I grew up on the north shore of Long Island, New York. No, I was not a rich kid, not even remotely, but I was a voracious reader by the time I was six. Lucky for me, my mom was a part-time school librarian. Her taste was remarkably good too. She funneled a truly eclectic mix of reading material to my sisters and me. It might be the story of clouds one day, the adventures of Henry and Ribsy the next. Didn’t matter, we loved to read.
Bounce ahead to high school. Discovered a book, TheCaptain from Castille, an historical novel written in the late forties, which changed my life. It changed the way I looked at life anyway, and that charted a course I never imagined. I went from being a jock with thoughts of playing pro baseball, to dreaming of and exploring adventure in the wider world. And what a world it was. Hippies, civil insurrection, sexual revolution, the draft, Vietnam, Nixon, drugs. You could easily thumb your way across America and have adventures. I did.
And always there was the music.
The words to the music were dire, prophetic, profound, mysterious, romantic, even heroic. Words drew me to music, especially CSNY’s words, and anything was possible. I learned to play guitar my first year at college in Massachusetts, and joined an acoustic trio. By the time I got out of school, it was a five-piece electric band with some original songs, doing week-long stints at roadhouses in the New England boonies. Travel, adventure, romance. Comaraderie. The band is a team, rehearsal is practice, every gig is a game. I spent the next sixteen years writing and performing my own songs, establishing a career. Not a hugely successful career as it turned out, at least not monetarily, but I did manage to eke out a living playing my own music for a long time. No easy feat without a hit record.
Walked away from music to reclaim my life. I’m proud of my body of work and what I accomplished. I cherish the people I worked with, the fans, and the times we shared – but the business of music was over for me. Being in a band is like being married, and for twenty years I was married to 2, 3, 4, and sometimes 5 and 6 people at a time. Surviving is not living and it was time for me to have a life. A life I could have some kind of control over. I couldn’t do music part-time, never been able to go part-time on something I love. I fell in love. The real deal. Still am. Same girl. Great girl.
Cut to Hollywood in the nineties. Right on the street with the big sign, Beachwood Drive. I’d always planned to come west and make movies (when I was too old to rock), just thought I’d do it more on my own terms. I put myself through college playing music, but I studied journalism and filmmaking – even received a couple of scholarships and awards. Hollywood didn’t care, especially years removed from the accolades. Made some small films – scored some of them myself – one got an ovation at The Palm Springs International Short Film Festival. Yeah, so? Started writing scripts. Alone, with others. Good interest. Bad timing. Got jerked around. You know, Hollywood. Lost one big agent because I lobbied for Charlize Theron to play the lead in a script of mine that he wanted to take out. At the time she wasn’t yet a major star. He suggested Madonna. After my reaction, I guess he didn't like me anymore. Yeah. That didn’t work out. Discovered that the movie biz is pretty much like the record biz, and that ultimately, it’s a young, hungry-man’s game. Being neither, particularly, I've determined to entertain, educate and inspire on my own terms. With a nod to my old favorite, The Captain from Castille, I wrote The Expedition to step out and see if I could do it. Turns out I can. And if America invading another country somehow worked its way into the sub-text while I was writing the book, well, so be it. CSNY would be proud.