Gerald Allen Wunsch

Gerald Allen Wunsch

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
January 25, 2005

Q. Who is Gerald Allen Wunsch?

A. I'm a 59-year-old retired attorney living in southern Indiana with my wife of 37 years, Martha, and our wire fox terrier, Laird.

Q. What inspired you to write about The Underground Railroad and slavery, buffalo nickels, MG T-Models Sports cars, Suriname and Wire Fox Terrier?

A. I believe that all children need to know about all the brave individuals who operated the Underground Railroad. I became inspired to write Curiosity after we moved to southern Indiana six years ago and I realized the number of stations on the UGRR in this area. It's such an important part of our region's history. The other topics are some of my interests as detailed below.

Q. How did you come about the title "CUROSITY?"

A. I chose curiosity as a title because both Ginger and Irene in the story are very curious little girls. It is their curioisty that leads them to discover that Ginger's grandparents' old house was once a station on the UGRR.

Q. Are children books the only genre you write?

A. So far, yes.

Q. Did you do any research on The Underground Railroad to write CUROSITY?

A. Quite a bit, much of it on the Internet. I also read about a dozen other children's books, both fiction and non-fiction, on the subject of the UGRR.

Q. Do you collect coins?

A. I started collecting coins when I was eight. 2004 was my fiftieth year as a numismatist.

Q. What is your interest in MG T-Series Sport cars.

A. We are the proud owners of a 1955 MG TF roadster. As in the book, Laird loves to ride in it with the top down and bark at other animals as we tool down the road.

Q. Have you visited Suriname?

A. We lived in Suriname for two years between 1975 and 1977. I was attached to the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo, the capital.

Q. How did you come about Ginger and Irene characters?

A. They are purely a product of my imagination. The names Ginger and Irene are two of my favorite girl's names.

Q. Are you currently working on another book?

A. I completed The Lifesaver, a middle-grade reader, last June. It's about life at a military school in 1952. So far, I havn't found a publisher. If you know of one that might be interested, please let me know. Recently, I also completed another children's book, this time a picture book, in collaboration with a well-known illustrator of birds in our area. I have sent Birds of a Feather to several publishers but have not received a response yet.

Q. What message would you like readers to receive from reading CUROSITY?

A. Never, never stop being curious. Also, that the UGRR and its brave participants are subjects children need to understand and appreciate. By the way, Laird and I have done many children's programs at libraries and schools in Indiana. I'm always amazed at how much the children know and how interested they are in this topic.