About Carol

Story-telling seems to be in my blood. I began telling stories before I went to school. Often my mother would write them down as I told them. I realized later that this was very validating, and probably why I felt confident in continuing to write throughout my school years. In the third grade, my teacher let me read a chapter of my ‘novel’, ala Nancy Drew, to the class every Friday afternoon. Another validation. Playwriting interested me too; a fourth-grade teacher allowed me to cast a skit I’d written and rehearse with the cast during recess. Alas, it was like herding cats to get any cooperation. My sister and I put on backyard plays which we penned. The yard possessed a large oak tree. Being older than I, my sister always insisted on being the owl in the tree, a character who enhanced all of our efforts, and a role I yearned to play. My theatrical interests continued throughout school and into my teaching career. Together, my students and I produced many plays. This culminated in an invitation from the University of Michigan to produce a play I’d written for our school, on the stage of Hill Auditorium which seats four thousand people!  During a standing ovation and a call to come up on the stage, I knew I had to write more plays–this time plays for adults.
Until fairly recently, the highlights of my writing career have been for the stage. Two of my plays, Sandcastles, and Lifelines were chosen for professional productions. Several other works have enjoyed community productions in Michigan and California. I’ve also been honored as a finalist many times– The Zoo Keeper in the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Lemonade or Dinner in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s, Minnesota’s National Playwrights Lab, and Marquette’s National Panowski Playwriting Award. I’ve twice won the Michigan Playwriting Contest, and once the award from PART, (Performing Arts Repertory Theatre) in New York City.  l also enjoy directing and acting, believing my experience on stage has informed my writing.
Now to my novels. Mother Lode, my first, was a finalist in Amazon’s International Novel Contest of 2011. In addition, it won Best Fiction in Bay Area Independent Publishers Association (BAIPA) awards in 2012. It is set in the copper country of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where I was taken as a child to visit my grandmother. Driven to Rage is my second novel, about the strike of the miners in that god-forsaken territory. Both novels include betrayal, love and mystery set in a historical period, and everything else you expect to find in a good novel, (I hope!) I carefully researched both books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, In addition to studying archival information and reference books, I met with local historians, teachers at Michigan Institute of Technology, a mine superintendent, and interviewed many old-timers who still remember the heydays of Copperdom.  .  . My two most recent novels,  A Sleuth in Sausalito and A Sleuth in The Haven are mysteries set in my home turf–the Bay Area. (Much cheaper for research–no traveling!) Both involve a reluctant female sleuth who gets caught up in dangerous and frightening experiences, from which she relies on her wit and ingenuity to escape. As of this date, I am working on a third in this series–A Sleuth in The Summer of Love.
Another form of writing I enjoy is poetry, an off and on pursuit through many years., and one that I find a cathartic experience in times of need. or inspiration.  My poems are in a Robert Bly Anthology, Hot Flashes and the Marin Poetry Anthology. I have published two books of poems.
My present family consists of a son and daughter,  five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Unfortunately, none live nearby, but that’s the price I pay for choosing to live in beautiful Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

My educational background includes a Bachelor’s and Masters’ Degree from the University of Michigan, where I majored in creative writing and education. Incidentally, I enjoyed the privilege of taking a class with Arthur Miller’s teacher, (Death of a Salesman, etc.)  In the eighties I took a sabbatical from teaching to study writing in NYC. There, I took classes with Gene Frankle (writing for the stage) and Corrine Jacker (writing for TV.)

I taught in Ann Arbor, Michigan for many years. I am currently living in the Bay Area of California, where I  often teach Poetry, the Novel, or Memoir in my home, my church, for the Marin Writers’ Center and Osher’s Lifelong Learning Institute at Dominican University.

3 Responses to About Carol

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m very impressed with what my sister Carol has done with all her creative talents. I’ve read Mother Lode twice. It’s really good, and I could visualize the house and grounds, since I, too, have spent time in grandmother’s house. Carol is very persevering in her research about that time in the Copper Country, and has also been willing to make many changes to the story when she thought of a better way to enhance it.

    Marilyn Sheldon Bentley

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