I’m a big believer in role models, and I have scores of them. Most are people I know or have known. My dad, who always gave everyone a fair shake, taught me to keep an open mind, and to judge people only by their actions. My banjo teacher shows me everyday that creating a rich, full, creative life is possible. And my author friends remind me through their own kindness and generosity the importance of always giving back.
If I had to pick only one author who has served as a role model, I would have to choose Marisa de los Santos. Her debut LOVE WALKED IN was a life-changing book for me. It was the first novel I read that felt filled to the brim with joy, while still exploring what it means to be human. Here was a protagonist that loved old movies as much as I did! Here was plot and conflict as well as beautiful prose and incredible imagery. It was a book I didn’t know writers were allowed to write. I fell in love with the novel and its characters, and was inspired to finally start writing what would become THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING.
I don’t know if I accomplished writing a book that feels as joyful and as human as LOVE WALKED IN, but I will always be grateful to Marisa de los Santos, and look to her for inspiration in every novel that she writes.