Last night I spoke at the brand new Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, Florida about my journey from aspiring to published writer, libraries, and early influences – including my librarian mom. The talk benefitted The Manatee County Library Foundation and it was a wonderful crowd of warm and engaging readers. I opened talking about my mother and her love of story, as well as her work in the Chester Library in New Jersey where I spent a lot of evenings doing my homework while she worked. I count her, and her love of books, as one of the major reasons I am a writer today. So, thanks Mom! And Happy Mother’s Day!
The first place I ever loved was New York City. I had a very glamorous aunt who lived a fabulous life in a Park Avenue apartment, and from my very first visit, everything about the place—the buildings, the people, the noise, the smells—mesmerized me. As soon as I was old enough to know what I wanted, I knew I wanted to live there. And nowhere else. Ever. And so it was. I went to college in Manhattan, and after that, into publishing–the only real choice for an aspiring writer who needed a “real job.” And the years ticked by. Continue reading at Tips on Life & Love!
I love getting mail from my readers! Occasionally, I get a question that really makes me think. And when I write the answer, I wonder if other readers or writers might enjoy it, too. Here is an edited version of a letter I received from a retired math teacher turning his attention to writing for the first time at age 70. He was reading Beautiful Lies.
For a couple of years now, I have been involved with a poetry group at Brookwood Florida, a home for adolescent girls who have been removed from their domestic situations because of abuse. Under the direction of the wonderful Jeanne Chase, some of the girls gather weekly to write. And the result is some of the most courageous poetry I have seen. Every year, Jeanne compiles the poetry into a book. And this year, we threw the girls a real author book release party at one of my favorite indies, Inkwood Books in Tampa.