My background had nothing to do with writing. First a good daughter, then a good wife and mother of too many during the Korean War. All I knew was good. Service wives learned to button up; secrets kept during the war especially the Strategic Air Command where my pilot husband learned to fly an atom bomb mission wives never learned about for many years way after the men left the service. Something dreamed up by the brass who flew desks at the pentagon never came to fruition, thank heaven.
As for me, I didn’t learn to spread my wings ‘til my youngest and only daughter turned about sixteen. After moving to NY to settle down, I performed in community theaters. One day, a professional actor suggest I step up to the big city and make my way. The beginning of a new way of life. I took classes at night to learn acting for the camera and commercials and soon, with a lot of luck, I became a small fish in the big pond in NYC on stage, daytime drama on TV, commercials and still returned home in time to cook, tidy up, work with my husband, the love of my life, and manage a big household.
Catastrophe struck toward the end of the run of an off-Broadway play. My voice began to fail. I knew I couldn’t continue on stage or in any phase of acting. What to do with all the creative juices flowing? A friend suggested that I write. And a new career began at age seventy four with nothing more than an idea for a story. Like a primitive Grandma Moses of the art world, I didn’t know anything about writing but I knew a lot about scripts. And what a privilege watching Mike Nichols and Rob Reiner direct, to name of few. Then working with Harrison Ford in Working Girl, Anthony Hopkins in The Road to Wellville where I picked up techniques. And what a kick singing with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan during a break in When Harry Met Sally.
My advice to newbies is watch and listen and never give up. If I could achieve so much, so can you. My first book, To Be Continued, submitted to Vanilla Heart Publishing led to a contract and now the book is optioned for a television movie. At age eighty three, I still have a long way to go. Sixteen books published and I’m working on Book 2 for River’s Edge.
My latest release is Housebroken, Book 1 in the new series River’s Edge. No, it’s not about a dog. Empty nest syndrome has come to a couple after the third child moves.
Sally and Steve Atwood must make a big adjustment – a fair number of them, actually – when after thirty-five years, three grown children, and a lifetime of memories, they are alone, together, at last… And, then they found River’s Edge.
**Giveaway** I’m so pleased to offer a copy of Housebroken to a commenter. If you’ve experienced empty nest syndrome, let me know. I do recall waving goodbye to each of my kids only to find somehow they multiply and return. As parents you must have a sense of humor. Comment to enter. Contest ends 9/11 at 11:59PM EDT.
Thanks to the wonderful women who began Literary Lagniappe a few years ago when they had to explain what the words meant. Success continues.
Years of experience as an actor on daytime drama. Stage, spokesperson and commercials plus writing sketches for Air Force shows helped prepare me for the wonders of a writing career. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time when immersed in the written words of others, that I was like a sponge, soaking up how to construct a scene, write dialogue, and paint the setting.
My writing effort came later when I wrote a two page story, sent it to son, Paul who commented, “Cool. Can you write ten pages?” Seemed impossible but the story poured from my fingers and seventy thousand words later, I typed The End.
I kissed my acting career goodbye, leaving on a high note with the lead in an Off Broadway play, “The Fourth Commandment” playright Rich Knipe. It was great fun and time to move on. Movies like “Working Girl”, “Road to Wellsville” and having the pleasure of Anthony Hopkins company at lunch, working with Mike Nichols in “Regarding Henry” and singing outside with Harrison Ford, crying with Gene Wilder over loss on another set, When “Harry Met Sally” with the whole gang singing It had to be You. Lots of fond memories. My first job as stand-in leg model for Geraldine Ferraro in a Diet Pepsi commercial with Secret Service men guarding her and her daughters. A sweet time.
But nothing –oh nothing—is sweeter than a publisher saying, “I want to publish your book.” So many writers long to hear those words. I am joyous to have heard them from Kimberlee Williams.
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