Library Moments: Writers who were famous for something else first

the pleasure of my companyBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

Steve Martin is an actor best known for his movies and comedy, but he has also written several good novels.  People like him made us think about books written by people who were either famous or well known for what they did before they were recognised for their writing.

Today on Library Moments, Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning, and I will be talking about books by people who were known for something else first.

when I was littleSherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Jamie Lee Curtis was born in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She got her big break at acting in 1978 when she won the role of Laurie in the classic movie Halloween and was nicknamed the “Scream Queen” in the 1980’s for her roles in several other horror films. She then became famous for roles in movies like Trading Places and A Fish Called Wanda.Jamie is also the author of bestselling children’s books that address core childhood subjects and life lessons in a playful, accessible way. Jamie finds inspiration for her writing in the experiences of her children, her godchildren, and her friends. Her first book, When I Was Little, was sparked by her then-four-year-old daughter’s boast that she was no longer “little.” Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, a celebration of adoption and the start of a new family, was inspired by the adoption of her own children. HCPL has seven titles written by the actress/author, with Big Words for Little People being the most popular one in Haliburton. A page from that title shows why caregivers would have as much fun reading this one as the children would listening while they expand their vocabulary; When Dad takes us shopping to buy new shoes, and all of us shout, “This one I choose!”, and the the salesman looks angry – he’s pretty IRATE – Dad wants us to behave and COOPERATE.

consumedErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: David Cronenberg is a Canadian filmmaker and Member of the Order of Ontario notable for his psychological approach to horror and science fiction. Some of his well-known and critically acclaimed films include Scanners, The Fly, M. Butterfly, eXistenZ, Spider, and Crash. Most recently he directed Cosmopoli and A Dangerous Method. He has worked with a multitude of talented actors including Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley. While Cronenberg is an internationally lauded filmmaker, he revealed to Quill and Quire magazine that he had aspirations to be a novelist long before becoming a filmmaker. At 71 he has just released his first novel, Consumed.

In Consumed, Nathan and Naomi are journalists each engrossed in their own investigations – Naomi investigating the murder and cannibalization of a French philosopher in her home and the suspected guilt of her missing husband; Nathan investigating the namesake of an STD he has been battling, trying to record the narrative of his own infection. As Naomi and Nathan pursue their respective quests, they collide with their relationship with one another in the midst of the modern hazards of life – dependence on tech, medical obsession, and infidelity. Stylistically, Consumed has been compared to Cronenberg’s filmmaking style – psychological, carefully plotted, and darkly sinister. If you have enjoyed David Cronenberg’s films, you may enjoy his debut novel.

too close to the fallsBessie: Catherine Gildiner was a Clinical Psychologist for 25 years, she was so well known in her field that she was asked to write an advice column in Chatalaine magazine as well as to regularly contribute to the Globe and Mail.  At fifty she started writing about her childhood and produced Too Close to the Falls a book about a quirky upbringing near Niagara Falls including the fact that she started working in her father’s pharmacy at four years old because she could read and the man who delivered the prescriptions could not.  She was a precocious child and sending her out to make deliveries kept her occupied and out of everyone’s hair. The book continues with other stories including meeting Marilyn Monroe who was shooting the film Niagara nearby and needed some pharmaceutical help. Gildiner’s next book After the Falls takes us through Catherine’s adolescence and young adulthood in the sixties.  Her most recent book Coming Ashore just arrived at the library and picks up Catherine’s story from the late sixties.  The first two books had a critical following and Gildiner then became well known for her writing, but she says that fame sure didn’t translate into fortune. “I made more money in three months as a psychotherapist than I ever did in book sales.”  She does follow that thought by saying, “It was a relief to be creative.”

That’s it for this week’s edition of Library Moments, if you have an idea for what you would like to see us cover in one of our episodes, please give any of us a call at 705-457-2241.  Thanks for tuning in here at 100.9 CanoeFM.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM October 19th – 25th, 2014.

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