It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Nadean Stone, author of No Stone Unturned.
About Nadean Stone:
Nadean Stone was born in Blind River Ontario, Canada, graduated from Windsor University in 1973 with a BA and McMaster University in 1976 with an MBA. She obtained her Certificate in Journalism in 2002 and her Certificate of Legal Management, CLM in 2011.
In 2004, Nadean helped launch a weekday one-hour talk show on NBC Miramar, FL as the show’s Booker and Celebrity Producer.
Nadean is a Legal Management Consultant and author. She works as an advocate for children and adoptees, with an interest in public policy and legislation. In July 2018 she filed a petition with the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child illuminating numerous Articles of the UN Convention that the Province of Ontario has violated in its treatment of illegally adopted children.
Nadean spent 44 years searching for her birth mother, challenging the current law in Ontario Canada regarding non-adoptee’s access to their birth records. To access Birth Search Resources in Ontario Canada, click here.
She is currently exploring the transformation of her memoir No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey To Identity into a screenplay and is also working on a series of children’s stories about her adventures on her grandmother’s farm, as well as a story about her much-loved Aunt Roberta.
She and her husband Bill divide their time between their home in Florida and their cottage in Vermont.
About No Stone Unturned:
Philomena meets Lion in this captivating memoir—the story of an orphan abandoned on Christmas Eve by her young, unwed mother and the journey undertaken to find her.
Between 1945 and 1973, about 350,000 unmarried Canadian mothers were coerced or forced into giving their babies up for adoption. Many babies, like Nadean Stone, were illegally given away, like a puppy at the pound, for a nominal donation to the church.
No Stone Unturned, follows debut author Nadean Stone’s 44-year search for her birth mother utilizing DNA technology and innovative detective skills.
Fans of Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith, A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley which became the movie Lion, will love No Stone Unturned!
Told with humor and suspense, No Stone Unturned is an inspiring memoir of courage and perseverance, proving miraculous and happy endings can be achieved when we never give up!
Author Interview with Nadean Stone:
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- What inspired you to start writing?
I wrote my memoir to inspire the reader to find faith, hope and the courage to persevere, despite the odds. To continue to dream! To never, ever give up!
My story begins in Canada where between 1945 and 1973, almost 350,000 unmarried Canadian mothers were persuaded, coerced or forced into giving their babies up for adoption.
Many babies were illegally given away, like a puppy at the pound, for a nominal donation to the church. On Christmas Eve, 1952 I became one of those babies. From the moment my grandmother disclosed the story of my adoption, my birthday wish, every year was to find my mother. I started my search in 1973 when I was 20.
In 2008, the Province of Ontario, Canada changed its law, enabling legally adopted persons access to their birth registration records.
After many communication exchanges, with the provincial government, the hospital where I was born, and the Children’s Aid Society, we discovered that an adoption had never taken place. I was simply given away by Mother Superior at the hospital. This resulted in the denial of my access to any birth records.
No Stone Unturned chronicles the journey to find my mother and so much more. In life, one might experience a significant event that will alter the trajectory of one’s life forever. I faced numerous daunting personal challenges that are quite unbelievable, enormous triumphs and heartrending losses including a harrowing escape from a Caribbean island, my tormentors in hot pursuit. The story is more Hollywood than Hollywood.
- How significant was the role of DNA in your search?
In 2013, I increased my search efforts with an intense focus on DNA. It became my only source of hope. I tested with 23 and Me but didn’t know how to proceed. DNA indicated I was of European descent, with a Croatian parent. A DNA genetic genealogist discovered my post on a Canadian adoption website in 2017 and offered to assist. Olivia had me test on Ancestry to ensure we covered all possibilities and she downloaded my DNA info to Gedmatch, a website designed to assist adoptees.
We divided our responsibilities. I sent messages through Ancestry and 23 and Me portals to my new Croatian cousins asking them to share their DNA, family surnames, residences in Europe, the US and Canada, family trees. We explained the mission to find my mother. I messaged more than 150 cousins at numerous times during the journey. Olivia placed their info onto one spreadsheet, trying to drill down to 2nd & 1st cousins.
As the months progressed, the “cousins” became invested in my search. We exchanged personal email addresses and telephone numbers, creating a “Village of Cousins” desperate to help “the baby find its mother.”
Ancestry DNA found my father’s family in June 2017 when his daughter tested. I never thought I would find my father. I thought the chances of finding my mother were slim and if she was alive, she might not be well, or have the mental capacity or desire to share his identity. Finding him through DNA, was a miracle!
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
The Editor at Parklander magazine in Coral Springs FL read my memoir and issued the following powerful review:
If ever a cable series suggested its own sequel that promised to be just as or more captivating than the original, The Handmaid’s Tale, this would be it. And local writer Nadean Stone has provided a true-life look at how such a shocking dystopia can play out in the next generation. In No Stone Unturned, the debut author and Coral Springs resident traces her 44-year search for her mother, who was among the hundreds of thousands of unwed mothers across Canada, from 1945 until the 1970’s forced to give up their babies for adoption.
The Canadian government has only recently come to grips with its lead role in what became a program of stigmatization and illegal coercion, which provinces and territories carried out, largely in secret, with the help of religious and charitable organizations. Stone, one of the more than 600,000 babies deemed “illegitimate” in Canadian census records from the period, tells a tale that’s often raw with emotion, recounting a grim childhood and her winding, but determined journey to find her birth mother – and herself. A must-read in these times of forced family separations and dystopian fantasies come true.
This will serve as a catalyst for film agent approaches to Netflix and Amazon.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
On August 4 th , 1989, my former husband Juan appeared at my wedding to my 2 nd husband Bill. Juan allowed our young son Andrew to attend the ceremony while he waited outside the courthouse. After the ceremony, Juan refused to allow Andrew to attend our wedding lunch and reception that evening. When Bill protested, bodyguards hired by Juan stepped between Bill and Juan. Juan grabbed Andrew’s hand and scurried away, my two girlfriends giving chase. Bill and I stood motionless and in shock. This action, subsequently determined to be a kidnapping by a Supreme Court Judge, evolved into a nine-month long custody battle, the longest in the history of this small Caribbean island.
- Where can readers purchase your books?
My book is available in print and or electronic format on the following websites.
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/no-stone-unturned-nadean-
It is also published on Ingram Spark for libraries.
- What was the highlight of writing this book?
I am deeply touched by amazing and lengthy heartfelt reviews on Amazon, 65, all of which are five and four stars. The readers get it and are so inspired!
- Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
I can spell backwards and tell you how many letters are in the word. This talent is not of any significant value, but it is very entertaining at a dinner party when tipsy guests scour our books and fire away at break neck speed with the longest words they can find. Everyone ends up laughing uproariously.
- If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I would volunteer my time with The Innocence Project. The Innocence Project founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. I have personally experienced the power of DNA and firmly believe in its use for this initiative.
- If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Julia Roberts would play me as she has long hair and huge eyes like mine. Matt Damon would play my husband Bill. Javier Bardem would play my former husband Juan.
- Describe your perfect book hero or heroine.
A Woman of No Importance introduced me to Virginia Hall an American spy who helped win World War II. I am in awe of her dedication and unfailing courage. Book description below is from Amazon.
In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.”
The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill’s “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and–despite her prosthetic leg–helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it.
Virginia established vast spy networks throughout France, called weapons and explosives down from the skies, and became a linchpin for the Resistance. Even as her face covered wanted posters and a bounty was placed on her head, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped through a death-defying hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown. But she plunged back in, adamant that she had more lives to save, and led a victorious guerilla campaign, liberating swathes of France from the Nazis after D-Day.
Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall–an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman’s fierce persistence helped win the war.
- What are your future goals?
The current law in Ontario Canada permits only Legally adopted persons to access their birth registration records. Persons who were simply given away like me or whose adoption records were not perfectly executed are denied access to those records.
In 2018, I filed a petition with the UN Commission on the Rights of The Child illuminating numerous Articles of the UN Convention that the Province of Ontario has violated in its treatment of illegally adopted children.
My goal in writing the memoir is to use it as a platform for change.To bring attention to the issue and to petition the Province of Ontario to amend the law enabling non-adoptees equal rights to our records. I have consulted with a leading civil rights attorney in Toronto who is interested in this precedent setting case.
An additional goal is to transform the book into a Netflix or Amazon TV series or movie due to the power of film to alter lives and initiate change.
The book, opportunities to share my story, and a TV series or movie will move my mission to change the law forward.
- What’s your favorite quote?
“Never ever, ever give up.” – Charles Schulz