Shawn Goodman (Author of Kindness for Weakness)
Shawn Goodman has been a school psychologist and has worked in juvenile detention facilities. His novels Something Like Hope and the upcoming Kindness for Weakness, are based somewhat on his experiences. I asked "Being in juvenile facilities, did you ever meet any kids that pulled at your heart strings more than the others? Are they the reason you wrote this novel, or were you influenced in another way?"
Shawn Goodman responded, "Quite regularly I was blown away by certain kids. Day to day, in any job, you get into routines. And especially when it's an emotionally demanding job, you toughen up, so to speak, just so you can do the job and not turn to mush. But even so, when you're in a routine, and you're a bit calloused (as would be the case if you're working too much or under stress), certain kids would blast through the walls and defenses with their honesty, curiosity, or integrity. I can remember very specific stories that kids told me that absolutely broke my heart. I wish I could share them, because they were so moving and powerful, but it wouldn't be right. Suffice to say that this happened enough times over the years to change me and convince me that I needed to write about these kids through the lens of fiction."