“It’s a luxury to be a writer, because all you ever think about is life.”
– Amy Tan
I’m a proud native New Yorker, and it was in New York that I began my love affair with the arts, all of them – literary, visual and performing. My first teacher was my culture-loving mother who immersed me and my three sisters in everything New York had to offer – museums, the public library, the opera, symphony, dance, Broadway and off-Broadway—we sampled and savored it all. Her love became my passion and led me to a career in the arts and positions with the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte’s Arts and Science Council, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and now I am proud to be the CEO of the Baltimore’s Office of Promotion and The Arts (BOPA) – the City’s Arts Council, Film Office, and Events producer.
The art world is fertile creative ground for a writer. Every work of art, artist, exhibition, institution, and patron has a story. It is rife with colorful characters, history, intrigue, money, power, exotic places, truth, lies, romance, heartbreak, treachery, tragedy, triumph and of course, the creativity of the arts. My experiences and observations became the catalyst for my debut novel, “Provenance.” Through my protagonist, Lance Henry Withers, I tell a story of one man’s history and how art and the people he encountered in the art world changed him, and the people around him.
My next novel, “Promise,” continues the story of art collector, Lance Henry Withers, while drawing inspiration from my own roots in the tight-knit community of Corona-East Elmhurst in Queens, New York. “Promise,” is in the final stage of publication and will be available this year.
Today I make my home in Baltimore, Maryland where I live with my husband—university professor and author, Dr. Granville M. Sawyer, Jr.,—having raised two daughters of whom we are immensely proud. After living in the DC suburbs, we were drawn to Charm City and the vibrancy of its cultural community. Now I thrive on the art being created all around me. I also walk in the footsteps and feel the presence of art and literature icons who once lived steps from my front door—Romare Bearden, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett, Dr. Claribel Cone and Etta Cone, Jeff Koons, Edgar Allen Poe, Gertrude Stein, and Anne Tyler.
A new generation of art and artists now thrive in art-loving Baltimore and I am so grateful to work with them every day. They inspire me to keep writing and thinking about life. That is the luxury of being a writer.
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