Monday, September 19, 2022

Q&A with Katherine Linn Caire




Katherine Linn Caire is the author of the new memoir Accidental Sisters: The Story of My 52-Year Wait to Meet My Biological Sibling. She is also the illustrator of the children's picture book Rocklin Goes to Work. She lives in Nashville.


Q: Why did you decide to write this memoir about your discovery of and relationship with your biological sibling, and what impact did it have on you to write the book?


A: Writing the book about our story wasn't something I thought about the first few years after we met. I was having way too much fun catching up with my sister due to our decades missed, going on trips together and getting to know one another!


Eventually, enough people mentioned that this wasn't exactly your typical adoption/discovery story, as it has nothing to do with DNA matching. They encouraged me to write about it, but I was already telling myself the same. 


Q: Did you need to do much research to write the book, and if so, what surprised you most in the course of your research?


A: I had to do A LOT of research, something I wasn't really anticipating when penning a memoir. It was very important to me to put several events into historical perspective, which took much attention to detail. Then the really fun research was all of the sleuthing I did, to get any and all facts straight concerning my birth mother's part of the story.


A few crucial facts appeared way after the manuscript was handed in, during the middle of the editing process. I had honed down the names of two of my birth mother's best friends, trying to figure out which one was raised in Des Moines, and chose the wrong one.


Suddenly, on a single sheet of paper in a big box of memorabilia my sister sent to me, there was the right answer, right in front of me, barely in time to change in editing!


Q: What does your sister--and the rest of your family--think of the book?


A: My sister has been nothing but supportive. I felt that that was a must to pursue this project. She also patiently read through a number of drafts to make sure that the knowledge she had passed on to me was relayed accurately. The rest of my family has been 100 percent behind it as well.


Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: Aw! I love answering this question. I had had three or four books stewing in my brain for a few years; the other books being novels. One day in 2018, I was on one of my prayer walks, thinking about what I needed to get done that day, extremely mundane thoughts.


Suddenly so clearly (that I still remember where I was on the street when it happened), I heard two words: Accidental Sisters. Although I knew the name of the book was meant to be that, in the story, I explain my personal belief that nothing in our lives happens accidentally.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am so excited to write a novel next, as I just spent four years making sure everything I said in my memoir was the truth! I'm working on a good ole whodunit and loving being able to make up whatever I deem fit. :)


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I love our story and I know it is a very unusual narrative regarding finding biological connections later in life. No DNA testing had to enter the picture. This all came about because of some incredible God winks that still amaze me to this day.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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