rapist.
George holds himself responsible for not getting there sooner, not preventing Lila from becoming pregnant at fifteen and exiled by her family. Unable to abandon her, George gives Lila a new home, a new family. In the process, they both discover that some ties are thicker than blood.

You can buy Thickness of Blood through Martin Sisters Publishing.

Born Kimberly Donn Dell, she hated being called Kimmy, but when her Mom called her Kimmydonn, that was okay. Now she is married to Allen Gould and has Lilah, or Delilah, or Delilah Dell if she's misbehaving and Dad catches her. Continuing in her day job as an Environmental Consultant, Kim is also a writer in the time she finds on the sides.

You can find Kimberly Gould at or on Facebook or twitter (@Kimmydonn).

Thank you so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)

1 comment:

  1. I had to chuckle a little when I read this article since I was reminded that I don't have to Google search the 70's to find out what they were like. This young author did a great job with capturing the flavor of that era and I certainly recommend this book. David J. Kirk, author of Particular Stones


Comments are on moderation, so they'll become visible once I've read them. Words, words, words. I love them. Have you a few to lend?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.