MOUNT VERNON — A broken clay flower pot lays on the floor in pieces. Fresh red roses lay amongst the crumpled clay. This was the inspiration for the cover to the book “On the Edge of Unthinkable,” written by Paula Kyle of Mount Vernon. “The flower pot is a symbol of our broken sisterhood; and the live flowers are a message to all that we survived,” said Kyle of the purpose of her book, which tells the story about being separated from her siblings and growing up in the Knox County foster care system.
Kyle was recently honored by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio with the Special Recognition Award for her book, inspiration through speaking engagements, and help at agencies and foster parent trainings. Kyle attended the PCSAO annual conference in Worthington on Oct. 6 to receive her award.
“Every word of the book is true; I even took out about three-fourths of it,” said Kyle in telling of her 10 years in writing the book.
After bouncing around to six different foster families before eventually landing in a loving and caring home with Bonnie and Larry Ulrey of Mount Vernon, Kyle’s heart-wrenching story is one that Judith Goodhand, retired Children Services director and consultant just had to see published. “You’re the older sister ... you need to do this,” she told Kyle, after seeing what Kyle experienced and witnessing the devastation and lifelong scars brought on by the separation of siblings.
“She is such a wonderful woman,” Kyle said of Goodhand, adding how she presented Goodhand with one of the first copies of her self-published book at the time she was being taken to a nursing facility.
“It is critical that we show them the importance of not separating siblings,” said Kyle. “Our message to these kids is ‘I can make it; so can you; reach in there and walk through the fire.’”
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Kyle met up with Richard Senne, a screen writer from Cleveland who proposed the idea of producing a movie based on her book, “You need to do this,” he told Kyle after hearing her speak at a conference.
“The movie is already outlined, and there are three producers waiting to see the screen write,” said Kyle. Senne was so excited about the project that he said it was the “fastest screen write he had ever done.” A contract for the movie was signed on Oct. 6, and Senne is expecting the film to be a big hit in the theaters. “It’s totally based on the book. It is true life rites of the book,” said Kyle.
While production of the movie will take considerable time to complete, Kyle is in hopes that the producers consider shooting the video here in Mount Vernon. “Every street I travel down, I can see the events that happened when I was a kid,” she said. Senne told her he would be pushing for the video to be shot locally.
“I’m starting to see what Judith wanted me to do,” said Kyle while holding back tears. “There’s got to be more families.”
A second book, entitled “Leftovers,” is already in the works, and a third book is planned as well, Kyle said.