Susan Tepper has four novels in print and wrote the powerful story "kid" for the challenge:
The challenge photo is one of the most devastating I've ever seen of a child. That tortured face is a map of every hideous deed done to ruin a child's life. It brought to mind a young girl I once saw in a soup kitchen line outside a church. She was early teens, very blonde, slender, and frightened looking. She stood out like a beacon on that NYC street amongst the more hardened, adult homeless in that food line. I was rushing to the subway, to get to work, but stopped there. I thought of approaching her, trying to help somehow. I didn't. This act of omission has haunted me some 20 years now.
What makes this cause important to you?
There isn't much to do in this world if it doesn't involve making things somewhat better for someone else. If someone feels better, there's a good chance they will spread it. It's the last saving grace for our planet.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where to find more of your writing.
I'm a fiction writer, poet, essayist and interviewer. Have been at this for 17 years. Have 3 books published and a 4th about to come out. Prior to the writing, I was an actor who worked at a series of jobs to pay my rent and buy my food. I didn't have a cushy life. I'm glad of that. It makes you appreciate what you do get and helps keeps your ego in line.