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Readers Want to Know

July's Coffee House Chat blog posts come from you, dear readers! I'm answering the questions that you've been asking, and wow, are they ever varied! If you have questions email me and we'll save them for a future post. I have several lined up so I'll try to post a few at a time in easily digestible bites. So let's go with today's multi-part question.

Q. What person and what author has influenced you the most in your life and in your writing? A. There are many, but the person (and author) who has impacted my life in the greatest way is Esther Hicks. Her work, and that of her late husband Jerry, has changed everything about the way I approach every minute of every day of my life. And those changes have brought me the most joyous, blissful, positive existence I can imagine. I've been following them for a decade now. Esther and Jerry's body of work includes numerous books, (Ask and It Is Given, The Law of Attraction, The Astonishing Power of Emotions, The Vortex, etc.) dvds, cds, lecture tours, and much more. Their teachings were the source for the hit film THE SECRET, though they were edited out of the film when it went commercial.  I have the original version with Esther still in it. Their work has led me to countless other authors and teachers who share a wide spectrum of wisdom that has enhanced and deepened my understanding on many subjects. For more info on their work, check out and for scads of other teachers of spiritual wisdom, visit

As for writers whose style has influenced me, the people who made me want to be a writer, and made me know what kind of writer I wanted to be, there are three top ones. Stephen King, for his conversational, every-man style and his unbeatable skill at nail-biting suspense. I love everything about the way he writes. I think he's one of the most talented authors alive today.

Anne Rice, for her sensual writing. She makes me feel what she's describing to the point where I forget I'm reading it and experience it through my senses instead. This was particularly evident in her vampire Lestat, one of the greatest fictional characters of all time, IMO.


This is the image I remember most, and probably just this fuzzy. Good night, John-Boy!

John-Boy Walton, for his passion and dedication. His near religious fervor about books and the written word made me understand how vital these are. I grew up watching this young writer depicted on TV, (a fictionalized version of the author Earl Hamner Jr., who wrote the book on which the show, The Waltons, was based) writing away in his bedroom in the evening after his 6 brothers and sisters had gone to bed. He loved writing so much that nothing ever stopped him from doing it. The episode where the house burns and that novel he's been writing for so long goes up in smoke. It broke my heart! But he kept on writing. I was the oldest of four kids, not seven. But every time I watched an episode of The Waltons, my desire to be a writer grew stronger and more sure in me. I so identified with Richard Thomas' portrayal of John-Boy. It had a huge impact on my life.

Tune in next week for another reader question! Keep them coming, folks!

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