The Authors Guild of America, the nation’s oldest and largest professional writing organization, with approximately 10,000 members, has served the collective voice of American authors since its beginnings in 1912 in New York. Earlier this year, the Guild expanded its national outreach by launching 14 regional chapters to host a variety of programs serving members in their local writing communities.
Twenty-eight Guild members were chosen to serve as ambassadors to lead the first group of chapters, in Los Angeles, San Diego, the Bay Area, Washington, D.C., St. Petersburg/Tampa, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Raleigh-Durham, Las Vegas, New York City, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Seattle. The two members selected to serve as ambassadors in Detroit were myself and Violet St. Karl. The first time I met Violet, we enjoyed discussing ways to design literary events and programs and we discovered we had so many other interests in common.
Violet’s first novel in her series, Collection of the Negatives, is available for pre-orders. The book will be published January 11, 2019, making her the first Albanian-American science fiction and fantasy author. St. Karl is a German translation of her Albanian last name, which is the surname she writes under, as her Albanian name has four constants in a row and is often too difficult for English speakers to pronounce.
Violet’s love affair with science fiction and fantasy began at the tender age of four when she was introduced to the film Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, but it took nearly three decades and nudges from the universe to focus on writing. While living on the Upper West Side of New York, Violet learned her apartment was the former site of Edgar Allen Poe’s farmhouse, where he completed writing The Raven. Although an interesting fact to share, she shrugged it off as coincidence and was unconvinced to give writing and the stories in her head any attention. It wasn’t until the following year that her mind changed, as she once again, without prior knowledge, found herself living in the former residence of a famous writer. After learning that not only the flat but the room she was sleeping in belonged to Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí, a famous Catalan writer, Violet believed it was a bold attempt from the universe to push her to write because, she says, “Coincidence doesn’t strike twice.”
The dictionary describes coincidence as two or more events coming together in a surprising, unexpected way without an obvious casual explanation. There have been many studies about coincidences. Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer believed that coincidences arise out of unknown forces, or waves, that he called seriality. Psychiatrist Carl Jung in the 1950s came up with a similar idea, his so-called synchronicity theory, to describe these remarkable occurrences. Regardless of the scientific meanings that try to define them, these experiences can be valuable or worthless depending on how we listen to them.
Many good writers I know have fallen short of materializing the articles, poems, or books they want because they’ve ignored numerous nudges from the universe. They felt paralyzed by fear, lack, inferiority, or dependence on a person or an institution to validate their work. In Violet’s case, she stopped to think of what’d occurred, looked at the situation, listened to the message being communicated, and took action. Today she’s celebrating the result of her hard work.
Violet lived for over a decade in New York, and after her return, she’s proud to be representing the Authors Guild as co-ambassador. When not writing or focused on strengthening the local literary community, she is planning which country, city or restaurant to explore next. She says that outside of writing science fiction, travel and food are her other two passions. I’m very excited to work with her to help nurture and expand the literary community in Michigan.
Recently, we met up with Andrew Raupp, also an Authors Guild member, at Skyline Club’s monthly event in Southfield. Andrew is the founder of STEM.org, a credentialed journalist with over 15 years of international experience, and he’s the organizer of Skyline Club, which is hosting our next Authors Guild event on Tuesday, December 11 at 6 pm. Our guest speaker will be Joseph Drolshagen, the author of Life’s Lessons.
Joseph will discuss how to explore your creative passion in the New Year. (light refreshments will be served) For more information, visit https://leadership.pagecloud.com/ Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to those who support our literary world!