Saturday, November 30, 2013
Interview with Kerri Krysko
So Kerri, thanks for agreeing to do this virtual interview with me. To start off, I have to say I’m quite impressed with your book and your campaign to help expose one of the darker sides of gang life that most deny exist let alone want to talk about. That takes a great deal of courage. So you were married to a full patch member of the Hells Angels for ten years, is that right?
We were together 10 years and we were officially married 2 years.
Without getting into the details of your books, as I understand another is on it’s way, you describe your relationship with that particular member of the Hells Angels as abusive. Did he ever hit you or threaten to hit you?
He did more then hit and threaten me , he almost and I say almost broke me of all my self-worth. He had me question my sanity more than once.
Divorces and custody battles are always messy. Marriages often break down. That’s a part of life. Yet it’s hard to see kids suffer and get caught in the middle. The mudslinging in court is often toxic. Yet there is no excuse for a man hitting his wife. There’s nothing manly about it.
I think that’s a big problem in the world not just in the gang life. Let’s face it, many cops have been convicted of assaulting their wives. Even Rob Ford was charged with domestic assault.
I guess my point is that although domestic violence is by no means limited to gang life it is a big problem there as well. In Kelowna, Don Lyons and Donnie McWhirter from a Hells Angels puppet club called the Independent Soldiers both have recent convictions for assaulting their girlfriends. Even Ryan Holt from the UN has a long list of assaults and threats toward his ex girlfriend.
Some of these guys get all defensive and say even cops beat their wives. I’m certainly not disputing that. One former cop from Alberta was recently convicted of shooting his wife in the face. I’m just saying that domestic violence in the gang life does exist and is a big problem. Would you agree and would you say that could possibly be part of the false illusion the gang life promises?
Domestic Violence comes to men as well. I have seen brow beaten men that look down in a conversation and scurries off to do their woman's bidding. A man who does their best to make a woman happy only to get screamed at or told they didn’t do it right. Isn’t that abuse as well??
I believe we are stereo typing my book or voice simply to young woman or girls influenced by a lifestyle, when in fact a man can be influenced and abused too.
My book is for everyone, it is a true story about life in general, roads that take you places you might not want to be and the road that can lead you home, back to who you truly are. Life is rough, but we all deserve to be heard. Yes I am a hells angel’s ex-wife and no other has wrote their true story before. That makes me the first woman to share but I say this , would any other woman have been able to write this book without sharing secrets or without being vindictive, I do not know. I know I wrote to share that every life is an illusion of what you bring to the table, how you live and who you are. We are not all the same we are all uniquely different.
I have had just as many males write me a fan letter as I have had women. My book is not meant to judge but to heal, to show the world yes it has been done before and yes you can Kerri On.
Good point. You clearly can help both sides. Yet there’s no question you can help a whole group of people that I can’t even comprehend let alone reach. Attractive young girls that are drawn into the gang life and the illusion it promises. What do you think is the big draw to young girls into the gang life? I can understand the money. There is a lot of money and that is a huge temptation but does it go beyond that?
I will say this and this only, perhaps a lump sum of money comes in here and there. A few presents as well, gifts I shall call them, but add a regular paycheck up over time and it equals to the same amount. What I am trying to say is living real, brings a more realistic sense of living, as opposed to fast cash that comes and goes. But you do not really learn that until your an adult yourself.
Perhaps with the west coast there is exuberant amounts of money within the gang life, but in other parts of the world there isn’t. The love of life and a family that will accept you no matter how messed up you are. There is loyalty as well as boundaries you don’t want to cross, with any sort of life or lifestyle. Where some might find pain others do find happiness.
This last few questions is better answered with one of the last paragraphs of my book " Be careful who you label or judge, you never know if that person is truly what you are saying , or just a simple person looking for love to fill an otherwise empty void." [Link to book trailer]
Is there some kind of acceptance and loyalty gangs promise that might appeal to a young woman who might feel like an outcast in her own home or school?
I have had my family treat me life an outcast my whole life. I have ran to places just to have a place to lay my head at night. Being a mother myself now I could never imagine doing that to my own child , giving them a feeling of homelessness. I believe any person, man or woman will almost always turn to places that accept them. I have a family I thought would read my book and knock on my door and finally say I'm sorry, we understand now or even give me that hug and recognition I have been missing my whole life, because I finally gave them answers to what I really did go through, and they really cared. Instead, I’ve only been shunned by them, left in the dark and burned. Cycles start a lot earlier then when a teenager acts out of control or who they date.
I recently watched this show the other night , called Surviving Evil , I am taken aback by it , what these individuals have went through , the way they spoke about it with such strength and courage . I watched the enactments of their ordeals , I haven't been able to get that show out of my head for days now. I can't believe I went through some of those very same things, except almost daily or weekly. Some of those very same people are doing things with their lives now to help others, its unbelievable the world we live in. We almost become submissive to our surroundings, adjusting to it, until we either fight or flight!
What resonated with me and that show was the family who was there for them (victims) at the end of their ordeal. I believe whats allowed me to be strong , has been I was told I deserved the treatment I received ,I never got the same care from the people who were supposed to love me and care about me. Tom that's what makes my book so important to me, so I can be there for others who have no one . Perhaps why you are on a crusade with Janice Shore, because she needs someone to fight for her justice as well. Now that's what I'm talking about! Being there for the ones who need it.
Tom you ask why people are drawn to a certain lifestyle I can only say it in one word - Acceptance.
Does the gang life fulfill it’s promises of acceptance?
I have had my family treat almost as worse as my own ex-husband so I will say this once again to you Tom as I have said in previous interviews. I have been promised a lot of things in my life, but the only promise one does have that is true and real, is from yourself. Only you can vow to be better and do better. If a person is looking in places to find the elusive feeling of belonging chances are they don’t belong.
I know I am being evasive but I try my hardest not to judge and not to label for we all have demons upon our back and skeletons in each closet. Do I agree with hurting another to get ahead? NO I do not. Do I want a better life for all of our people? YES I do. Did I write my book to expose wrong doings done to me by others? NO I didn’t. I wrote my book to give credit to another who might be going through something similar or perhaps what a loved one is experiencing.
I have people thinking it’s cool to do an interview with me just to say the name Hells Angels, I have others freaking out that they might be in my book, and I have a family I thought would read my book and knock on my door and finally say sorry, even give me that hug and recognition I have been missing my whole life, because I finally gave them answers to what I really did go through and they cared. Instead, I’ve only been shunned by them, left in the dark and burned.
I have such a wide range of reactions it is all so overwhelming. I do know one thing I haven’t turned my back on this world yet and I wont’t rich, poor , black or white we all bleed the same, we hurt differently but we are all people who live by our own set of rules. Yes I have a story and I will share it no matter the reaction. I am helping others and it gives me strength. Perhaps my family is lost, but in turn I have a whole other family in this world embracing me.
I saw your interview on Alberta Primetime with Jenifer Martin. It was impressive. I guess the story broke in Alberta because that’s where you’re originally from is that right?
Yes I am from Alberta but I would say I was raised here in BC mostly. Its a wonder why I haven't had any interviews out here in BC but from my local newspaper whom I did approach, as I felt it was unfair I hadn't done any interviews from BC since going Viral in countless newspapers worldwide.
I noticed an article about your book from the Edmonton Sun made the front page of the Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Citizen. Books don’t normally do that do they?
From my understanding this doesn't happen to self-published books. I have broke records twice now , first by being the 1st woman to share her true story and come forward in regards to being an Hells Angels ex-wife and second landing Nationally in all bookstores across Canada at Chapters/Indigos , now even in Barnes N Noble in the USA. Its been extraordinary the demand for the my book. I am not a typically self-published book though, I did things as a traditional publisher would have done in regards to marketing. I only released the Paperback and Hardcover book for "Kerri On", I never released the E-Book at all. I want the E-Book to be more polished with a traditional publisher behind it as well as the 2nd Book in my series "Kerried Away". I have a unique first time ever book and story that is meant to go worldwide and be properly distributed. I have demand now in the UK as well as Australia with sales as far as there. I would ultimately like to revise my 1st book in regards to a few things. I am confident this will happen. I was even shocked to find out in a 3week period I sold thousands of paperback. I've actually had to step away from media for a short time to regain my balance.
I hear Chapters is having a hard time keeping up with the demand.
Chapters is keeping up now that they are stocked and I also believe by me stepping away from certain media interviews for a short while. They have been absolutely amazing to me , they believed in the potential of my book and took it to great limits. I have been told my book is one of three that have ever done this. JK Rowlings being one , when she was self-published , a cookbook and Fifty Shades of Grey. I feel honored. I know that Fifty Shades released her e-book when she self published, therefore her sales are tenfold. I would like to leave my e book to be released with whomever I sign with traditionally.
Well your book would make a greater stocking stuffer.
Thank-You Tom Jones , its people who believed in me that allowed me to reach the limits my book has gone.
I noticed in that article you stated that you’re not here to tell Hells Angels secrets. So you have no intention of talking about club business. You’re just talking about your life, how you were drawn into and overcame an abusive relationship with someone who happened to be a member of the Hells Angels and you want to help others leave that life as well. Is that right?
I am going to leave that off the table , it has been answered so many times. People want to know Life as a Wife , well here's my story , read my book and be the judge.
Well I certainly think that is a cause well worth supporting and you certainly appear to be a very competent and capable young woman. So you have two children and you’re doing all this work while you take care of your own children at home. I don’t want to pry but does your ex pay any child support?
No he didn't pay for a whole year and then finally I received a very and I mean very small amount six months ago. I sent an e-mail asking for some support, in a very nice way. He asked me to speak in a certain way when I addressed him. It was almost degrading except, wait I am not his victim anymore!
I guess I just have a hard time seeing all these guys parade around at a public toy run when they don’t even pay child support for their own kids. It seems so hypocritical to me. Like it’s just one big show perpetuating that one big lie.
There’s no question going through a divorce affects kids. There’s no question kids also suffer when there is no child support. That sure isn’t in their best interest. I guess when a man says he loves his kids then doesn’t pay child support when he has the money to do so, that makes it rather hard to believe he really cares about the kids. How can a man let his kids go hungry? It’s so sad to see kids suffer. Especially at Christmas.
Not all are like that. A lot of fathers are though...... I don't know why any father or parent would allow their child to suffer in anyway. I remember when I first left my ex, I had nothing so I started selling things in my house to pay for my children. He never paid me for over a year and when he did ......ohhh that's my 2nd book....
Anyhow , I wrote my first book Kerri On with such a open heart and a purity to help others who have been hurt in the same way I have. I received my divorce money , took my beautiful sons on a trip and then wrote this book for people. I thought perhaps a few people would read it , the ones who needed to . I never believed in my wildest dreams it would reach the heights it has. I gave back to the community that saved me and my sons the only way I knew how , by sharing my true story to help others.
Lets face it , take a troubled teenager to a counselor they will hear them BUT take them to a Hells Angels Ex-Wife and they will listen. Its using that power for the good. Yes I have a story and it has resonated with people. because I wrote for people , not for other authors or to be famous, I wrote for people.
I certainly admire your tenacity and your perpetual positive attitude. You certainly have an indomitable spirit. I saw a printed copy of your e-book that you co authored with Kathleen Patel. I thought it was very well done. It’s very positive and inspiring.
That’s one thing I noticed. I’ve done a lot of writing and a lot of speaking in my day and I like to quote a lot of sayings, movies, songs. Martin Luther King of course is my personal favorite. Yet I noticed each chapter in your book has a wise quote to start it off. The book you co authored with Kathleen Patel is full of them. Only you’re not quoting someone else, you are quoting yourself. Where do all these quotes come from?
That’s the reoccurring theme in your story that I find so baffling. You’ve been bombarded with all this abandonment and negative yet you are so competent and positive. All these quotes just seem to come from deep down within you. Right from the heart.
You just radiate positive competence. It’s wonderful to see. Good luck on your journey. I’m sure you will help and inspire many wherever you go. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from you in the future. Kerri On. Kerri Krysko's 's book Kerri On is available at any Chapters outlet or online at Amazon. There's a new book trailer uploaded to youtube as well.
We’re going to do a follow interview with Kerri Krysko in a virtual talk show format. So if you have any respectful questions for Kerri e-mail them to me and we’ll put them to her and get her response in the next interview.
Overview of interviews and media with Kerri Krysko