Five Questions

What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?

Heide, the enchanting story about the Swiss orphan girl and her grandfather. I adored my grandfather and read the book over and over. I also loved fairy tales . . . and when I was in Second grade, I was introduced to the Betsy, Tacy and Tib books by Maude Hart Lovelace. I don’t know that the series is popular anymore, but these stories about three girls growing up in the early years of the 20th Century were so inspiring to me. Betsy became a journalist and that’s what I set as my own goal.

What are you reading right now?

I have three books on my bedside table that I have read: “Paris: The Novel” by Edward Rutherford. “I’ll Be Seeing you” by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

How does your garden grow?

Thank you for asking! I’m a farmer’s daughter and couldn’t live without digging my hands in soil. I love to arrange flowers for the house, so I always manage to have something in bloom: roses, hydrangea, freesia, various lilies, daisies, iris, gardenias, gladiolas, etc. Today, I have a bowl of colorful nasturtiums on my desk. I have the most amazing brilliant red amaryllis that blooms every year. I also have a lemon and apricot trees. Unfortunately, the climate in Southern California isn’t suitable for lilac, peonies or rhododendron, but I shouldn’t complain when I can grow an abundance of other flowers throughout the year.

What is the last thing you googled? 

The spelling for “rhododendron.” Before that, I was working on the last chapter of the sequel to “Down and Out in Beverly Heels” and needed to know how the mechanism works on a magician’s collapsible top hat . . . is there anything you can’t find on Google?

What makes you cringe?

Raunchy language will do it . . . and bullying behavior.

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