Some stuff about me

With a birthday coming up next month I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and a lot of thinking about the future. However, since my suggestion of a book everyone should read is Ram Dass’ Be Here Now, I thought I’d share a recent interview that tells about me right now.
1. What is one book everyone should read?

Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Be Here Now

2. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Peanut butter and blueberries

3. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book, Leaving the Hall Light On.

My book has much to share with anyone grieving the loss of a loved one or suffering any kind of loss.

4. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

I’m currently working on a historical fiction book based a bit on my family’s history, yet with a twist. I also want to have a book of poetry published. And I’m almost through producing, with the help of an expert recording technician, a CD made of my son’s jazz music. I hope to have it out in the next couple of months with proceeds of sales going to charities that help erase the stigma of mental illness and prevent suicide.

5. What inspired you to want to become a writer?

Writing always seemed to come naturally to me, and because of that my teachers were very encouraging.

6. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

After my first publisher went out of business, I was fortunate to find a wonderful new publisher, Dream of Things, that recently released paperback and eBook editions of my book. The first publisher going out of business was a blessing in disguise.

7. What is your dream cast for your book?

Jane Fonda as the main character (me), and my actor son Ben Sharples  playing himself

8. What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

9. Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

My son was a very talented jazz composer and pianist. I would want his music as the theme song with sprinkles of John Lennon, Miles Davis, and J.S. Bach throughout the film.

10. What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. No matter how many rejections you get, keep on asking. Be persistent.

11. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Italy. It is my goal to live in Rome someday and travel throughout Italy by train. First stops would be Sicily and Naples – places I haven’t visited yet. Plus I love Italian food.

12. What is your favorite Quote?

“How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?” Golda Meir

13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

Brenda Starr Reporter or a shoe designer. I loved to draw and paint as well as write.

14. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

A friend called me ten days after my son’s funeral and advised me to come back to our morning aerobics class. I did. Working out again helped me begin my healing process. I still workout every day.

15. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I’m about a third of the way through.

The Goldfinch

16. What was your favorite children’s book? 

Me Too, story and words by Fritz Willis (The Marcel Rodd Company, 1944). My dad gave me the book because I always said, “me too,” whenever I wanted something my brother had. (I recently bought a first-edition copy of it.)

17. How do you react to a bad review?

Not very well. I have very thin skin. Luckily most reviews lately have been very good.

18. If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. One of my all-time favorite books.

19. What do you do in your free time? 

Workout, take long walks on the beach, read, go to movies, theater, and opera

20. Who or what inspired you to become an author?

I was inspired to tell the story of my son’s bipolar disorder and how I survived his suicide. I felt that if my story could help just one other family, my writing it would be worthwhile. Also, my writing teachers encouraged me to get my story out into the world.

Microsoft PowerPoint - LTHLO cover concept 0913.pptx

21. In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Norah Ephron. She had the career I wanted early on. But she didn’t live long enough to get to write with me.

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