We met at a writing workshop over 40 years ago. I drove in from New Jersey and Barbara lived in NYC. Our routine was to always go out for dinner to discuss the amusing happenings we experienced at the workshop.
I had an idea for a book I was working on. A recently separated woman discovers her sensuality and realizes that the few men she went out with were all different signs of the Zodiac. Very close to the traits of each sign. She decides to go through The Circle of Animals and see if the men she met all matched their signs.
One dinner night with Barbara, I told her my idea and why I was dropping it. The character wasn’t anything like me or what I would do, and I didn’t really admire or like her for the concept. I was creating someone I didn’t want to write about. Amusing, but something I would never embark on. Barbara immediately said “let’s do it together. I’ll take 6 and you take 6 and we can write it together. Sorry for the cliché, but the rest is history.
My husband Barry was very supportive and encouraged me to finish the book with Barbara. He found it difficult to understand why the process was taking so long. “Have Barbara come out to New Jersey for weekends and finish the book.” I read him chapters, and of course there were many sub plots. We had no work schedule and Barbara also had a full-time job. Whatever the reasons, the book was put on hold.
When Nancy Reagan had an astrologer helping her, and Kate had the natural line of creams idea, Barry again would say, “Why not get your book out? It’s so timely.”
……..and still Circle was in the waiting mode.
The week before Barry died, we were in Connecticut and Elizabeth Brundage was there. I knew her the day she was born. She is now a well-known author and her writing is brilliant and wonderful. She told me at a later date that Barry mentioned to her that weekend, about my book and to push me to finish it or something like that. He died a few days later, suddenly and I was in a state of grief and shock. Circle again on the back burner.
Elizabeth wrote a delightful blurb for the book and I will be forever grateful for her generosity with her words.
When I told Barbara about Barry, she was also shocked and asked “what can I do?” I said quickly that Barry wanted us to finish the book.
Many months later after we had worked out a schedule, a box was at my front door with the first draft and a simple card….. For Barry.
I had moved from New Jersey. Barbara found a great apartment in the same building she lived in. I’m on the 4th floor and she’s on the 10th, so the process of finishing Circle was made easier. A long and sometimes grueling time. There were arguments that were handled with care. Circle for me was a labor of love. I knew Barry wanted it published as much as I did. So we self published and it came out on Amazon last week. So exciting to see it in print. Love the characters and the cover. I hope anyone who reads our words enjoys a fun read.
I would like to give a shout out to Vicki Landis, our Editor and Cover Designer, and Gregg Brickman who did the book formatting. For any writers out there wanting to self publish, I highly recommend both. They were professional and very patient. Thank you both.
Oh I almost forgot what day it is. Happy Valentines Day to all. Dark Chocolate and love wishes to all!!!