Inspired from the Heart
I was just nine years old when I had open heart surgery. As a third grader, this was naturally quite traumatic, especially in 1974 when medical advances weren’t near what they are today. I missed a significant amount of school due to the surgery and recovery. And yet, the fall of ‘74 signifies my earliest memory of focusing on being a writer. Certainly my writings were youthful in nature. Some were journal entries; some were short stories and poems. Yet, these were the beginnings of my interest in writing, and signified the pieces that I shared with the one writer who inspired me.
My grandmother, Dorothy Crispo, was not your typical fuzzy-top, spaghetti making grandmother. She was a dynamic, international traveler and business woman who spent much of her youth and early adult life in the 1940’s through ‘60’s between California, New York and South America. But it wasn’t until she put her suitcase down and picked up a pen that her writing career was defined. Though she penned two books, it was her gag writing that set her apart from other writers. As one of the top “gag writers” in New York City in the ‘40s and ‘50s, she wrote a newspaper column titled Dear Dorothy that was akin to Ann Landers, but with a saucy, spunky twist. The top cartoonists of those times sought her out as their gag writer for their submissions to periodicals such as the Saturday Evening Post. Her gag writing even launched the careers of comedians such as Joan Rivers.
It was this writer, Mima to me, who inspired me because she didn’t conform to one genre. She wrote from the heart, using wit and substance at the core. With seven fluent languages to her tongue, Mima,a stunning, elegant blond, whose wit was as sharp as her wardrobe was later a translator in the California court systems, hence her book How to Speak Everyday Spanish. Mima wrote about topics that inspired her, and in turn, that is what has inspired me.
There are authors who influence us, and there are authors who inspire us. Quite a distinct difference. For example, John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley is a book, among two others, that has influenced my newest novel $1 and $100. When $1 and $100 is published, I will be traveling much like Steinbeck did to talk to people of all walks of life about $1 and $100’s theme: how do you relate to money? Like Steinbeck, I too will be on a cross country voyage with my dogs (my eighth, their fourth), as I develop a documentary to balance the novel’s message.
As someone who has been inspired to follow her heart as a writer, I have taken on projects that range from my own novels to celebrity ghostwriting to my own nonfiction book. My career started out when I became a feature writer for a family magazine something I did while I taught high school English. Since those days, I have managed to find consistency in the seeming melting-pot of my career. I, like my grandmother, write from the heart. And, this governing theme became the core of my novel’s series…Journals from the Heart. The first two novels WHISPERS FROM THE HEART and WRITE FROM THE HEART focus on journal writing from the heart. From a high school English teacher who inspires her students through journal writing (WHISPERS) to a single woman who uses her journals as a reflection on lost loves and as anticipation of her future (WRITE), the essence of writing from the heart remains pure.
Certainly there are modern day authors whom I respect many whose works I’ve read, enjoyed and have even been influenced by. But, since I was inspired at an age and a time when I didn’t know if I would even see my teen years (due to my heart condition), let alone excel in adulthood as an author, the role model of my grandmother during my youth is singly my one inspiration.
Thank you, Heather, for such a beautiful guest post. And thank you to Samantha, as always, for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.
Heather Hummel is the author of the Journals from the Heart Series. She is an award winning author and celebrity ghostwriter.
Her published works include:
Journals from the Heart Series: Whispers from the Heart (2011 eBook) and Write from the Heart (2011 eBook)
Nonfiction: GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe (2011 eBook) and Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw Hill, 2008), - Merit Award of the 2009 Mature Media Awards,
Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million.Visit Heather at her website
You can also find her at:
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Leave a comment on Heather's blog tour page to be entered to win a $10 gift card to Amazon: Blog Tour Page
If you purchase your copy of Whispers from the Heart from October 7- 31 and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will get five bonus entries!**