What Happened to These Authors?



I read so much and when I find an author I like, I want to read everything they ever wrote. A handful of books and authors stand out in my mind because of the stories they told. Sometimes I was friendly with the authors, but time slipped away and so did our friendships.

Still, I think of these writers and ask, Where are they? Why aren’t they writing? Or are they coming out with books under new names?

Here are some books and authors that have been on my mind:

Night Swimming by Robin Schwarz

I read this and loved it. It’s from 2009/first published in 2004 and the book pops into my head now and then because I think it would make a great TV/Netflix/Amazon movie. I loved the premise, the character, the writing, everything about it was so good!

Robin, where are you and why haven’t you written more?

Here’s the synopsis:

An overweight New Hampshire bank employee is misdiagnosed with cancer and given a year to live in this first novel, a giddy, overblown romantic comedy. Wish-fulfillment is on the agenda for the unfortunately named Charlotte Clapp. After her doctor gives her the bad news, she decides to rob the bank where she works and run away to L.A. Miraculously, her daring life change is rewarded by unintentional weight loss—fortunate, because Skip, the pool boy at her luxury apartment complex, is a blonde Adonis (and a former lawyer), and Charlotte (now calling herself Blossom McBeal) plans to sit in a kimono by the pool, hoping desperately that he’ll fall for her.

Friendship is provided by Charlotte’s dog-loving elderly neighbor, Dolly—and Charlotte needs it, because the police are still after her, slowly but surely tracking her to California. Schwarz’s novel is as padded as Charlotte’s waistline with purple prose (“The perfect silvery notes… hovered like breakable angels over the audience”) and hyperbole (“One Krispy Kreme after another, until she resembled a cardboard clown with a ring of white powder around its mouth”). But those willing to read between the book’s often-unwieldy lines will be rewarded with soap-operatic satisfactions.


Good Grief: A Novel by [Winston, Lolly]


One of my favorites, Good Grief by Lolly Winston

I just saw that this author is coming out with a new novel soon so YAY! Good Grief was a wonderful book, so touching and heartfelt. How can you not love a cover with pink bunny slippers?


Thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants to be a good widow-a graceful, composed, Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, she is more of the Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with ice cream for breakfast, breaking down at the supermarket, and showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers-soon she’s not only lost her husband, but her job, house…and waistline.

With humor and chutzpah Sophie leaves town, determined to reinvent her life. But starting over has its hurdles; soon she’s involved with a thirteen-year-old who has a fascination with fire, and a handsome actor who inspires a range of feelings she can’t cope with-yet.

Lolly’s newest book will be out in December, here are the details on Me For You (which I obviously want to read ASAP)

The last thing Rudy expected was to wake up one Saturday morning, a widow at fifty-four years old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he’s still not sure how to move on from the defining tragedy of his life—but his new job is helping. After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. Some people might be embarrassed to work as the piano player at Nordstrom, but for Rudy, there’s joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn’t hurt that Bella, the Hungarian men’s watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then.

Just when Rudy and Bella’s relationship begins to deepen, the police come to the store with an update about Rudy’s wife’s untimely death—a coworker has confessed to her murder—but Rudy’s actions are suspicious enough to warrant a second look at him, too. With Bella’s husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy’s daughter confronting her own marital problems, suddenly life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Bella could have imagined.

With Winston’s trademark humor and sweetness that will appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman but is uniquely her own, Lolly Winston delivers a heartfelt and realistic portrait of loss and grief, hope and forgiveness, and two imperfect people coming together to create a perfect love story.




Laugh out loud funny, sMothering by Wendy French

This book came out in 2004 and the author wrote a few other novels after but then….nothing! Wendy, such talent, what are you doing now?

Meet Claire McLeod, a twenty-something American girl living in Portland, Oregon. Claire’s got big problems: her mother’s a tyrant, her sister’s a lesbian, and her father’s in Omaha.

Claire’s peaceful, if dull, existence is shattered when her mother arrives in Portland for an unexpected–and unwelcome–visit. Armed with a sharp tongue, a critical eye, and enough Weekender Wear to make anyone nervous, Mom has mysteriously left Dad at home in the Midwest. It’s not enough that Claire’s job as a telephone survey-taker is excruciatingly irritating and her boyfriend has dumped her. No, now, embarrassed by her dead-end job and flatlining love life, she must also bear the weight of Mom’s critical eagle eye while trying to close the rift between her mother and her sister, solve the riddle of her missing father, climb a shaky corporate ladder, stalk a cute coworker, reinvent herself, and maybe–just maybe–find a little happiness.

Fluffy, funny, entertaining, cute, yes this women’s fiction was and is, a fantastic book to read over a weekend.



Another novel I loved,  Swim to Me by Betsy Carter

I’m so happy to see she does indeed have newer books out. I don’t know how authors slip through the cracks since I’m nearly obsessive about finding out which books are coming out soon so I can get my greedy little hands on them.

If you have not read Swim to Me, read this synopsis and tell me it doesn’t sound fantastic (it was).

It’s a fresh start for Delores Walker when she boards a Greyhound bus bound for Florida. Leaving the Bronx far behind, she’s headed for sunny Weeki Wachee Springs, frayed roadside attraction in danger of becoming obsolete with the opening of Walt Disney’s latest creation, only miles up the road. Always more suited for a life underwater, Delores joins a group of other aquatic hopefuls in this City of Live Mermaids, where she discovers a world of sequined tails and amphibious theme shows that even Disney couldn’t dream up. It’s in this fantastic place of make-believe and reinvention that Delores Walker becomes Delores Taurus, Florida’s most unlikely celebrity.

Bringing together an eccentric assortment of outcasts, poseurs, and underdogs, this wise and poignant novel conjures up a time in America when anything was possible, especially in the Sunshine State. A story of family, chasing dreams and finding your way, Swim To Me will have you believing the impossible—even in mermaids from the Bronx.

I always look at the Manuscript WishList website to see what agents are looking for and someone was seeking a story about Weeki Wachee which made me think immediately of this novel!




I devoured this novel, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman

I know it hasn’t been too long- only 2014- since this book came out but Susan, what are you working on? When will your next book be out? Hurry! Write! I’ve noticed that authors usually come out with books every year to two years.

If you didn’t read this book, do it now! So good.

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.

Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, “The Ice Cream Queen” — doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.

Lillian’s rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.


Susan also wrote a captivating book that you need to read called Undress Me In the Temple of Heaven which is a must-read memoir!



Hello, Jonathan Tropper?

Yeah, yeah I know this author is writing for a tv show now which probably leaves no extra time for novels but Jonathan Tropper, write a book for us, please. I dont watch much television at all and prefer to read.

I really liked One Last Thing Before I Go (2012) and the story was one that just resonated with me when I read it. Maybe another time or place and I wouldn’t have been as into it. But something about this book struck a chord and left me hungry for more.

Here are the details:

Drew Silver has begun to accept that life isn’t going to turn out as he expected. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. His ex-wife is about to marry a terrific guy. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down.

So when Silver learns that he requires emergency life-saving heart surgery, he makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to spend what time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment—even if that moment isn’t going to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.

If you liked One Last Thing Before I Go, you may enjoy Matthew Quick’s novel, The Reason You’re Alive. 



Crazy Ladies By Michael Lee West is southern fiction at its finest!

Years ago I was in touch with this author who was so lovely and so kind. Time moved on and we lost touch but her books have a special place in my heart.

What are you doing now Ms. West? Please write more! Writing good, fun, quirky southern fiction is a true gift.

Here’s what Crazy Ladies is all about:

Though she was born in Tennessee, Miss Gussie is no country fool. A woman who can handle any situation, she has her hands full with two headstrong daughters who happen to be complete opposites — dour Dorothy and sweet Clancy Jane. Hoping money will heal childhood wounds, Dorothy marries the owner of a five-and-dime, while Clancy Jane gets into a mess of trouble, running off with a randy tomcat who pumps gas at the Esso stand.

And then there are Gussie’s granddaughters, the smart but plain Violet and fancy-talking Bitsy — a new generation whose lives will reflect a nation’s tumultuous times. From Tennessee to New Orleans, from psychedelic San Francisco to a remote Southwestern desert ranch, this funny, poignant novel spans more than four decades as it vividly recounts the universal loves, sorrows, and joys of women’s lives.





Who hasn’t read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls?

When people tell me they like to read and we start discussing our favorite books, you almost have to pick me up from the floor if a person hasn’t read this book. My reaction is always, WHAT?????? GET THIS BOOK NOW.

It is one of the best memoirs ever written in this history of memoirs. Jeannette has written other books too which are also incredible but The Glass Castle will always stand out. Jeannette is another author I was in touch with then lost her email and I am very sorry this happened. Out of the hundreds of books and interviews I have written, this is by far the one I hear most about.


Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.


Jeannette, what are you working on? Are you writing? Where are you?




I read and loved this book, The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

I broke out of my little introvert shell to write the author a letter and she never responded which broke my little, introverted heart. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and also the one she came out with a few years ago called The Chaperone. Since its been a few years, I’m going to include this author in my “what are you working on?” post here.

I do like a good coming of age story, these are so hard to pull off. But Laura did it in The Center of Everything and it left an impression on me:

Set in Kerrville, Kansas, The Center of Everything is told by Evelyn Bucknow, an endearing character with a wholly refreshing way of looking at the world. Living with her single mother in a small apartment, Evelyn Bucknow is a young girl wincing her way through adolescence. With a voice that is as charming as it is recognizable, Evelyn immerses the reader in the dramas of an entire community.

The people of Kerrville stuck at once in the middle of nowhere but also at the center of everything, are the source from which Moriarty draws on universal dilemmas of love and belief to render a story that grows in emotional intensity until it lifts the reader to heights achieved only by the finest of fiction.

While looking up this author, I see she has come out with a new YA title called, American Heart!


My DREAM JOB (it deserves all caps) is to be a book scout for movies. I absolutely love to read and admire writers so much! I am working on a suspense novel and have a cookbook coming out this fall but I still dream of bringing books to the big (or small) screen.