Wendy Whitaker Hoke, Author Spotlight

“That’s child abuse!”

When the author heard those words on a plateau in the Himalayas, her life changed forever. She learned that she could speak truth about the abuse she endured as a young child.

Wendy’s grandfather, Konrad Frederick Koosmann, was a Bishop in the American Lutheran Church. He was also a pedophile who preyed on little girls in his own family, including Wendy.

This story addresses the family dynamics that allow child sexual abuse to occur unchecked and remain secret for decades. As an adult, Wendy chose the path to speak the truth despite many roadblocks put in her way to stop her. Rather than dwelling on the abuse itself, Family Legends, Family Lies describes the power of secrets, shame, and silence.

This is a “must read” for professionals who work with abused children and their families. It is a “must read” for anyone who wants deeper insight into dysfunctional families. This cautionary tale reveals the lies and legends that prevent children from being heard. In addition, the story conveys the lasting impact that child sexual abuse has on adults who were betrayed by the very family members who were supposed to protect them.

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about authors, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Wendy Hoke whose book Family Legends, Family Lies moved me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love memoir’s and moving stories but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and captivating. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Wendy Hoke will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Wendy Hoke!

Wendy Hoke has been a content curator and intelligent blogger for over 10 years. She provides her writing services independently, and you can contact her through her website,

She began her writing career while working at a top 10 Wall Street investment banking firm, where she researched and penned a weekly, compliance-approved newsletter detailing the events of the tax-exempt securities market.

Subsequently, she moved from Wall Street to Main Street as a senior manager for The Navy Exchange, a $2 billion retailer with operations across the globe including the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Iceland. After leaving her position as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy, she briefly worked for the Marine Corps Exchange.

In addition, Wendy has been involved in her community by volunteering with Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary raising money for social services for pediatric oncology patients. For 18 years, she participated in the Ocean Beach Community Dinners mission, which has fed the homeless for over 35 years.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and an associate degree in Business Law from San Diego State University.

She lives in San Diego with her son, McKinley, and their cat, Oliver Underfoot Smack-A-Leg. She enjoys hiking, camping, golf, tennis, and cooking. Her faith is an integral part of her life, and she is an active member of a local Christian church.

Now, how wonderful does Wendy Hoke sound?! Wendy Hoke is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Wendy Hoke’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself and why you wrote this book.

At heart, I’m an outdoor girl. I love to be in the mountains in any season. I’m lucky to live in San Diego. We have mountains, beaches, and beautiful deserts all around us. 
I have been writing for other people for many years. This memoir has been in the works for quite some time, but I would get tired of writing for work! So the memoir was on the back burner for a while. However, some events occurred that prompted me to finish the manuscript and find a publisher.
First, there was one very personal event that spurred me on. I don’t want to spoil it because it’s in the last chapter of the book, and it involves something my adoptive mother did the very last time I saw her.

Secondly, the #metoo movement encouraged me. However, I believe the #metoo movement can go farther that it has. At the same time, it has gone too far. Why the paradox? My book is about the family dynamics that allow child sexual abuse to occur in families. There needs to be an #metoo revolution within the individual family units, not just in the workplace. In addition, as a society, we need to see an end to women falsely accusing men of sexual misconduct. I’m thinking of the recent Mark Kavanaugh hearings when women came out of the woodwork with bizarre stories of rape parties and such. I have my own opinion of Christine Blasey Ford, but the really bizarre witch hunts need to stop. They detract from the authentic accusations that need careful investigation.

Thirdly, it’s time that society acknowledges that women are sometimes enablers to sexual abusers…either voluntarily or involuntarily. Sometimes, women are predators like Ghislaine Maxwell appears to be, although she is entitled to due process. So right now, those are allegations. That’s one underlying thread in my book. 

Could you please tell us readers about your book?

In short, the book delves into the family dynamics that allowed my grandfather to sexually abuse me. I want to point out though, that I specifically left out any graphic descriptions of the abuse. The reader will understand what happened. But, shock factor would detract from my message. It’s also about trauma, especially trauma in early childhood, and how that trauma can play out through a person’s entire life. In fact, all the people in my memoir were/are real…not fictional characters to add drama. Many of them had their own traumas. And the story touches on that fact.

Many of those traumatized people were floating through life in paralysis, so the book speaks to anyone who has had difficulty moving on from traumas. It also speaks to families to help them understand that, yes, it can happen in your family. When I first announced my plans for the book, I had dozens of friends and acquaintances acknowledge that sexual abuse had happened in their family. It’s widespread, so don’t be an ostrich.

The subtitle is “A Daughter Speaks Truth About The Ultimate Betrayal.” Who the real betrayer was will likely surprise most readers.

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

Be certain to develop your overall message early on in the process. There is room for refining it as you write, but if you don’t know your theme, your story will likely meander.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?

That it is well crafted and has a strong, clear message.

What is your writing process like?

I’m pretty methodical…I like outlines.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Since this is a memoir, the only things that I  researched were dates and times of the events that  happened to be certain I had them right.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

No set schedule. Sometimes a deadline is very effective inspiration.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Since I write so much for a living, I tend not spend additional hours looking at the printed word. I read the Wall Street Journal for news. My favorite American author is Norman Maclean, who wrote A River Runs Through It.  In addition, I like the British Romantics, especially Wordsworth. I want Tintern Abbey read at my funeral. Very mundane!

Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?

I’m working on two children’s books right now. Maybe early next year.

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Wendy Hoke! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

Author: Website – Facebook – Twitter – Barnes & Noble – Atmosphere Press 

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