I'm thrilled today to have Gloria Loring as my special guest, as part of the WOW Author Blog Tour. Gloria is author of Coincidence is God's Way of Remaining Anonymous.
Gloria is the recording artist of the #1 hit song Friends and Lovers; co-composer of television theme songs Diff’rent Strokes and Facts Of Life; an audience favorite as “Liz Chandler” on Days Of Our Lives; spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; the author of five books benefitting people with diabetes; a keynote speaker for corporations and non-profits; and one of few artists to sing two nominated songs on the Academy Awards.
Gloria has taken time from her busy schedule to answer some of my questions about writing, and she's shared insight on her incredible journey as a writer, an actress, and a mother.
DV: Your spiritual autobiography Coincidence Is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous is thought-provoking and inspiring. What inspired you to write it? And who inspires you?
GL: The stories themselves inspired me, compounded by Albert Einstein’s perspective that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” And then I read in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way that we must share the gifts we’ve been given. And even though I felt I must, I put off writing for years due to uncertainty as to how I would achieve a “real book” out of my stories. It was a gradual process of excitement, immersion, retreat, contemplation, recommitment, and then finally, twelve years after I’d begun, completion!DV: The Artist's Way is such an inspiring book for writers and other artists, and it is so true about sharing our gifts. The story about finding a card titled “Expect a Miracle” in your dressing room is fascinating, especially how it led you to help raise a million dollars for diabetes research. Will you please elaborate on it?
GL:The “Expect a Miracle” card did foreshadow my meeting the benefactor for the Days of Our Lives Cookbook, but more importantly it was like a tap on the shoulder from Life/God/the Universe that I was not alone in my efforts.
DV: You are right; it is important to recognize we are not alone. Talk about perseverance! It took twelve years to write Coincidence is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous. Why did it take so long? And what would you do differently if you started writing it now?
GL: Before this book, my writing was either in the area of living with diabetes (six books) or songwriting. Now that I have gathered confidence in my ability to express the esoteric in practical ways, I think I’m ready for my next book!
DV: I agree! I’m impressed by the variety of references listed in your Bibliography and the wonderful quotes included in your book. What can you tell other writers about your writing and research processes?
GL: Research for my book was like a treasure hunt. Once I started, each piece I found egged me on. I think the most important aspect of writing is an enormous enthusiasm for the subject matter.
DV: That's an apt analogy about research being like a treasure hunt. While coincidence is the centerpiece of Coincidence is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous, after reading your book, one word that comes to mind is wisdom. What can you say about the role wisdom has played on your spiritual journey?
GL: We stand on the shoulders of the great beings who have done the deep work. We can read and study, and then try living by their teachings. We can observe how that changes our perspective and our practical experience of each day. Wisdom is everywhere, in all traditions. We have the opportunity to find which way of wisdom is most helpful to us.
DV: That is very true. You have met so many famous and fascinating people, including President Ronald Reagan. I love the story about dinner at the White House. Of all the famous people you’ve met, is there one who stands out from all others?
GL: Jimmy Stewart. I had watched his movies as a child and always loved his gentle ways. I became so tongue-tied in his presence, I could hardly put a sentence together.
DV: I love Jimmy Stewart! I can't imagine what it would have been like to meet him in person. Next question: Growing up, what books influenced you? Who are some of your favorite authors now?
GL: By the time I was twelve, I had read the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie series. Twice. I love historical books by David McCullough, anything by Pat Conroy or Jodi Piccoult, historical novels like Loving Frank, The Paris Wife, and memoirs that sing of truth and recovery like Angela’s Ashes. Our book club, “Women, Words and Wine,” has introduced me to some wondrous books I might not have read otherwise - Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Cutting for Stone, Sarah’s Key.
DV: I love the glimpse into your life through the photographs in your book, and the cover photo of you is lovely. While this question isn’t related to writing, I have to ask: What’s your beauty secret?
GL:I have made a conscious effort to be healthy. It began with whole grains in my twenties, lots of veggies in my thirties, and my forties brought me Ayurvedic medicine and a very balanced lifestyle. I am in bed at 10 and up by 6 or so each day, except when I’m traveling. I know which foods feed my body’s balance and which don’t. And I know that twenty-four years of meditation has been essential to my well-being.
DV: What is the best way for readers to find out about your books, CDs, author events, or personal appearances?
GL: My site, Facebook and Twitter:
DV: What are you working on now, and what’s next for Gloria Loring?
GL:Lots! Dr. Alvin Jones is helping me develop a CD set of “Twelve Lessons of Coincidence.” I just recorded an audio version of my book for Audible.com, which will be ready in a month or so. I have a few songs I want to write, and jazz singer Hilary Kole and I are looking for a duet. Plus, with each chapter having its own song, I’m looking at developing a one-woman show based on my book. And there’s another book, a followup, I have on my mind. Fun!
DV: That sounds like fun--and very exciting! Last question: Anything final thoughts or words of wisdom you’d like to add?
GL:Just a thank you for the chance to share my book with your readers.
DV: You are so welcome, and thanks so much for stopping by Donna's Book Pub. To all my readers: Feel free to leave questions or comments, and if you're looking for an inspiring book, check out Gloria's book, Coincidence is God's Way of Remaining Anonymous.