TBP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
TKR: I’m a mom and I love to travel and cook - although I’m not really good at cooking. And I wrote Return the Heart, a young adult novel.
TBP: Give us a brief description of your book.
TKR: Return the Heart was inspired by my children, my love for Russian history and literature, and a desire to create a captivating story that would delight teens. What followed is a story filled with action, secret gifts, a seedy underworld, and more twists and revelations than the reader expects. Toss in a Russian element and Return the Heart is like an action movie about teens and for teens.
TBP: Do you have any other books currently in the works?
TKR: I do have more books in the works. The sequel to Return the Heart is entering the final stages. The title is Shield the Heart. Also, I have a non-fiction book I’m working on, and a few others that are on the back burner.
TBP: What do your initials T.K. stand for?
TKR: You’re the first one to ask me that, and I’m going to have to stay silent on that one! :)
TBP: What inspired you to not only sponsor a Christian based orphanage in India, but to advocate for abused and neglected children in your own area as well?
TKR: For several years my hubby and I were foster parents. Over a five year span we fostered and care for over 100 children who were abused and neglected. It was a privilege and an honor to care for these children, and it opened my eyes to the needs of this silent minority.
The orphanage in India was a special invitation from the people who opened the facility several years ago. They care for, clothe, house, educate, and love the orphans of India and to me caring for children is one of the most important things anyone can do.
TBP: You are a member of a group called 'A Heart for Books and Kids'. Could you tell us a little more about that and your part in it?
TKR: I’d love to tell you about this. This was actually started back in March of 2010 on my blog. I wanted to raise awareness for the plight of children in the foster care system. So the first fundraiser was started. I announced on my blog that I was trying to get book donations for these kids and I asked people to join me and to donate books in their cities. In my own city we collected 422 books! That meant 422 kids would have a book to call their own. It was a huge success. A Heart for Books and Kids was born from this effort. Two writer friends joined with me, and although we’re spread across the country, we have the same drive and heart for kids. We work as a team to collect books and to encourage others to do the same in their communities.
TBP: If you could co-write a book with any other YA author, who would it be and why?
TKR: I really enjoy Melissa Marr’s books and to co-write a book with her would be a dream come true. What I really like about her is the way she interacts with her readers. She comes across as being so down to earth and friendly. And of course, her stories are excellent!
TBP: Who is an author who's book(s) you really enjoy and feel is underrated, deserving of more attention from us readers?
TKR: I really enjoy much of Juliet Marillier’s writing. The first book I read of hers was wonderful. It was titled Wildwood Dancing. She’s a seasoned author and her books are fantastic. I don’t know that she’s underrated at all, but I do feel she’s deserving of everyone’s attention. I think many of you would like her books.
TBP: If you were to create your own 'Bucket List', what would be the first three things on it?
TKR: Ooh, I’ve had a bucket list for awhile now and I’m so glad you asked the question! I’d love to travel all over the world. Also I’d love to ride on the Orient Express (pictures of old black and white movies are what I think of). And the third thing, which is really the most prized thing on my list, would be to travel to Tolstoy’s family estate in Russia. That would be the pinnacle of my bucket list.
TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?
TKR: I would just like to thank you for having me here today and for featuring my YA novel RETURN THE HEART. I know I talked a lot about other topics, but I do hope that you and your readers enjoy reading my book. It’s getting great reviews from people of all ages.
Well I hope all of you enjoyed the interview and will decide to pick up Richardson's YA book, Return the Heart. Maybe this is the first some of you are hearing about it in which case I'm glad to have helped spread the word.
Thank you, T.K. for letting me interview you and thanks to everyone else for stopping by. Remember, your comments mean a lot to me. :D