August 6, 2015

If I were to diagnose myself based on the first story I ever wrote, I'd go with narcissistic idealist. This is a professional classification within the psychiatric lexicon of personality disorders.

Long before I knew anything about such pathologies, I wrote a book about an aardvark. Its title, a real grabber, was "Nire, the Purple Aardvark." Always one to see the world backwards, it doesn't surprise me that I named my quirky protagonist after myself, spelled in reverse. Six-year-old me was sure Nire would make it to the best seller list, but I quickly learned that the literary world can be a very adult place with little room for purple aardvarks. Earning only an “honorable mention” for that book in a Young Author’s contest – something given to every kid who participated – I knew Nire and I had a long way to go: hopeless split personalities.

I haven’t stopped writing since that first attempt at putting words to print.  My first teenage job was writing hometown "news" (lists of community events) for a free weekly newspaper. I was paid ten cents an inch and thrilled with my bi-monthly thirteen dollar loot. The byline was better than the money. Since, I've worked as journalist,  marketing director and  therapist. I continued writing children's books about rainbow cows and talking apples, and to these slowly added exotica, suicide prevention pamphlets; journal articles, memoirs and poetry. When I stop and think about all the topics I've touched on, I realize I should probably add schizophrenia to my list of self-diagnoses. 


For me, that's what makes writing fun. Where else, but in art, can you wear such different hats so easily passed off with an "Oh, she’s a writer"? Writing has made my world such a crazier - in a good way - place. For me, writing is a love affair: It's allowed me to fall in love with hundreds of characters.  Add love addict to my self-diagnosis list.

I’ve come a long way from my days with Nire, and apparently increased my pathologies, but some things haven't changed: My favorite color is still purple. I continue to write for the love of the art. I'm still like quirky characters. My mother, my first writing mentor and a retired English professor with a heavy red pen, is still my number one wordsmith coach.

But some things do change: My days of undergrad internships with manual paste up all-nighters are gone. The sweet smell of scented markers and newsprint on my hands has long ago been replaced by a stylus and antibacterial lotion. The Internet and digital photography have opened doors new venues for my curiosity.

Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to run into kindred spirits who have encouraged my love for storytelling and imagination. I'm currently so blessed with having been assigned Colleen O'Brien as my Savant Books editor, whose even heavier red marker is filled with as much love as Mom's. I've also discovered the literary world has a seat for people like me. I cannot express enough gratitude to the entire Savant family for encouraging and believing in me. From my first conversation with Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Langford, I felt warm.

As I hug my fortieth birthday and brace to send my oldest son to college, I'm grateful for this exhilarating time in my life. I began writing this series as a graduate school student juggling a family, internship, and full-time clinical program. Katherine Murphy - the protagonist in CRAZY LIKE ME (Savant 2015) which was originally titled "Group Therapy" (I'm still awful with titles) - became not only my escape, but my friend. I do not regret the papers I pushed aside because Katherine had clients to see or a hot date with "Mr. Maybe." I realize now that my life choices have all lead to this one mission: to bring Katherine and her beloved clients to life. Katherine has taught me more than I could have asked for, but, most important, she taught me how to play. A character that started as autobiographical, she had the guts to take on a life of her own, and in doing so, has helped me - at midlife - to reclaim mine.

As a therapist who specializes in narrative therapy - the art of helping people define themselves, tell, and rewrite their own life stories - I feel privileged to tell Katherine's. Nire will always live in Katherine's heart the same way she lives in mine. If I had to diagnose myself at this point, I'd go with Wordaholic, type A - a condition I hope never to change. There is no cure, treatment, or expectation for recovery. As the author, my only hope is that you enjoy Katherine's story as much as I. Welcome to the journey!



July 21, 2015
I started writing seriously when I entered seminary at Boston University in 1972. There I was published for the first time -- a series of poems in an alumni journal, work lost long ago. As a parish minister, though, I became a disciplined writer, having to produce a sermon each week, a literary and theological task.

The challenge was to write at the intersection of human experience and divine response. During this period I wrote many short stories, song lyrics, poems and two nonfiction manusc...

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June 30, 2015

My first published work, Ballerina Birdies, is being released just as I am about to give birth to my first baby -- July 2015! Both of them came to fruition with, love, patience, and a great team! Ballerina Birdies, couldn't have a better editor, illustrator or publisher! And to have found them all here locally is just amazing.

My desire to write a children's book came first, I just needed a place to start. I often recited a rhyme here and there about birdies to amuse the children I nannied. ...

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April 24, 2015
The story of ELAINE OF CORBENIC wrote itself over the course of a few months one spring long ago. It was within a year of my arrival to the Bay Area. Its opening lines wrote themselves the sunlit afternoons as I climbed among the gorse covered hills of a green spring, my own young son in tow.  I remember working long hours during the nights of midsummer, with an urgency to bring it to completion lest anything happen to me. I was not facing a terminal illness, so don't ask me why the thought e...
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April 8, 2015
What better way to handle all my angst than to pour them into short stories.

Born in a commuter belt city called Reading, like many a middle or upper class child of such times, I was shunted off to an all-male boarding school aged eight, away from my parents for periods of up to twelve weeks at a time. In such an institutions, where I was to rest until my seventeenth year, there was no getting away from the cruel jibes hurled at me from taunting tormentors. My refuge was the arts room, where ...
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Sabrina Favors for WRITTEN IN THE STARS

March 18, 2015
"There is a tradition of story-telling that is passed on from grandparents to grandkids. We stay and they tell. When we stay with parents, they are too busy to tell us stories. And in Hawai'i, kids stay with their parents, not their grandparents, so aren't told as many stories.

Many of the contributors to this anthology come from a Chuukese background, where story-telling is the responsibility of grandparents to grandchildren. Living in the United States, where the family structure is altered...
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September 5, 2014
My life has been immersed in books as long as I can remember. My father was a freelance magazine writer. My parents met at a publishing company where he was a researcher and she was an administrative assistant. I grew up in a home where books were treasured; bookshelves lined the walls and hallways, and overflowed with tomes of myriad genres. As a youngster I wrote short stories and novelettes to entertain myself and my friends. But the time available for writing was quickly taken over after ...
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July 28, 2014
Writing has been my lifeblood for as long as I’ve been halfway literate, which makes for about sixty-eight years. In 1946, at age fourteen, I launched a small magazine, "typeset" on a typewriter, creating carbon copies. I wrote poetry and essays and composed songs. Two years later, I edited the school magazine. I was determined to study literature and become a writer. But times were bleak.

Like much of Europe, Holland, the country of my birth, had been under German occupation. Post-war Europ...

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INTRODUCING THE POETS OF VOLUTIONS, the 2014 Savant Poetry Anthology

June 22, 2014
Creating VOLUTIONS, the 2014 Savant Poetry Anthology, was like assembling a self-assembling puzzle. The moment I finished final selection (over a 1,000 excellent poems were submitted) the pieces seemed to arrange themselves. For example, Leilani Madison's "Lullaby For My Mother at 103" singularly placed itself after Lonner Holden's "Upon Dying." Two, intricately crafted poems; each magically illuminating the other.

The voices of the poets, hailing from Northern and Southern California, Washing...
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September 4, 2013
My passion for creative writing began after a typical small town boyhood in Kokomo, Indiana. Paper routes, basketball, teen dances and too many greasy French fries were followed with a BA degree at Wabash College, a small liberal arts college just down the road from Purdue. As an English major, I contributed cartoons and satiric articles to the humor magazine and short stories to the more serious literary publication.

After a fun summer in New Orleans, where I survived by selling Bibles from d...
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New Author/Recording Artist/DVD Producer Blog

Daniel S. Get to know new and established Savant authors and what they're working on these days.


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