Someone who’s reading my Goddess series asked me recently if a lot of what I’ve experienced ends up in my stories. And in a word, the answer is, yes. How could it not?
In Thrown For A Curve, Melinda, Crackerjack’s mother, catches him during high school, when he practices at home. When she tells Izabella that she earned a lot of bruises during the sessions, it came from my own catching days when my son was a pitcher for his high school. My arms had circular black and blue marks for days on end, but it never caused me to stop. I loved the connection, and being athletic myself, it was a way for me to participate.
Magic Bean Cafe mirrors my son’s process when he opened up a coffee shop a couple of years ago. I was taking notes, knowing that I would be introducing Rhea as a cafe owner in my first book. I wanted Magic Bean to be the meeting place where the friends would meet up for coffee and gossip.
Dogs play a big role in some of the stories, many of the anecdotes coming from the antics of my own.
My baseball series contain numerous tidbits that I learned growing up with a baseball loving father. Carl Yastrzemski, a golden glove left fielder for the Red Sox back in the sixties, was the template for Gilbert Demers, the Greenliner who’s number was retired.
The titles of some of my Goddess series come from the work I’ve done in the realm of the Divine Feminine. Once Thee Was a Tree features a women warrior, and the tree of life, a symbol of strength and protection. In Can’t Be Tamed, I use the lioness as a symbol of power, ferocity and courage, as shown on the cover. Each of the goddesses are aligned with a symbol: scales of justice, labyrinth, bee, wheat staff, bird, and spiral.
In the Fire and Ice series, Mia grew up on a farm with horses. I have connections to a horse farm in Florida and have never felt more at peace when there. Horses are magical beings and Mia has the kind of symbiotic connection that comes when riding. I vividly remember my son riding one of the horses at the farm, and being awed by the harmony between animal and rider. I once took lessons, and when the trainer was answering a phone call, the horse I was riding took off, galloping around the corral. It was frightening and exhilarating all at the same time. I somehow was able to keep my seat but I think it was because it was one of those times, I let go and went with the flow and it worked to my advantage. (That experience ended up in one of the books.)
I studied the Tao for a while, actually writing my own version of the tenets. In Gardens of Eden, I had the opportunity to introduce “the way” and how it impacted my life.
They say to write what you know. I don’t exactly follow that rule, wanting to learn all I can about subjects that interest me, like Cuba, gardening, our troops in Afghanistan, and beekeeping but I do end of bringing part of me into each story as well.