I thought I’d take a minute to talk about the book, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry, and tell you both WHY I put it together and WHAT is included in it.
WHY A COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES? I THOUGHT YOU WROTE NOVELS?
I do write novels, and I love writing novels. As soon as this book is published, I’ll be finishing up the sequel to Inn Significant. However, when I first began to write, I wrote only short stories, and it was the short story Contelli’s Mimosa that ended up being the basis for Beneath the Mimosa Tree, my first novel. I’ve included the original short story in the collection, and I wrote it over 20 years ago, so don’t judge me too harshly. I left it intact as I wrote it back then so that the full flavor of it comes through. I was in my early twenties and I wanted it to remain from a twenty-something’s viewpoint, so I left it alone. But short stories–that was what I had time to write back then. I didn’t have time to sit and write a novel. Presently, I use short stories as practice in between writing novels. When I don’t have the time to tell a longer story, I opt for the shorter form.
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE FOR THIS BOOK?
I think mostly women gravitate toward my books, although I have had several male friends and acquaintances read my books and tell me how much they enjoyed them. No matter your gender, I like to think of my stories as mostly providing hope for people. In our daily lives, we are always trying to overcome both the little things and the big things, don’t you think? I mean, I had someone cut me off when I was driving the other day, and even this morning as I was walking in my neighborhood, someone was going way too fast and nearly hit me. To not scream at those two individuals took self-control. But that’s a little thing. Then we have the big things, like disciplining your children for mishaps or worrying about your kid going to beach week with the guys after graduation. People lose jobs, loved ones, and their own self-esteem. These things happen, and in my writing I like to focus on how people can bounce back from these things—that’s what I try to focus on primarily. Most of my stories have a happy ending, though not all of them do, as you’ll see if you read the book. But even the ones that aren’t “happy happy” have some sort of resolution that readers will probably be content with for the characters.
WHAT KINDS OF STORIES ARE INCLUDED?
A lot. There are 22 total stories as I’m a couple of weeks away from going to press. Here’s a list of what’s included with a quick overview of the storyline for each:
The Message in the Bottle: a story about a last ditch effort to find love when internet dating and fix-ups don’t work.
After I Was Dead: a story about a restless ghost who seeks revenge on her young killer.
Dr. DeCarlo’s Patient: a story about an emergency room doctor who may be falling in love for the first time.
Unlost: a story about an older woman who finds a new friendship after the death of her husband.
Finding Luster: a story about a single mom who bounces back after an abusive relationship.
The Girl on the Trapeze: a story told from a man’s perspective about whether or not to give love another chance.
The Ugly Side of People: a story about gossips and judgmental women who misunderstand another woman’s situation.
Sophie’s Ladybug: a story of a young girl whose father goes off to war.
The Postcard: a story of love and forgiveness, and knowing when and how to apologize.
The Spell: a story about a witch who wants to forget a hurtful friendship.
The Beach Cottage: a story about a middle-aged woman who has to figure out whether it’s worth it to save her marriage.
Sarah and Daniel: a story about love and the timing of relationships.
Smashing Pumpkins: a story about a young girl who is angry at her mother for leaving the family and what she does to get back at her.
Contelli’s Mimosa: the original short story on which Beneath the Mimosa Tree is based.
The Fortune Teller: the story about moving on from something you know isn’t right.
Broom: the story of a broom that comes to life and grants a young girl three wishes.
Tears to Funny: the story of an affair between two likable people told in dialogue only.
Alberto’s Gravy: the story of the saucy beginning of a relationship.
Life with Nan: the story of a woman who lives with her grandmother in the Cotswolds and what she learns from her and her friends.
Playing with Fire: the story of the Wicked With of the West, her mother, and of course, Dorothy.
The Slump: the story of a Major League baseball pitcher’s slump, the reporter who covers it, and the future Hall-of-Famer who acts as the middle man when things get dicey.
An Untold Love Story: the story of a well-known author as she overcomes a crippling phobia and makes an appearance at a bookstore back in her hometown.