AS an almost
Newbie Author in this
wild and woolly world of being a
REAL author, I pay careful attention to the advice of my Publisher...and In her curren edition of APOLLO'S LYRE e-zine she said, authors need a
platform...so here is my Official
I am working on just what a platform should be and what words of little "linisms" I should offer.
Should I tell you all that I began writing when I was too young to know better? See I used to wait till the house was dark and all inhabitants, (there were never fewer than seven of us at any given moment,)
snored loudly enough to deafen all other sounds before grabbing flashlight, pen, notebook, and courage.
Creating a tent of my bedding, I slid beneath and found I have this incredibly bizarre imagination. Actually everyone else thought it was bizarre, except for my
beloved Grandmother. Being a storyteller herself, Nonnie loved the way I portrayed my inner world.
I attended Private School, looking an awful lot like a miniature Colonel Sanders
thanks to the red bow tie with dangling ends against my starch white shirt and navy blue uniform jumper.
In school I learned I was more than just a tad different. While everyone else was engaged in
jumping rope, pitching balls, and
rough housing, I was sitting on the edge of the playground watching the bells attached to the
Lily of Valley stems swaying and dipping in the gentlest of breezes.
At home I was the only girl, (I grew up with three irritating brothers and their equally irritating friends.) so was the only one interested in mind expansion rather than tearing cars apart just for the helluvit.
Two doors away lived Katie Sickle and Mary Powers. Both women were already in the
seven year old me would slip down to their place, sit politely at their feet and listen in awe as they brought history alive in the telling of THEIR stories.
Katie, I learned, was the grand-niece of our town's founder, Elijah Kirk, and the stories she related about this place I was growing up in enchanted the little girl at her feet.
Mary Powers met Katie when they went to college...one of the first women from our area to do so. (Mary majored in biology, and let me tell you, she WAS a pioneer in a time when men picked, nagged, and tormented any woman daring to think she was as smart, or smarter than ANY man.)
Nonnie died when I was eleven. (She was more my mother than my grandmother because Mom...well Mom liked
Four Roses Whiskey A LOT!) I went into a
tail-spin for a while after Nonnie's death.
The loner I'd been before was nothing compared to the loner I became afterwards. I worked very hard to
become invisible. I'd like to say I was successful, but just like the character
SOAP who believed he became invisible when he clicked his fingers, my attempts were equally unsuccessful. (Being the only girl ALSO made invisibility a bit more challenging than I had anticipated.)
My brothers loathed me. I never studied, rarely took notes, yet was a
straight A student. They struggled, studied, worked really hard and considered
a C their A. There's nothing more inventive than brothers when they loathe you.
I DID have my best friend and protectoress.
Heidi the German Shepherd purebred we got when she was just
seven weeks old. In some ways Heidi took the place of Nonnie, Katie, and Mary. With her as my pillow, we'd stretch out in the bottom acreage of our land and I'd create stories for her based on what I'd see in the clouds drifting by. She seemed to enjoy my stories...or maybe she just enjoyed the love I felt for her that was deep and without condition.
At sixteen I got my driver's license opening the world even more to Heidi and me. (She loved riding in the car with me and I loved having her.)
By this time some new people moved in across the street and down one and they had daughters. Bobbi Jo joined Heidi and me on our adventures.
(Bobbi Jo went with me when I interviewed the family living in the haunted house for my first college assignment. She refused to ever go near a haunted house after that, though.)
I wrote about that trip on my Publisher's blog. If you'd like to check it out, here's the HAUNTED HOUSE LINK.
I got my first REAL job,
(rolling sod, working my brother's father-in-law's farm don't really count as REAL jobs,) when I was
sixteen. I grew up near
New Hope, PA so naturally that's where I went. I became the hostess for the
New Hope Diner. This allowed me to meet some of the STARS of the time since the
Bucks County Playhouse drew THE BIG NAMES from Hollywood and New York. (I did a blog entry at my Publisher's about this too...CLICK HERE if you'd like to check it out.)
New Hope is a great place for someone with a quirky imagination to work. The things you observe and commit to memory are fantastic. It was considered the ARTISTIC CAPITAL of the world back then.
Not long afterwards though I got married and became the one thing I am the most proud of...a Mom to two exquisitely cherished children, my son with so much hair the nurses curled it making him look like a
turnip, and my daughter, herself an author,
Kat Holmes...(her book covers are proudly displayed here on my blog)
Being a mom is a full time job, but I managed to still let the quirky me flow by entertaining them with my own off-the-cuff stories and acting out stories like
SPOOKY OLD TREE and
THE BEARS VACATION.
Single parenting and back to college. I have a few pics of me graduating,
but you can hardly see me. (The blonde is me.) I let my son, who swore he knew how to use the Polaroid camera, and would get great pictures, have at it. I DO love my Son.
Graduation led to my teaching career. I LOVED my job. I worked with children born with
Down Syndrome and learned how to be the best from the best my mentor Bill Riches. Again, I am the blonde.
Life has a way of ebbing and tiding. I went on and got more
college, went through the challenges of having a teen aged son who went a
little wild the minute the hormones and having a drivers license kicked in. (Any wonder why my blonde hair turned 100%
Cancer added to the adventure. I would battle
cancer twice in the following years. Neither time was a picnic, but Kat was right here beside me making what was bad not nearly as bad as it could be.
9/11 was a bad day. My son worked at that time in Northern NJ and no matter how many times I tried, I could not reach him.
Kat worked closer, but her company's communications division was less than two blocks from the Trade Center.
The entire day was a nightmare not just because of the pain felt watching so many people leap to their death, but being unable to reach any of my own family members, taught me
fear like I had never experienced before. My children always gave me strength and now I couldn't reach them and make sure they were okay. I was frantic.
My son, I would learn, had crossed over into NY to help. (I did not hear from him for over twenty-four hours.) Kat, I connected with when I went to pick her up at the end of her workday.
As a family we wept, as Americans we felt like we'd been
sucker punched, as human beings we ached for all those who lost more than their
Eleven days later at 11:43 A.M. I had left the
library and was on my way to the
Moorestown, NJ Mall, when a seventeen year old girl came out of her side road without bothering to obey the
stop sign she had.
I knew a split second before she hit me she was on her
cell phone and was going to hit. I don't remember much of the actual crash. They told me I lost consciousness. The impact was hard enough to require the jaws of life since both sides were crumbled in.
In a flash my career as a teacher came to and end...my ability to drive came to end...(both eyes were cut by the flying glass)...and I had gone from ABLED to permanently DIS-abled.
Life changes dramatically after such a car crash. I am alive and glad to be so. I am as recovered as I am ever going to be. There's no going back. Some days it is difficult to bite down against the
and get about being who I have since become.
I have a very close relationship with
Kat that has only grown deeper since the crash. We care for each other now. (Less than a year after my accident, Kat was donating blood at her company for the 9/11 Red Cross drives when she had her first
Grand Mal seizure...almost ten years later,
they are still not controlled, far more violent,
((she has to wear her soft shell helmet to keep from impacting where she has already had blood on the brain)) and they took her career from her as thoroughly as the accident took mine.)
We are not quitters, though...gone is my ability to teach special children, gone is Kat's ability to be a corporate auditor, but in their places we are now,
to our utter amazement
PUBLISHED AUTHORS with
Muse Publishing, Inc.
Lea Schizas, our brilliant publisher has opened up a
new world of wonder and enchantment for this woman who used to sit at the feet of two 80 year old women and learn
history through their having lived it.
To date, I have the most contracts with Muse at an incredible thirteen...
Out so far: (Click to go to each book's Muse Buy Page for more information.)
1. Santa Is A Lady : released December 2010 (Book One of The Christmas Miracles Series)
2. Forever With You: released February 2011
3. The Pendulum Swings: released March 2011
4. Twilight Comes : released May 2011
5. In From The Cold : released June 2011 with a free bonus book, NIGHT WHIMPERS.
1. This Time Forever: to be released August 2011
2. Beyond Yesterday: to be released September 2011
3. Suc-U: to be released October 2011 (Book One of the SUCCUBUS UNITED Series)
4. Champagne Afternoon: to be released November 2011
5. The Christmas War : to be released December 2011 (Book Two of The Christmas Miracles Series.)
6. She's Gone: to be released February 2012
7. Echoes From The Past : to be released April 2012
8. Life's Journey: to be released June 2012
AND now for Kat's titles. Again click on them for more information on their Muse Buy Pages.
1. The Lighthouse: released on January 2011
2. Frozen: released on April 2011
3 Working Under Covers: released June 2011 (Book One in the Gods At Work Series.)
TO BE RELEASED:
1. Heart of the Queen: to be released September 2011 (Book Two in the Gods At Work Series.)
2. Dangerous Voice: To be released November 2011
3. In Death's Arms : to be released January 2012 (Book three in the Gods At Work Series.)
4. Crimson Water : to be released April 2012 (Book four in the Gods At Work Series)
5. Hidden : to be released June 2012 (Book One in the Hecate's Web Series)
6. Dances At Dawn: to be released in August 2012 (Book Five of the Gods At Work Series.
7. Hannah's Wish: A Lacey's Lamp story: to be released in November 2012
As an almost
newbie author, I am astounded to have earned the fifth place award for
Santa Is A Lady in the
Preditors and Editors 2010 Readers Poll. I am still walking around with
my jaw scraping the floor.
Kat's first book
THE LIGHTHOUSE was nominated for the 2011
P.E.A.R.L. award BEFORE it's January 1, 2011 debut.
We are both humbled and want to thank all those who are in our corner. We love you all and hope you know we love hearing from you too.
For me, my e-mail address is: Spatzdkat1212@yahoo.com
Kat's is MyKitty130@yahoo.com
I hope you'll add this blog to your favorites and keep checking back.