By Misty DUPLESSIS
On Tuesday, Nov. 9 the La Crescenta Woman’s Club hosted its annual authors lunch at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club located at the foot of the Angeles National Forest.
The morning commenced with a silent auction organized by Second Vice President Dea McCrory. Donated items included a dichroic glass pendant, a cookie jar, a hand knit afghan and table top Christmas trees. Contributions came from members as well as avid supporters of the club with proceeds going into the club’s general Ways and Means Fund to help meet its yearly fundraising goal. Members from other Woman’s Clubs in the San Gabriel Valley were also in attendance to lend support. As an added bonus, the first three clubs to reserve a table had an author join their group for lunch.
This year the featured speakers were selected by luncheon co-chairman Carol Stein. “[This year’s authors] were recommended by people who read their books or people who heard good things about them,” said Stein of her choices.
Television screenwriter and Humanities prizewinner Dianne Dixon took the audience through her journey of writing her first novel beginning with her initial desire to write outside of her comfort zone.
“I always wanted to write a novel,” she said to the audience. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have accomplished so many words in one place and have it make sense,’ but I always thought I didn’t have the skill set.” She went on to describe the moment she discovered her back story for the book, “The Language of Secrets” from a single idea her husband offered. “What if a young man goes back to his home town and he knows all about the town and all about the people in the town, but no one knows him,” Dixon recalled. Though she wasn’t originally enamored with the idea, one day she woke up and realized that it was a winner.
“All of a sudden, it was the strangest experience … I thought, ‘I know exactly why nobody in the town knows that guy. And I know exactly why he knows all about the town.’” With this newfound discovery, her book was born.
Dixon’s manuscript for her second book is due at her publisher’s office the day before Thanksgiving. Both books took her about 10 months to complete.
Abraham Lincoln historian and La Cañada resident Ronald C. White, Jr. first became interested in Lincoln when, in 1993, he attended the Huntington Library with his UCLA students. He found himself “attracted to the second inaugural address, but could not find anything else on it outside of the exhibit,” he said. During his research on the speeches of 16th president Abraham Lincoln, White discovered that, “Words fiercely mattered to Abraham Lincoln … you cannot understand the power of language unless you speak out loud.”
White has written several books on Lincoln including, “A. Lincoln: A Biography.” At the invitation of the state department, White has lectured about Lincoln’s time in Germany, Mexico and the White House. He is currently working on a biography of Ulysses S. Grant.
Seasoned suspense writer Gregg Hurwitz told the audience how important it is to experience events first hand when doing research to write a thriller.
“I swam with sharks in the Galapagos. I learned how to pick locks. I went undercover into cults. If I tire of the writing thing I can always start my own cult,” he joked.
Hurwitz is a consulting producer for ABC’s science fiction show, “V.” While speaking of his tenth book, “They’re Watching,” Hurwitz explained how he looks at situations and asks, “What’s the worst thing that could happen right now?”
The annual Authors Luncheon is just one fundraising event that the La Crescenta Woman’s Club holds each year. The events are not only a way to raise money, but to interact with the community.
“[We’re] here to serve the community,” said co-President Carol Huntwork.
For info. on next year’s annual lunch or for other events hosted by the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, visit http://lacrescentawomansclub.webs.com/.
For photos visit cvweekly.com