Thursday, February 19, 2009

About Me

Carol Welty Roper

This is Carol Welty Roper’s first novel. For the past thirty years she has written technical nonfiction and is now embracing creative writing. Some of her experiences have given her insight into the actions and reactions of people who have left all they know in life to start over in a new land. While living in Oklahoma and working as a clinical dietitian in a free clinic, Carol Roper met many Boat People who emigrated from Southeast Asia. Most of these survivors of the Vietnam War exhibited post-traumatic syndrome and she was able to assist them with their health and coping needs. Another group of people relocating were former autoworkers uprooted from Michigan’s auto industry. They left all they had, except the clothes on their backs and what could fit in their cars and drove to sunny Oklahoma looking for jobs. Carol heard countless stories of hope pour out of these individuals who were filled with grief and heartache, yet clinging onto enough faith to start over again. Many of these homeless families received food from the clinic while they learned skills necessary to make them ready for a different job market. Crisis in her own life lead her to follow her dream and to generate the courage to leave Oklahoma. It was her birthplace and that of her two children. Stepping out in faith, with her children she headed north to Alaska. This was their starting over place. Arriving in Alaska, she worked with Yupik people who had been displaced due to a tuberculosis epidemic. Eager to hear their incredible stories of survival they were willing to share some of the events that paralleled her great-grandmother and grandmother’s relocation story. Living among people from different cultures, she met emigrants from Korea, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Central America, Africa, and China who endured great personal sacrifice to come to America searching for a brighter future. Much of the emotional content of her novel, either she has experienced or knows those who have.