From the age of three when I first started reading, I always knew I would become an author. I grew up in the foothills beneath the iconic Hollywood sign, the daughter of best-selling author and script writer, Irving Shulman. Between novels, my father was like the character, Joe Gillis, portrayed in the movie "Sunset Boulevard." He was under contract for Warner Bros and Walt Disney studios. Famous actors, directors, producers, and movie stars attended parties at our house. Actress Spring Byington lived across the street. Life in Tinsel Town was the norm.
In college I majored in and received degrees in English and Anthropology. Both assist me when I write and research topics I find meaningful that express my worldview. In my stories I draw upon personal experiences and, with permission, occasionally from my friends’ lives.
I did many hours of research into Chinese culture and customs when I wrote "Good Fortune," the prequel to "Golden Ring Of Light." The sequel required even more extensive research. I am fortunate to have a Chinese friend who fills in details and facts I couldn’t find anywhere. To add some additional interest, in "Golden Ring Of Light" I included a little about Hawaiian folklore by creating an interesting Hawaiian character from the island of Kauai.
My other two novels, "Vanilla Grass" and "White Dunes" are completely different. I don't want to write only one genre of books. "Vanilla Grass" features a Vietnam Veteran with PTSD and his comfort dog. It also highlights delinquent teenagers needing guidance. Because I love watching old black-and-white noir films with snappy dialog, "White Dunes" is a fast-paced crime novel with some quirky characters like those in old gangster movies. In present day, they are similar to characters in "Breaking Bad" and Elmore Leonard books.
I will soon be formatting my other books for Smashwords.
My passions are writing, reading, painting, meditation, and traveling with my husband and our Golden Retrievers.
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by Leslie Bratspis
Chinese wisdom secretly passed through handwritten fortunes guides the lives of two men from different cultures connected by a shared source of enlightenment. Each overcomes adversity to achieve inner awareness through personal journeys. Good Fortune awaits them, but first they must discover happiness is less tied to outward goals than inner awareness. Tong's gentle wisdom shows them the way.
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