Connecticut authors discuss their work at ‘Booked for Lunch’

By Lillian R. Handleman - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Thu., Mar. 21, 2013
Authors Anesti Nova and Lynn Chirico were two of seven panelists at the March 20 'Booked for Lunch' program at the South Windsor Public Library. Photos by Lillian R. Handleman.
Authors Anesti Nova and Lynn Chirico were two of seven panelists at the March 20 'Booked for Lunch' program at the South Windsor Public Library. Photos by Lillian R. Handleman.

Seven Connecticut authors converged at the South Windsor Public Library on the first day of spring to talk about their latest books and the inspiration behind them. The Booked for Lunch program on March 20 featured a panel of authors that included Charlie Margolis, Anesti Nova, Lynn Chirico, Rebecca Rynecki, Laura B. Hayden, Toni Andrews and Claudia Bernstein, who provided a brief overview of their books and insight into what motivates them to write.

Charlie Margolis, South Windsor’s poet laureate, is the author of “Did I Really Say That? The Complete Pageant Interview Guide.” Margolis is the director of Interview Image Associates, which provides image consultation and interview preparation for politicians, pageant contestants, candidates and college applicants. His book is a comprehensive interview guide that includes original techniques designed to empower competitors to advance. “The narrative aspect is the most important part of the interview,” he said, explaining that it is not always what you say, but how you interject entertaining, anecdotal asides that can make an interview a success.

Anesti Nova, of South Windsor, is a Turkish citizen who immigrated to America. He is the author of the memoir, “A Man of Two Worlds,” which recalls his experiences as a Christian raised in Istanbul. His book provides insights into religion, family, Turkish history, his immigration to America, and his subsequent foray into the music industry as a composer. Nova said he was inspired to write about the government of Turkey that caused its citizens to suffer. “I wrote the book to stop the hate,” he said.

South Windsor resident Lynn Chirico’s memoir, “This Book is Not about Spain,” is a compendium of vignettes from the author’s 13 years living in Costa del Sol, Spain, in 1970. The forgotten details of those years came alive when letters that her late sister had saved provided the framework to recall certain events. The book gives insight into Chirico’s difficulty in adapting to a newly-divorced lifestyle in a country where she did not speak the language, and describes the transient characters that helped shape the life she made for her family. Chirico recommends joining a writing group for feedback and support.

After 33 years in broadcast advertising, Claudia Verruto Bernstein, of South Windsor, has written a 66-page debut paperback entitled, “The Last Day I Had a Daddy.” This autobiographical story was written for children as a way to deal with the grief that comes with losing a loved one. Ironically, Bernstein’s book was released on the day of the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy this past December. The book’s main character, 7-year-old Claudia, is based on the author, who was 7 when her father died of a heart attack at the age of 39, on a otherwise beautiful day in 1961. “Back then there was no therapy or grief counseling,” said Bernstein, who added, “Even though you are having the saddest day of your life, you can get through it.”

Rebecca Rynecki of Torrington said her writing revolves around the schedule of her active 3-year-old son and her job as a librarian. Her steamy, self-published adult romantic fantasy, “The Secret World of Alaina Downs,” depicts the kingdom of Isleen in a mythical world where a quest to save the princess involves a queen, a knight named Sir Gabriel, an evil witch, sea creatures and dragons. Rynecki’s advice to would-be writers: “If it is something you really want to do, just do it.”

Laura B. Hayden, of Windsor Locks, was inspired by a program at Western Connecticut State University, where an advisor encouraged her to write a memoir. Her inspirational book, “Staying Alive: A Love Story,” began as a thesis about grieving and recovery, following the loss of her 49-year-old husband, Larry. The book is a series of linked essays that detail the family’s emotional survival following that death, and offers hope to those who need support in time of grief. The book was named one of the three best memoirs of 2012 by Readers Views.

“Cry Mercy,” a fantasy romance, is the third in a series by Toni Lea Andrews of Ellington. Written in the first person, her novel’s protagonist, Mercy, is a hypnotherapist who imposes her will on others for altruistic purposes. Andrews said she left a well-paying job for a writing career eight and a half years ago at the age of 44, inspired by the wisdom contained in a self-help book she was reading. “To write, all you need is a pen, paper, a computer, and a brain,” she said.

A book signing followed the panel discussion.

The library’s Booked for Lunch programs are ongoing, and sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Contact the library to check the availability of the above authors’ books.

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