Autumn Leaves Publishing
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"Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined
And spreads a common feast for all that live."

-- James Thomson

An interview with the author
courtesy Pari Noskin Taichert

PNT: When and why did you start writing fiction?

SC: I began writing in a serious, focused way in an effort to stay sane. (There are those who would debate my success at the sanity part.) I'd joined my husband on a two-year, engineering consultant job in the South of France. We lived in a fairytale-styled villa in a medieval village called Le Bar Sur Loup with 360 degree views of the French Alps. It was a setting lifted from the time of Romeo & Juliet, truly breathtaking and magical. Early on, in a new country, I hadn't yet made local friends, so I was forced to make good use of lonely, eight-ten hour days in my gilded cage. Later, as I adjusted to an exciting expatriate life, writing offered a wonderful balance to the over-all, active adventure.

PNT: Pug is such a fully realized character. Is she based on people you know?

SC: Many psychologists believe that, when we dream, every character represents an aspect of ourselves. From my perspective, that idea is also reflected in the art of writing. PUG is an alchemistic blend, combining the best of my own nature, as well as the worst, warts and all. The other characters are composites, formed by my early southern upbringing and polished by the simple act of living for fifty years, with resulting, eccentric parts of myself generously sprinkled in the mix for needed spice and added flavor. There's also that confounding, mysterious "x-factor," the gossamer nucleus of a soul's creative imagination, something philosophers have pondered from the beginning of time, occasionally glanced from the corner of one's eye while writing.

PNT: What are some of the volunteer activities you pursue? Why have they moved you?

SC: I have focused upon two things: the environment and literacy. I am a consultant for the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation ( and I am a board member for ReadWest ( Coral Reefs are the rainforests of the sea, the "canary in the coal mine" for the Biosphere, and they are in big trouble. Without a healthy planet, we have no home. Without an integrated, literate populace, we cannot maintain freedom.

PNT: What are you now concentrating on in your work?

SC: Like any good author, I've shifted into overdrive as I work on pre-publication marketing, setting up the required elements for needed buzz around my publication date of December 1st . . . the date my baby (PUG SHERIDAN) is officially due. My goal is to avoid a caesarian section or, worse, a stillbirth. On the writing front, I'm working on something completely different from PUG, a sci-fi piece based on true, amazing events. Someday though, I plan to write a sequel to PUG SHERIDAN.

PNT: What do you wish people knew about you?

SC: That's a tough one, for sure. But, if I speak from my heart, I'd want others to know how much I treasure the sacred God-Spark that is my Soul. There is a passage in PUG in which her mentor, a Cherokee elder named Badgerwoman, teaches, "Our life's purpose is to remember who we are. Life's meaning is to become that. We are not just animals. We are not just spirit. We are something more." Such profound truth came from that cosmic "gossamer" place I mentioned earlier, the measureless dreamworld tapped again and again by writers around the globe.

PNT: Who are some of the bad girls you admire most and why?

SC: I admire and applaud every female who "owns" her rightful, equal place in a society that discourages women from honestly expressing themselves fully. A bad girl knows her "secret" power to be an intelligent, life-affirming, affecting force on this earth. A bad girl knows in her intuitive heart that a divine Mother (feminine energy) weaves each and every morning. "Bad Girls," in the way that you mean, do not shy away from a cause they believe in; they shine their best intentions upon the face of truth, a fact that naturally occurs whenever a bad girl follows her bliss.

PNT: If you could change anything in this world, what would it be?

SC: Wow. I'm glad I had another cup of coffee before I tried to answer this one! Truth be told, I'd be tempted to speed up the evolutionary process when it comes to the "ripening of human consciousness," but I know, deep down, that would be wrong and possibly disastrous. Universal Intelligence is at work and knows best, even here on wacky Planet Earth, a place I have nick-named, "Starship Hollywood." I deeply wish that all who share this little, spinning planet could/would awaken and acknowledge, in their everyday actions and choices, the interconnectedness of every living thing, including each other, what Badgerwoman would call, "the shining, sacred web."