Monday, June 25, 2012

Part I Interview with Ingrid Ricks, author of Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story

Get ready, boys and girls! I am incredibly excited and honored to be able to host my first giveaway of an incredible book I just finished a few days ago, called Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story. This is an autobiographical tale of the author, Ingrid Ricks' childhood, but also serves as a wonderful example of a terrific YA book.
Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story

What would you do if your Mormon stepfather pinned you down and tried to cast Satan out of you? For thirteen-year-old Ingrid, the answer is simple: RUN.

Ingrid Ricks grew up in a dysfunctional Mormon family with an absent, freewheeling dad and an intensely religious mother who was desperate to ensure her family's eternal salvation. For years she yearned to escape the suffocating religion and poverty at home by joining her dad on the road as tool-selling vagabond. When her parents divorce and her mother marries Earl--a cruel authoritarian who exploits his Church-ordained priesthood powers to oppress her family-- she learns the lesson that will change her life: she can't look to others to save her; she has to save herself.

Rating: 5/5 stars 
See my Amazon review at this link : Hippie Boy Amazon Review

Hippie Boy Book Trailer (created by Ingrid's daughter!)
Hippie Boy Book Trailer

Ingrid Ricks 
Ingrid Ricks is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who focuses on overcoming adversity and embracing life. Ingrid lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters. She is also the author of A Little Book of Mormon (and Not So Mormon) Stories.

Interview with Ingrid Ricks Part I. (She had so many awesome answers, it was two blogs worth!)

1) How did you first get into writing and what/who inspired you to write Hippie Boy?
I’ve always loved to write. I started my career as a journalist and quickly moved into feature writing because I was fascinated by people’s stories. Then I switched to advertising/PR because my husband was in law school and my journalism income wasn’t cutting it. About that time, (nearly fifteen years ago) my dad hired me to write his life story. While writing it, I kept inserting my story and realized that I had a book of my own I wanted to write.

2) It must have been difficult for your family members to see themselves in your childhood eyes. Can you tell us about the journey of writing this book and the effect that this had on the people in your life?
That was really the biggest challenge with writing Hippie Boy because I love my parents and didn’t want to offend anyone. I struggled with it for several years and would occasionally send draft chapters to both of my parents to read. My dad was always supportive of the book even though, as he likes to say, “It’s the good, the bad and the ugly.” My mom had a more difficult time with it. In the end, though, the process of writing Hippie Boy and sharing it with her has been healing for both of us. It enabled us to finally talk about painful times in the past, which in turn made it possible for us both to move forward with our relationship.

3) Some of the negative reviews on your book have commented that you are anti-Mormon. I did not get that feel from your book, but can see how someone might get that perception if he/she has not read the whole book. Would you mind commenting on this for our readers?
I respect the Mormon religion--as I do all religions-- and have several close friends and many relatives who are members of the Mormon faith. Hippie Boy is about the abuse of power that can happen in any religion.  It's also about growing up in a dysfunctional family with an explosive, absent dad and an intensely devout mother . Some of the cultural differences (my mother immigrated from Austria), mixed with her extreme focus on religion and severe unhappiness in her marriage, led to an environment that wasn't the norm for other Mormon families. Growing up, I knew my family was different from other families at church.  They didn't have daily hour long home church sessions and constant prayers. They didn't live consumed by guilt and they didn't experience life with a horrible stepdad who used religion as a weapon to abuse and oppress. There is good and bad in every religion. Thanks to the church welfare system, we had food when my mom didn't have money to buy it for us. And it was ultimately an amazing Mormon bishop who stepped in and intervened on my family's behalf. The story would have ended very differently had he not done that, and I will always be grateful to him.


  1. Hi
    Thanks for throwing this open internationally. However, your international entrants may not be able to vote on Amazon (I can't since I've never purchased anything from Amazon and don't have certain rights, such as posting a review or voting). So I can't fulfil the second requirement to unlock the other entries. I follow you on GFC as LuKa.
    I can relate to this book. It is so possible to abuse religion and pressurise or arm-twist other people and ruin their lives. I am so glad Ingrid was able to overcome all these adversities.
    Thanks for an interesting interview.

  2. Lu Ka, Good point. I am going to change that requirement right now-- so enter more! :-) Good luck!

  3. I would like to thank you for an apsolutely fantastic book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading and reviewing. Also, your reviews on amazon were most illuminating and insightful, thank you x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  4. Thank you for making it international :)
    I'd love to read it of course. I don't know nay Mormon but I already read one book about it and I would love to know it a little more. Thanks!

  5. I'm excited - it's nice to see a balanced portrayal of Mormonism, as I feel it's often portrayed as totally wacko (by anti-Mormons) or The Source of All Holiness (by pro-Mormons).

  6. I have to admit that I don't know much about the Mormon religion but I'm really interested in this book. It sounds fantastic. Good interview and thanks for the giveaway. :)

  7. Looks really good, definitely not like anything I have ever read before! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  8. Hi there,
    I didn't think YA non-fiction could ever exist. It's really brave of the author to write her story, and I'd really like to support her.

    This looks like a fantastic read, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

  9. I'm impressed with all the work you've done with your blog so quickly! Now I can tell people "I knew her when..."

  10. HAHAHAHA, thanks Brien! You are too funny. :-) I'm kind of a newbie at this so i tried to join your blog, but I only know how to do it by GFC... you may force my hand to join by feed :-) Hope you are having a great time in NY (and that it's way cooler than down here!)

  11. I'm interested in reading a book that covers religion and teens.

  12. I love the blog! You have very good insight into these books.

  13. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! :)