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The “story in her head” led to her dream career

The “story in her head” led to her dream career deb-gardner-250x250.jpg

As a work-a-day writer – I’ve made my living by my “pen” (well, typewriter, and now keyboard, really) for the majority of my adult life – I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of how people became successful novelists.

I had that dream once – I figure I’ve written enough words to fill several dozen novels if you count all the ad copy, feature stories, town meeting articles and health pieces I’ve penned over the years – but somehow I’ve never had that “idea rolling around in my head” that morphes into a page-turner.

It was just that “story that I had in my head” idea that helped shift Lynda Cohen Loigman – the Longmeadow native whose latest novel, “The Wartime Sisters,” is featured in this month’s issue – from her original career as a trusts and estate lawyer to a full-time writer. “I liked the stories of my clients more than the legal problems,” Loigman admitted when talking about her law career, which saw her leave Massachusetts for a job in New York City after graduating from Columbia with a law degree.

Still, it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom doing some legal recruiting on the side that the writing bug bit hard. “My mom passed the year before I turned 40 [and] the year I turned 40 I knew I wanted to write a book,” she said. “The story was wearing away at me,” she shared, saying her first foray into putting that story on paper was an adult creative writing course at Sarah Lawrence College not far from her current home in Westchester, New York.

That first book, “The Two-Family House” – which was selected as “One of the Most Buzzed About Books” in 2016 by BuzzFeed – eventually took her five years to write.

”Of course I had a dream to be a writer and people would read [the book I was working on], and I was very lucky to find an agent and get it published, and that is how it came to be,” Loigman shared. It also introduced her into a whole new world.

“I’ve been lucky enough to meet other writers and so many of them were former lawyers [too],” Loigman said. “I was an English major and so many of our generation became lawyers because we didn’t know what else to do.

“I think there are a lot of frustrated creative people who became lawyers, and now they’re writers,” she added.

If they are all as talented as Loigman, we have a lot of great reading to look forward to!

Sad news to share. In early December, Prime’s longtime technology writer, Gary Kaye, lost his battle with cancer. He was one of the most knowledgeable, well-connected tech writers I’ve worked with in my career at Prime. I will deeply miss working with him.

Debbie Gardner