Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Born and raised in Northern California, right between San Francisco and San Jose. And those WERE the days: high school from 1968-72, the perfect setting to experience the culture and changes from that era. The SF Bay Area was so visionary back then- the music, how relationships developed between men and women (free love, women speaking out for equality and respect), the politics, civil rights...you name it, it was here. Moving on to study at U.C. Berkeley from 1972-76 added to the diversity of experiencing people and cultures from all over the world. When I was a junior, ready to turn 19 years old, my 4 years of taking German in high school paid off- a full year of study in Germany. Of course, I overloaded my classes as a sophomore at Cal so I could spend more time traveling and living outside the classroom than being in it. So many memories to help with whatever writing was to come in the years ahead.
What's the story behind your latest book?
There are so many facets to love: from the heartwarming, traditional sentiments to the changes that come with age . This was written as a REAL, contemporary guide through 44 ideas that surround the theme of love....with a light, whimsical touch. I wanted to have a Shel Silverstein type book, with illustrations, meant strictly for adults, especially Baby Boomers. Rhythmic, humorous and perhaps insightful enough for those just over age 18.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee. The sounds of peace and quiet since I am an early bird, at times hours before the sun comes up. My brain is usually filled with ideas and dreams from the night before so I sometimes like to write them down before that lovely, hot second cup of java. Knowing that each moment of each day is a gift, and I so want to unwrap it and live it the whole day long before I am resolved to go back to sleep. But dreams can be fun too, if you learn to fly :)
When did you first start writing?
First time NOT being dependent on my writing being graded was at age 16. Poetry, of course. Prompted by a young lady who would have issued me a fate worse than a "C" grade had I not been able to be creative enough. I developed a certain style, almost lyrical to the beat of silent music, and I never looked back. Even though I was employed in other areas and raised a family, I kept up with writing of a different sort as well: scripts, short stories, a novel.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover was actually the first idea I had for my artist . I carefully collaborated with her on most all of the illustrations, but getting feedback on the cover from potential readers AND primarily women "Baby Boomers" was a key element to show the whimsical nature of the book itself. I imagined not a baby, but an aged cupid not quite at his game when shooting those arrows of love. People can either be quite certain about who they already love or apprehensive about finding a new love. They may even grow a little skeptical about whether they will ever truly love again because of past experiences. In a roundabout way, I wanted the readers to see that they should not necessarily depend on unknown forces (cupid) for love: something as important as love should be born from within the person themselves.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
So much to do....have to keep the body in shape, so anything from walks or hikes to a trip to the gym at least 5 days a week. Not only helps to fight back the clock but keeps me alert for writing and night time activity. I enjoy listening to live music so I will frequent the local music scene when the talent is around. I used to scout for quality musicians when I worked in Los Angeles in the music publishing industry, but now it's for pleasure and, yes, sometimes dancing. Only drawback is that my inner clock wakes me at 5 am, so late night owl hours are fewer than what they used to be.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't recall the very first story, a children's book for sure...but the ones I REALLY remember are those from maybe 4th grade through 8th grade- Jack London stories, like Call of the Wild. The Human Comedy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, Catcher in the Rye. Even The Jungle from Upton Sinclair opened my eyes. Fahrenheit 451, Kipling books...I enjoyed so many types, from science fiction to adventure stories and books that dealt with the human condition. Books that made me think more about the "what", "why" and "what if?" in life. Stories that stretched my imagination, took me to places I could visualize in my own way. Reading IS an impact in itself.
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