Author of Wild at Heart, a book that grew organically from my experience of living on and owning a rescue farm in Blairsville, Georgia. On the farm we have 40 rescue animals we have taken on over the last 20 years. I also live part time in Los Angeles, where I raised my two now grown and married children, and my new baby grandson.
Sometimes you feel called to be in connection with something or someone, like a mission. I feel it with my family, with my rescue animals, and I felt it in a special way with Maybel. I spent seven months in Georgia when Covid broke out. That is where the true story of Wild at Heart and Maybel the rescue dog, took place. In the beginning of the pandemic I was considering opening up my farm as a retreat center, particularly for wellness and yoga events. I envisioned it as a place where people could be in relationship with the animals, the gardens, and themselves. But Covid arrived and dashed this fantasy.
However there was this dog that kept hanging with the animals on my farm. She would be there, then she would be gone. One day, when I was hiking on the property, she started following me up and down the trails. She was sweet, and let me pet her, and given how dirty that left my hands, I knew she lived in the woods. But one day she came down to my house, so I let her in and fed her. That started the slow process of our relationship. She would come and go, but soon she was doing more staying, and I began to get attached. We were bonding and began our wonderful friendship.
I think I identified with her because I had been a bit of a wild child myself.
During those early pandemic months she was my constant companion, and I couldn’t imagine leaving her behind when I received the joyful news that my daughter was expecting back in Los Angeles. So I decided to bring her with me, and build a life with her in Santa Monica with my family including my baby grandson Leo.
The writing of the book happened organically over the course of a year. I had never written a book before and it felt like such a heartfelt story that I needed to share. While researching illustrators I fell in love with the work of Roz Webb, who lives in Copenhagen. We worked together entirely online! What carried me through the process of edits, rewrites, and redesigns was my deep passion for this story, and the belief that children, parents, and grandparents alike could attach and fall in love with it.