Since the last series of meet the authors in June last year another 25 authors have joined the Cafe and Bookstore. This is an opportunity to get to know them and their books a little better. I will also include their blog social media links and it would be great if you could follow them there too.
Meet Mary Clark
Mary Clark was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1949, to parents who lived on the Rutgers University campus. Her family moved to Florida, where she spent her formative years, and was infused with a deep awe and respect for the natural world. She was also aware of the lives of migrant workers, segregation, and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Her book, Covenant, a coming-of-age, historical fiction novella, is set in Florida (Kindle only). Children of Light (Ten Penny Players’ BardPress) is a modern mythical chain of poems also set in Florida.
She graduated from Rutgers-Newark College of Arts and Sciences in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She had a strong sense of being a misfit, which propelled her to find her own place and occupation.
Mary moved to New York City in 1975 and worked at the Poetry Festival at St. Clement’s Church in the then outcast wilds of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. For many years she worked for community organizations. In 1993 she started a monthly community newspaper, combining her two loves: the neighborhood and writing. Her memoir, Community: Power Politics and Democracy in Hell’s Kitchen, tells that story. A creative memoir, Tally: An Intuitive Life (All Things That Matter Press), is the story of a Bohemian artist she knew in NYC’s Greenwich Village.
Books by Mary Clark
One of the reviews for Tally; An Intuitive Life
When a young poet stumbles into the life of a Greenwich Village recluse, she meets a bearded old man living in a garret. Surrounded by manuscripts in which he has attempted to comprehend the meaning of life, PJ has entered a time of failing eyesight, physical frailty, and economic uncertainty. Quiet and observant, the young poet Erin, or “Eyes” as PJ soon calls her, begins to help him put his life in order.
“No one is ever conscious of what he is doing or why he is doing it,” PJ said, “even a person who is aware of everything he is doing and after pondering it, can perceive the reason or motivation for it.”
The above is just one of many sentences I underlined last February while I was doing a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center for the Arts. Anyone who makes her or his life in the arts risks winding up like PJ, which is to say not wealthy, except in matters of the spirit.
“PJ’s long bony fingers swept over drifting stacks of books, papers, paintings, typewriter ribbons, photographs and found objets, all jumbled together, everything melting into some other form…’Dali would have had an idea of the melodramatic squalor in which I live,’” PJ told her.
PJ’s intellect and humor makes him an utterly fascinating subject. Some of his musings are brilliant; others, wildly off-the-wall. Genuinely curious, Erin plays along, but occasionally she says, Hey, wait a minute. Her doubts often mirrored questions that came up for me.
As Erin pitches in and begins to go through boxes of PJs manuscripts, she learns about his intuitive approach to life, thus the subtitle. Several chapters develop his idea of the “perceptive intellect.” In others, PJ talks about one of his personas, The Professor of Love.
The book exposes the layers and contradictions.
I’ve reread this book twice since I purchased it, underlining or drawing new smiley faces. If you have ever had an elderly packrat-of-a-relative whose care fell to you, then you will surely love this book and understand the pull-and-tug that confronted Erin on almost every visit to PJ’s garret. It’s not a book you can race through, but one that will make you think a lot about how anyone assembles the flotsam of life into a coherent story.
Lest you think PJ was some kind of eccentric and amusing kook, a chapter near the end will prove you wrong. The book also made me wonder how any of us could explain the principles and assumptions by which we’ve lived our lives. I’m not sure I could do what PJ managed to do, and what Mary Clark has so lovingly presented in this biography/memoir.
Meet Sandra Cox
About Sandra Cox
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or an iced latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian, a Muay Thai enthusiast and has a weakness for peanut M and Ms.
A small selection of Sandra’s books
A recent review for Glen Slade: Bounty Hunter
Author, Sandra Cox knows her craft. I have read several of her novels and all of them have been well-written and edited, and because of her attention to detail, all have been extremely engaging reading experiences. She is a highly talented writer who is in top form in this, her newest offering, Gwen Slade Bounty Hunter.
Gwen Slade is smart. And she’s tough. She can fight, and she knows her way around the barrel of a shotgun. She also has the responsibility of taking care of her younger brother. So to put food on the table, and hopefully one day provide a better life for her family, she puts her skills to work as a bounty hunter. Not an easy task, to say the least, especially for a female living in the west in the late 1800’s. But her ability to take down the bad guy and collect the bounty has gained her the respect few have in her profession.
Gwen has always worked alone, and she prefers it that way. And then in walks Jordie Kidd. A charismatic outlaw with a twinkle in his eye who helps save her family from harm. And although his charms are not completely lost on Gwen, she has no time for that kind of thing. But she doesn’t turn him in, instead letting him go as a gesture for saving her family. And besides, she is gearing up to take down a ruthless gang with a huge bounty on their heads. A bounty large enough to let her and her family finally cash in on the life they’ve always dreamed of.
As Gwen sets out on what she hopes will be her final bounty hunt, she finds herself forced into a questionable partnership. A partnership that she doesn’t want to be in, but turns out to be one she can’t live without.
All I kept thinking throughout this story was what a great movie it would be. It’s a captivating storyline with richly developed characters whose interaction with one another helps draw you into their world. If you are a fan of Western-Romance stories that feature a strong female lead, then you are going to love this book. If you’ve never read a book in this genre, give this one a try. I guarantee you will be a fan by the time you get to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Truly a 5 STAR read.
Meet Liesbet Collaert
Liesbet Collaert is a bilingual freelance writer, translator, editor, and photographer from Belgium who has been writing and traveling her entire life. Her work has been published internationally in anthologies and magazines, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Ocean Navigator, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, Islands, Yachting World, Sailing Today, All At Sea, Caribbean Compass, and Zeilen. She also created walking tours for Marigot and Philipsburg in St. Martin.
The author has been interviewed about her alternative lifestyle by Multihull Sailor, Modern Day Nomads, Ocean Navigator, The Wayward Home, The Professional Hobo, and Grey Globetrotters among others. She contributed to extensive cruising surveys for All At Sea and Caribbean Compass and became an assistant-editor for Caribbean Compass in January 2019.
Liesbet loves animals, nature, and the promise of adventure. A nomad since 2003, she calls herself a world citizen and currently lives “on the road” in North America with her husband and rescue dog
Books by Liesbet Collaert
One of the recent reviews for Plunge
The author, Liesbet, and her husband Mark, have chosen a life of travel and discovery over a settled and secure life. This is Liesbet’s account of the consequences of their choices, the inner and outer adventures they had, as well as the inner and outer challenges they faced.
Anyone who has made similar sacrifices to live the life they’ve chosen will relate to this narrative, half travelog and half diary, as this couple’s dream of cruising becomes their daily lives, with everything daily life entails; wonderful encounters with nature in pristine settings, human encounters both helpful and difficult, mechanical failures, business and financial struggles, and, the thread running through it all, the love Liesbet and Mark have for each other in spite of their very real differences, and the relationship challenges they face living together 24/7.
As one reviewer has done, it’s always easy to find fault with someone who bears their soul as much as Ms. Collaert has in this book. Self-doubt is never flattering and takes courage to admit publicly, though we all carry our fair share. For me, the author’s sharing of her most intimate feelings and the dynamics of their relationship is equally, if not more compelling than their experiences cruising the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.
This is not just an adventure book, this is a book about what it really takes to live an adventurous life.
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Blogs: Roaming About – Cruising the World the way it is – Facebook pages: Personal Liesbet Collaert – Roamingsabout – ItsIrie – Twitter: @LiesbetCollaert – Follow Liesbet: Goodreads
Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed meeting some of the more recent authors to join the Cafe… thanks Sally.