All About The Authors
A full time copywriter for an ad agency and the new mom of an infant daughter, Kim Hooper, says she knew she wanted to be a writer in the fourth grade after an assignment to rewrite a popular fairy tale. From then on, she persistently followed her dream. Kim says she loves to get up when it’s still dark outside and finds the early mornings to be the best time to tackle the creative phases of writing. “Of necessity, I write in small bursts of energy,” she told me during a recent interview in Dana Point near where she lives. Her first published novel, The People Who Knew Me, tells the gripping story of a young woman who changes her life irrevocably in the aftermath of 9/11.
Before settling into writing, Elizabeth Letts majored in history at Yale where she studied creative writing with John Hersey, served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, and earned her degree in nursing. Though she always wanted to be a writer, she admits she didn’t begin her first book until the age of forty, but she has not stopped since. Her books include several novels, an award winning children’s book, and two, fully researched, non-fiction historical books, The Eighty Dollar Champion (a #1 New York Times best seller), the story of an immigrant, the horse he rescued from the slaughter house, and how they trained together for a championship spot in the 1958 National Horse Show, and The Perfect Horse, the compelling account of the rescue of the Austrian Lipizzaner horses by the US army in the waning days of World War II.
Annabelle Gurwitch came to writing for the same reason she fell in love with the theater—she wanted to tell stories. Though she has had a long, successful career as a comedic actor, Gurwitch spends most of her time these days writing books fall somewhere between memoir and essay collections. She told me that she uses her personal stories as a way to approach and elucidate the actual stories she wants to tell. Her latest book, Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To, is a collection of just this type of personal essay. In it she shares stories from her Southern Jewish upbringing in a family of “hucksters and scam artists” and explores her experiences with sisterhoods, temporary tribes, communities and cults that become surrogates for family in our modern world.
The varied works of these three authors and their takes on the struggles and rewards of the writing life should make the AAUW Laguna Beach Literary Luncheon an event well worth attending.