Why do you write?
I liked writing from the moment that I learned cursive writing in elementary school. I loved the way the letters looked on a page, and then to know that I could string them all together to express the crazy thoughts in my head. ShaZA’AM! Off I went.
What writing are you most proud of?
It never occurred to me that I could actually write a novel, but after surviving a horrible, yet insanely comical month at an ashram to procure my yoga teaching certificate, with journal in hand…I began a story. I had the same thrill as I did when I was a kid learning that cursive writing. This time it was my computer, but the story and the characters came spilling out of my head onto the page. I laughed. Parts of what I wrote scared me, which was the goal of that section, and I cried at the end…just like I was reading a book that I loved written by someone else. I am very proud of my first novel and hope that my second one, An Ear for Mirabel, will continue to amaze me as I write…what a great feeling!
Location and life experiences can really influence writing. Tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
Growing up the dry, flat, waterless part of west Texas back in the fifties was both such a blessing and such a horrible curse. Midland, Texas was THE place to go if you were a gambler, a wild-catter or heavy-drinking speculator…for OIL. It’s where the Bush family came and brought all of their rich, east coast yankee pals. My Daddy never struck it rich, because he died as a young man, leaving my Mother alone with three precocious daughters out in the middle of nowhere. My upbringing shaped me, toughened me, forced me to have a sense of humor, and people would laugh at my stories, making everything alright for me again. The stories weren’t on paper as a child, just seared into my brain like chewing gum stuck to the hot tar on an endless highway.
I’m in my early sixties now, and because I like a happy ending in all of my stories, my sister, Sally, and I moved to the paradise that is Honolulu, Hawaii. I packed my sense of humor, tenacity and blind ambition to ‘suck life through a straw’ (as the Italians would say about me). It’s a short trip, and we want to live the rest of it in this magical place in the middle of the gloriously blue Pacific Ocean.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
My book, A Texan Goes to Nirvana, is a comic mystery set in the backwoods of Kentucky at a yoga ashram. My protagonist, Wendy Tate, is cynical, logical and desperate to earn a yoga teaching certificate to help her start a new life post-divorce. Her month-long stay at the ashram is filled with miscreants, societal dropouts, bliss ninnies, and those are just the people who live and work there…oh, and the head swami! Something is not right at this ashram, but it’s not what Wendy thinks. It’s far removed from what ANYone would suspect might be going on. And, a very unlikely hero helps Wendy figure out how to make things right, but not before all manner of scary and hilarious events and characters transpire to block her from the truth.
I wrote this book, because I did keep a daily, cynical journal of my nutty experiences at just such an ashram, and because ‘you can’t make this shit up!’ Upon my return home from this place, I found it online at cultbusters.com.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Hawkeye and Magua from Last of the Mohicans, Walter White from Breaking Bad, Nurse Jackie in case anyone got hurt or wanted a pill, Isak Dinesen to tell us stories of Africa, Beryl Markham, and last, but certainly not least, my Daddy who died when he was 38 years old.
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Genre – Humor Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author and the book
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