Interview with Suzette Mullen, wherein we chat about the publication process

Hey, I did another interview! This time with writing coach, Suzette Mullen, of Your Story Finder. Suzette and I met at Hippocamp 2018 and never stopped talking. She asked me some questions about my publication process for The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid.

If you are a writer and want to publish, this conversation is for you!

Interview With Suzette

Check out Suzette’s business, Your Story Finder, if you need a writing group and a coach! She is located in Lancaster, PA.

Also, The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid can be purchased on Amazon.

 

 

A Brief Timeline of Sex Abuse at Calvary Gospel Church

This story is circulating on social media right now. There are a lot of moving parts, so I have put them all in one place. Links are below.

Circa 1980 – Debbie McNulty was eleven when a married man at church began grooming her. He quickly escalated from ice cream cones and hand-holding to sexual molestation and rape. Debbie told her pastor, asking for help and protection. She received none. The senior pastor did not go to the authorities, but he did blame Debbie. She was branded a slut and left the church as a teenager.

In 2017, during the #MeToo/#ChurchToo movement, Debbie began writing about her experiences at Calvary Gospel Church. Other victims came forward with similar stories, some publicly, some anonymously. Pedophiles never abuse just one child, especially not when they are getting away with it.

In 2019, Debbie wrote an open letter on her blog to the current leadership of her former church asking for acknowledgment, an apology, and reasonable policy changes. Soon after, the Facebook threats began.

This summer – Debbie and the other victims filed reports with their local police department and worked with the Wisconsin state legislature to present bills to close the clergy loophole and to get rid the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. They also told their story to a reporter at the local newspaper.

Yesterday – Now that the story is public, Calvary Gospel Church has circled the wagons to protect their own. The senior pastor received a standing ovation from the congregation in light of these recent attacks on his reputation.

He covered up the rape of little girls.

This is the very definition of rape culture.

Link list:

Debbie McNulty’s original blog post

Debbie’s open letter to Calvary Gospel

The Cap Times newspaper report

The press conference about the bills

Calvary Gospel applauds pedophile protector

Mindshift Podcast Interview

A couple of weeks ago Dr. Clint Heacock of Mindshift Podcast interviewed me about The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid.  The interview was a great experience because he put me at ease right away with his thoughtful curiosity and willingness to let our conversation unfold, despite the fact that the husband had to ransack the snack cupboard in the middle of recording!

Here it is:  Interview Link

We talk about growing up fundie, fathers with secrets, making peace with it all, and sex, of course.

Dr. Heacock can be followed on Twitter @MindShift2018 to keep up on the latest conversation regarding deconversion. And of course, follow his blog!

New Review from In Bed With Married Women

Sex blogger Jill Hamilton of In Bed With Married Women writes about all things sex-positive with blunt, hilarious honesty. As it turns out, she also does book reviews! Lucky me! Here’s what she has to say about The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid:

Click here for the review-scroll down the page a bit to get to the review. But then go back and read about her sex toy giveaway.

Or read it here:

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell is a wonderfully honest memoir about growing up in an extremely religious household, marrying a not-so great closeted man and, discovering later in life, that her narcissistic, controlling father was dying from AIDS. Just thinking about it, I am now ashamed that I used the word “harrowing” for going to the stinking post office, when this is the real harrowing business of life. But it’s also a hopeful story.  Ronna is strong as hell and finding her way just fine. The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid is definitely in the genre of jacked-up childhood/eccentric parent reads like The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Educated by Tara Westover.

Also follow Jill on Twitter because she is funny and smart. @Jill_Hamilton

ChickLit Café Review

I am THRILLED to share ChickLit Cafe‘s 5 star review of The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid:

HERE IT IS!

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell is a compelling, engaging and unrestrained memoir about the author’s journey toward acknowledgement, self-discovery and ultimately acceptance. It is a candid, straightforward and personal account of her intimate exploration to realize herself as a woman and mother, and to discovering and accepting her sexuality. With frequent refreshing humor, Ronna Russell recounts her memories from childhood, emerging adulthood, and her past as she relates to readers her rearing by a Pentecostal preacher, within the church and with all its stringent rules and practices. It details her shocking experiences with a controlling, oppressive religious father and a closeted homosexual husband, and her search for genuine authenticity. She writes with honest, eye-opening and jaw dropping description. Her confessions are those that most keep secret, but in doing so, she has brought readers a relatable and inspirational read that ultimately empowers women with the ability to survive and flourish.

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid is written in such brilliant, insightful way, with many pieces of the puzzle beautifully woven together to bring absolution to the reader. Ronna Russell’s truthful, passionate and unique voice shines through as she chronologically recounts her life from childhood to the most recent past. Heart breaking, yet inspiring, this memoir had me in tears as I turned the pages quickly to find out more about her indescribable and sometimes horrific life.

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell reveals how one woman was able to overcome her past, beat the odds and go on to live a fulfilling life in all areas, while now helping other women in turn. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends this raw, tender and well written biography to women that desire to be inspired, empowered and understand their own struggle surrounding sex —that leads to freedom.
The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell is a must read, 5 star memoir that is revealing, rich and filled with inspiration.

Purchase The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid by Ronna Russell today!

 

Recovering from Religion

There is help! Recovering from Religion is a website dedicated to helping folks deal with coming out of extreme religion. As many of us know, it is a traumatic transition, rife with fears and loss.

IF YOU NEED HELP follow the link below to find online HOTLINE, connections to groups, and an extensive resource page. RECOVERING FROM RELIGION

IF YOU ARE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS follow this link to VOLUNTEER.

I am honored to have The Uncomfortable Confessions Of a Preacher’s Kid included on their RESOURCES page.

Peer Support

Need to talk to someone On The Phone?

Call 1-844-368-2848

 

 

 

Gathering Volumes Bookstore EVENT

I am doing my first real event at Gathering Volumes Book Store on May 18th!

Gathering Volumes is located at:

196 East South Boundary
Perrysburg OH  43551

Moms’ Night Out Literary Edition
Saturday May 18 | 6:30PM – 9:00PM
Join us for a fun, bookish Moms’ Night Out!

• Authors Lara Lillibridge (Mama Mama, Only Mama & Girlish) and Ronna Russell (The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid) discuss their latest mom-oriented books and momming in general.
• Food & Beverages will be provided.
• All attendees entered in a drawing for a Mama Care Package.
• Chance to hang out with other moms, make new friends, refill your emotional bank account, enjoy your personal space, and have fun!

Please respond to the event so that we have a guide for how much food to have!

Join us!