Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born in San Francisco and raised in Sausalito, California. My family, husband and three sons later settled in rural Sonoma County where the boys grew up and began their adult lives.
My children grown and the end of my marriage opened many new doors to me. Many skills were collected over my life in a variety of professions: 40 years a Registered Nurse in several local hospitals, Real Estate Professional, and until adulthood worked in many aspects of my Family Business as a teenager where I gained many skills that proved useful later running a non-profit.
In 1985 I went on a challenging adventure to Cusco, Peru, that opened me up to many questions and a deeper understanding of who I am.
In 1987 I moved to Cusco, Peru to understand more of this Andean connection and the street children surrounded me and shared their world little by little. This relationship with the street kids moved and inspired me. I founded the Chicuchas Wasi Organization and lived in the early CW Shelter project for the next 10 years setting up and building a team for a successful Chicuchas Wasi.
We reorganized CW and since 1997 CW has been dedicated to providing free education to poor indigenous girls.
A writer for years, this is my first published book and is a fundraiser for the Chicuchas Wasi school for indigenous girls in Cusco, Peru. All proceeds go to provide free education to the CW girls.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Book is “Jump on the Love Train…many hearts await you.” and the children living on the streets originally inspired me.
Meeting this indigenous women made me say step up and do something. “A disheveled and desperate young woman, worn out and old well beyond her years approached me on a Cusco street holding out to me her swaddled newborn. She was offering her tiny baby to me, speaking softly in Quechua, her mother tongue and I didn’t understand one word. But I understood and felt her heartbreak too well, a mother myself, I silently thanked my creator for my blessings. Her eyes were clouded and too dark— dead eyes under a furrowed brow. She was beyond tragic in her desperate cry for help. Her dilemma broke my heart and it changed my life then and there. I did not and could not take her baby, but I could do something to help the thousands of abandoned kids on the street. “ quote from book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write very often, at any time of the day if inspired. My role with all of the grant writing, newsletters, correspondence of all types, plus personal essays and journals for too many years to count, has developed a love of writing. I am passionate still about the changes our 32 year old Chicuchas Wasi has created and the impact to this oppressed society of poor indigenous and isolated families.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Isabel Allende. She brings in the Spanish language and the latin culture that so permeates her writing. I live with two languages daily spoken and written, and my view of life has expanded beyond borders. I have read all of her books.
What are you working on now?
I am talking to Cusco, our director and co-leader with me, and we have girls now at the University that have a story to tell. I would like for each girls to tell her story in an essay that I can collect and create an anthology about what happens after they leave our protective arms that they have been surrounded by since they were 4 or 5 years old. Not at the University at 17 years they are building the path to their dreams. The first women in the line of women in their families to go to school at all. What an achievement. They are leaders and empowered and will be the change-makers for their society and the image of the Quechua woman going forward as role models for other indigenous and oppressed girls.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
We belong in a niche category and I see few books about philanthropic work like ours. We have many followers and I am reaching out to them to host in-home book launches all over the bay area of San Francisco, CA where we can sell directly to them and grow the funds for the school as fast as possible. Most authors receive pennies on the dollars the booksellers that are earned on the sale of their books. For that reason for the first few months I am counting on our donors and supporters to help get the word out. For the moment this is our focus to sell books directly. I have 1000 books at hand to sell.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Not yet. I am still learning. Maybe only to be active in the process after the book is published. Marketing is much more demanding than any of us knew.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Ask for help when you need it, from people with experience.
What are you reading now?
Too busy – but reading an anthology of women writers from the bay area..from Write on Mamas.
What’s next for you as a writer?
a Holiday away from technology..nature.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Empty note books and pens