Reading and writing is not a new passion. It goes back as far as I can remember. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite stories is my mother’s recollection of being able to find me beneath the shade of an old tree, propped up with a diary in my lap, or a book I cherished. Books have always played a significant role in my life. I recall overhearing an adult discussion where they were making such a fuss about this Marlon Brando fellow staring in a movie. When I expressed my interest in watching with them, I received a chorus of gasps and denials. Well! If that wasn’t the forbidden fruit laid out before me? So, having been born under the stars of both stubbornness and curiosity I took matters into my own hands. At the tender age of eight I located and devoured Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. To this day I am hooked on mafia culture, and I still have difficulty being told, “No!” It certainly taught me how to find my own answers, and adventures, in the pages of books.
Shortly after graduating college in 2010, opportunities to write and publish began making their way into my line of sight. A year before graduation I met and befriended Jane Freund at a writers group. A small handful of us became the original founders of The Pixie Chicks, which led to Jane forming her own publishing company and ultimately holding my hand through my first self-publishing experience. My life as a writer sprouted wings, and I owe a great deal of that to Jane.
Although there are many others that have been (and continue to be) instrumental in my writing career, there is one who, unknowingly (and forgive the cliché) was always the wind beneath my wings: the love of my life, my Pop. His death changed many things, including our family dynamics, leaving me feeling quite alone in the world without him. But more importantly, I have come to realize just how precious his unconditional love was to my development as a daughter, a woman, an individual, and an artist. Without the influence of his amazing talents, that I celebrate as much now as I did when he was alive, I would not be the person I am today.