As a professional writer – and would-be novelist – I’m always fascinated to learn how the authors I’ve interviewed found the inspiration for their stories. I’ve talked to writers who were prompted by a life event, by an ad in the newspaper, by research they were involved with, by a family tale that just “wouldn’t go away.” But Dolores Yergeau is the first author I’ve ever encountered whose novel was inspired by a desire to get someone else to write a book.
The tale of how “Pink Sneakers” began as an email writing game with a grandson living in Amsterdam is quite a story in itself – how clever was Grandma Dolores to invent a way to jump-start her grandson’s work on a book! And how sly was her grandson, Jason, to keep his grandmother writing what he eventually called a “damn good book” by simply asking her what happened to her two main characters, the widowed artist, Eileen, and the single college professor, Eric.
But this book is more than just the story of second chances for middle-agers. Yergeau has populated her tale with plenty of characters – youthful and mature – who discover hidden talents and second chances as the story plays out.
Reading “Pink Sneakers” was a delight, as was talking with Yergeau herself when she sat down with Prime for an interview in our offices in early January. Intrigued by this month’s feature story? You’ll have the chance to hear more about writing the book at Yergeau’s first author reading and book signing at Storrs Library in Longmeadow on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.
What’s your happiness quotient? What’s the difference between the French outlook on life, and that of Americans? According to “Parisian Charm School” author and this month’s Three Big Question expert Jamie Callan, it’s something called “joie de vivre.” In this month that traditionally focuses on love and matters of the heart, Callan encourages us to fall in love with our own life again by learning to slow down, enjoy, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life, the way the French do. “For them, life and love are all about the journey, not the destination. This is the cornerstone of joie de vivre,” Callan said. For more about how to recapture happiness and “joie de vivre” in your own life, check out her ageless advice on page 8.
Prime wants to send you to the “Big Broadcast” in March! This year we’re a media sponsor of this annual live recreation of a 1940s radio show performed by the Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College. You’ll find a contest entry that could win you two tickets to your choice of either the 2 or 7:30 p.m. performance on March 7 in Chapin Auditorium, on the campus of Mount Holyoke College, on page 19!
Wishing all a Happy Valentine’s Day. Thanks, as always, for reading!