I wrote Limelight over a few months in 2015 under the mentorship of my dear friend, Lee Bennett Hopkins. He pushed, pushed, PUSHED me to write the best poems I possibly could, always sending them back with direct but gentle suggestions, or simply with a note: “Not yet. Almost.” It was always a great day when I finally got the note that said, “This is it.”
I “wrote” many of the poems first in my head as I walked back and forth with my friend, Gloria, waist-deep in the Mediterranean Sea. We’d talk over my idea, consider different angles, or go off on ridiculous tangents that left us laughing and splashing about. The summer of 2015 remains one of my favorite writing memories.
The manuscript sold in December 2017, three months after I signed with my wonderful agent, Elizabeth Harding. Yes, you read that right — 2017! Sometimes books take a very long time to come out, and that’s okay. I’m working with editor extraordinaire Yolanda Scott, a true theater lover and talented actress, and I am in love with her vision for this collection!
Believe me … the wait is totally worth it. You’ll see.
I wrote “Opening Night” circa 2012, long before the idea of a theater collection was born. It was later published in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (Pomelo Books) and is now part of Limelight.
I did this poetry video in 2013 for my blog, No Water River. I was acting in a show at the time, so I snuck in a little early before a performance and used the set as my background. Other actors were wandering around and had no idea what I was doing, so they just looked at me askance and then ignored me.
The theater is Teatro dei Concordi in Campiglia Marittima, close to my home in Tuscany, Italy. Isn’t it a jewel?