Although I cursed it in my youth, dyslexia turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Not being able to read or write until the age of ten forced me to express myself through acting. At the Stephens College playhouse in Missouri I fell in love with an actor, a married actor. That experience led to the publication of my first book, Love and Madness: My Private Years with George C. Scott.
When I found myself pregnant. George wanted me to abort the baby. I refused. My friend Tammy Grimes, who later became a two-time Tony Award winner (The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Private Lives) helped me find the Florence Crittenden Home for Unwed Mothers outside of Boston, where I gave birth to our daughter. My play, Bad Girl, was based on that experience.
Years later George returned to my life, which inspired me to write Hello Again, (a 2015 San Diego Book Awards finalist in romance novels).
The hardships of war and the Great Depression that mark my family's history led me to write Saturday Night Dance Club.
After living in Terre Haute, Indiana, and earlier in North Conway New Hampshire, near the home of Peyton Place author, Grace Metalious, I was inspired to write Freedom's Sins, a story of scandals in a small town.
Getting lost for several hours during a brief stay near the abandoned military base scared me into writing The Ghosts of Fort Ord.
My nonfiction novel, Helga: Growing Up in Hitler's Germany, (2015 San Diego Book Awards winner in nonfiction) is based on my interview of a former member of the Jugend, Hitler's child army.
My many overnight weekend getaways on the famous Queen Mary led me to write The Ghosts of the Queen Mary, released November 1, 2014.
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The Chester Writers Club of Chester, California, was established thirteen years ago by six women who met in a local community college writing class.
They meet the last Thursday of each month at noon. Their ages range from 42 to 93. Each month a member is chosen to bring her latest writing sample to read aloud for criticism and suggestions.
Although they promise never to be too negative, to offer only constructive criticism to keep inhibited writers from becoming discouraged, when someone becomes overly enthusiastic, “for the author’s own good,” a brief shouting- match often follows, after which someone goes home early.
"Karen Truesdell Riehl offers a short story of some aspect of each of the six book club member’s lives that was instrumental in forming that woman’s character. Each of their backgrounds is unique from the others, yet they are all tales familiar to women in one way or another. Through the common threads of hardship and pain, readers gain insight into the lives of the women of the book club — and possibly even of their own." Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite
"This deceptively short volume packs a lot within its pages -- and it's all very, very good. Six Women is most highly recommended." Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Six Women is now available on Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Smashwords.com on PC and Mac, and all mobil devices that carry eBooks
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