My first attempt at writing came about when I worked on Hollywood screenplays and learned to see and write through the camera’s eye. The result was the screenplay and film production of “White Lilacs and Pink Champagne.” I loved the work and might have continued, but I had a falling out with the director and, after he removed my film credit from “White Lilacs,” I left his company.
As a single mother in need of income, I next found a job through the L.A. Times classified ads. And though I had little to no experience, the interview went well and I was hired by an artist management firm. My employer represented performers and I was fortunate enough to work for Bette Midler. Bette taught me what it takes to be an artist; the personal sacrifices made offstage and the joy that comes from performing onstage. After I learned how to manage artists’ careers, I represented The Manhattan Transfer and other dedicated, talented singers and musicians. My work brought me often to Manhattan. And when I came home to Hollywood, I missed hailing taxis after all-night jams, and the other thrills that come from living in the City.
Driven by a need to reinvent my life, I made a giant leap of faith and left Hollywood for Manhattan with my young daughter. In time, I re-married, had a second child, and became the managing director of Gramavision Records, promoting jazz, blues, and eclectic classical recordings.
When that company was sold, I thought it was time to complete my interrupted education. I enrolled in SUNY Purchase and loved so much being a student of literature that I continued my education at Sarah Lawrence College where I earned an MFA in creative writing. My thesis, SHA LA LA: LIVE FOR TODAY, was a memoir about growing up in Hollywood, marrying and divorcing a rock star, and being a single mother in need of a paycheck.
My first novel, KATHERINE MANSFIELD, was conceived on an airplane coming back from France while reading a collection of short stories by Katherine Mansfield. I’d been haunted by Mansfield after I read in Virginia Woolf’s diary that Katherine was the only writer she was ever jealous of. I spent the next three years getting to know Katherine like a sister through her journals and then wrote her story.
I started the first draft of my second novel, THE DRUMMER’S WIDOW, when my husband was very ill. I wrote out of the daily fear of what my life would be like without him. From which materialized Marisa, a recent widow, who led me through her courageous journey without the partner that had sustained and defined her.
THE SKETCH BOX is my most recent project. A sweeping historical novel with an element of mystery. The story takes place in Carmel in 1924 when the village was a haven for female artists. Ada Belle Davenport, a famous painter, dies under suspicious circumstances. Her younger sister, Sarah, who is also a painter, comes to Carmel to find out what really happened.
Photo by Julie Evans taken at Outer Banks during a writers' retreat.