Kimberly: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Mr. Coleman: I am a native of Washington D.C., currently residing in North Carolina. My first novel, Memories Vision is a fictional story of Queenie Jones, the most famous, notorious and controversial black female entertainer of all time.
Kimberly: Where did your inspiration for The Ripple Effect come from?
Mr. Coleman: In Florida, a 14 year was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. That could be another 70 years. I asked myself, what do we do now? What do we do with this child for 70 years? What do we do with a child that commits murder?
Kimberly: It is apparent throughout your book you are a man of faith. Was this instilled in your childhood or did you build your faith later in life?
Mr. Coleman: My faith is a culmination of my life’s lessons. Faith is that which is not seen. In any adversity, faith becomes difficult to maintain. We try to understand, yet many things are beyond our understanding. Perhaps it is the death of a child that makes you become an advocate for a cure. Perhaps it is an incident to make you become an advocate for change. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing is by chance or coincidence. Faith is that which brings understanding to what we do not understand.
“Alone is as alone is. God never separates himself from us. It’s us that separate ourselves from Him. It is when we are alone we realize how alone, alone is. It is when we are alone we realize God was there all the time, right where we left Him.”
Mr. Coleman: Separation, in any context, is a choice. God would be that ultimate choice. Mostly during disaster or loss, we tend to separate ourselves from those we blame. As the hymn states, “he walks with me and he talks with me.” Whether we choose to walk with Him or listen to Him is by choice. Circumstances such as the lone G.I. pinned down in a fox hole or the person going into catastrophic surgery that can create that aloneness that sometimes leads us back where we left Him.
Kimberly: Below is a quote by Molly Little, the l6 year old convicted of murder. I enjoyed that you created a yin and the yang in your novel. Do you feel life experiences hold us back from experiencing the rush because of consequences?
"I think there’s a thrill seeker in everyone, even you,” she replied. “I think if given the chance to be wild and carefree, we will. I think, given the chance to go to the edge, we will. I think, the greater the risk the greater the rush. I think, once we’ve experienced the rush once, we’ll always, always, always come back for more until it either consumes, or kills us.”
Mr. Coleman: We all have a thrill seeker inside of us, some more than others. It is the only way to explain bungee jumping, cliff diving, or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Perhaps it’s the psychological rush of being daring, or perhaps it’s the result of chemicals unleashed in the system. Either way, we enjoy being daring, and envy those who are more bold. We are competitive by nature, including reckless behavior.
Kimberly: Below is a quote by Dane, the radio talk show personality who sensationalized the murder who posed this question to his audience. Do you feel there should be a way to monitor rehabilitation so that a judge could revise the original sentence?
“What about that doctor that’s in jail for DWI, but is destined to find a cure for cancer? What about that lawyer who’s in jail for whatever, but is destined to argue a landmark case in front of the Supreme Court? Is there a middle ground for those who obviously don’t belong behind bars? Should there be a middle ground? Who gets to say who falls in that category?”
Mr. Coleman: I’m not an expert on the penile justice system, but isn’t that what parole is suppose to do? It is a broken system, but as stated, society views prisons/prisoners as out of sight out of mind. There’s little hope for that good person who did a bad thing.
Kimberly: “No matter what anyone thinks, no one is ever prepared for prison. Incarceration has a long lasting ripple effect. It also seems to have an effect to be able to change ones world. Perhaps that’s why so many find religion behind bars. No one ever talked to me about growing into a woman. Even though everyone knew I didn’t think like a teenager.”
The above quote is from Molly Little, the l6 year old sentenced to death for the murder. Using this quote, what message were you trying to send your reader?
Mr. Coleman: We are a society that gets lost in ourselves. Our troubles, our issues and our pain are greater than any red flag that may be right in front of us. Our goal is to just get someone to listen, someone to care, even if it’s only for a moment. Molly sent up many red flags begging for help. The problem was that everyone else in the book was sending up their own red flags.
Kimberly: This following quote is what Reverend Larry Little hears God telling him. Tell us about this thought.
“Everything you need you already have. Maybe it’s time to pray more and fight less.”
Mr. Coleman: Larry wanted a family. It is what he already had. As with many, we take our eyes off the prize. As frustration grows we fight harder, similar to punching in a dark room. We tend to stray, yet eventually find our way back. That’s when anytime we travel anywhere it always seems quicker to come back home.
Kimberly: What’s in store for Ken Coleman’s future? If you’re working on a new novel, can you give us an overview?
Mr. Coleman: Right now all of my energy is focused on promoting The Ripple Effect. Writing is the easy part, but marketing is a full time job. But yes, I do have an outline for another story. I’ve always been intrigued by period pieces, so this one will take place just after the Civil War. And of course will be set in the south.
Ken Coleman's website
The Ripple Effect on Amazon
If you enjoyed this review, you can subscribe to the Underground or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.