I enjoyed writing and drawing early on and never lacked for family encouragement, including that of a wise and kind retired country school teacher, my grandmother, Winifred Rodgers. I'm talking about from age seven or eight here, but I have no recall of a special interest before taking a course in creative writing to fill out my first year's second semester schedule at the University of Illinois.
What came from that class?
I'm ashamed I don't remember that professor's name. I'm sure that, without his words of encouragement all those years ago, I would never have considered writing anything, let alone taking on a novel project like 'Einstein'. But, immediately? The class was barely a blip. I was an art major, and that remained my main concern then. The following semester I received a scholarship and transferred to Tulane University's Sophie Newcomb College where I studied with the famous abstract expressionist, Helen Frankenthaler, and the realist, Loren Dunlap. Any thoughts of serious, or even casual, writing were placed on the back burner and remained there for years.
But, even so, you would consider that semester of creative writing as the beginning, or at least a turning point in how you thought of yourself as a writer.
No doubt about that. It was the first time I received critical praise for my work, and to this day, all these decades later, I still sometimes feel the excitement of the moment when it comes to mind.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had a tale to tell and thoughts I felt should be put out there for consideration .
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was working as a painter, an artist, living on Maui. A visit to my parents home in Arizona resulted in a visit to the 'La Posada', a beautifully renovated old railroad hotel, in Winslow. I think it was in 2009. The place was full of ghosts with rooms named after celebrity guests from the hotel's past including Albert Einstein, Carole Lombard, Charles Lindbergh - the list goes on - and that's where 'Einstein in Flamingoland' began.
What are you working on next?
Further exploration of the surreal world of Einstein’s narrator, Gille Barker, continues on to Chicago and Indianapolis and the farm town of Mason City, Illinois in the prequel, now in progress.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
With bad actors in close pursuit, a Hopi Indian cabbie motors Maui artist Gille Barker and an illusive Albert Einstein through Arizona deserts and Louisiana bayous to the French Quarter of New Orleans in search of a satchel's mysterious contents and the secret to life's design.