Q1. Can you please introduce yourself to the readers?
I am a former HR professional and Marriage and Family Therapist. I was married in 1980 and inherited three children I had never met six weeks after my wedding; we survived! I am retired, creating and living in Palm Springs. Stitches is my first book, and the first in a series of six based on Historic Park in San Diego, where I grew up.
Q2. From where did you have the idea to write your debut book Stitches?
There is a village of old, important houses that have been put together in Heritage Park in Old Town. The houses have been boarded up for years after being used as historical sites, then Bed and Breakfasts, then just abandoned. There are six houses, beautiful old Victorians, that are just sitting there. I went to see them about six years ago and when I sat under the old coral tree I wondered what I would do if I were in charge – I’d turn the village into an art colony! Each house would be dedicated to one form of art.
Stitches is the first house dedicated to needle arts; I’ve identified which house I think would fit on the back cover. Canvas will be the name of the second house, and Pages, the third. I have three more to write to fill out the village of six houses.
Q3. Please tell us something about STITCHES which is not in the blurb/book summary.
Stitches revolves around a young bride; she wants her aunt (Jen Conrad, the owner of the shop Stitches) to make her wedding dress – not sewn, but hand-knitted, to fit a sketch someone made of her in the imagined dress. Jen’s pursuit of perfection is affected in the making of not one but two dresses; perfection turns out to be not quite so important. It also turns out (spoiler) the artist who drew the sketch is the bride’s true love, not the man she’s marrying. He shows up later and in fact is the manager of the art store that is centered in Canvas, the next book (coming July 13).
Q4. What does literary success look like to you?
I know that writers don’t do it to get rich, but it would be nice to have my books known and appreciated for the social issues that are featured in each of them. In Stitches, it’s about grief and self-identity; having to reinvent yourself after living a life “as expected.”
Q5. You currently live in Palm Springs. Please tell us what makes it special?
The desert air, the almost-seasons, the resort atmosphere. Plus, there’s no traffic like in L.A. or San Diego!
Q6. How do you select the names of your characters?
They really just come…they drive the action as well.
Q7. Could you please tell us something about your experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist?
I specialized in grief and bereavement counseling; the stories in Stitches came from my experience in talking to women who really had no idea how to go on after being married for so long. I learned a lot from these women.
Q8. What are your hobbies apart from reading and writing?
Knitting, of course, and recently I’ve gotten into paper crafting, art journaling, and watercolor. It is physically impossible for me to sit in front of the tv without something in my hands to create.
Q9. How long does it took you to write your debut book?
About a year; it was published first by a vanity publisher, but I didn’t like the end product; cheap paper and the cover art wasn’t right. It took six years to get moving on revisions and hiring someone to do the cover and formatting professionally. I am pleased with the revised edition. (The first one only went to friends and family.)
Q10. Lastly, who inspires you the most in life and why?
Women in the past who have blazed the trail for the rest of us like suffragettes and women like Eleanor Roosevelt, Ruth Gruber, RBG, and Heddy Lamarr, who went against all odds and made a real impact on the world. I grew up with the feminists in the 60’s making noise; that had an impact on me as well, and I now understand how much of a risk they took in getting us where we are, which is not quite far enough, but we’re getting there. I’m beginning to talk about them in my YouTube channel.
Book Is Available On Amazon.