More About the Author
My newest book, live on Amazon, is THE PINATA-MAKER'S DAUGHTER! It is book #1 in the Marisol trilogy with this caveat: it is PG-13. The book follows Carmen Principia and her college life. So it's not quite so innocent as book #2 SOME RIVERS END ON THE DAY OF THE DEAD. Early readers have noted that this is a more mature work, and that's a good thing! I am already working on the final book, "So You, Solimar."
Here is a review of The Pinata-Maker's Daughter from reader, Larry Dorrell:
The Pinata-Maker's Daughter by Eileen Clemens Granfors is a reader-friendly novel set in the multicultural environment of Southern California today. It does a good job of showing the generational frictions between young adults and their parents, some who are carrying the baggage of the Mexican immigrant experience and some who are reflecting the up and down tolerance, and occasional intolerance, of the white mainstream.
The story focuses on the challenges of Carmen Principia as she tries to break away from a protective Latina mother, fit in to typical American college life, and deal with her conflicting emotions, all the while being romanced by young college men. The plot is believable because Granfors has her socially immature characters behaving in ways that are realistic, although sometimes exasperating and painful.
Another thing that I found interesting about the story is its confirmation of the power of the Americanization process that faces immigrant youths. Carmen and her young friend Franco may do all the customary posturing they want about the value of their Hispanic heritage. Still, it is apparent that their life goals are embedded with the normal aspirations of many American youth: fitting in to the larger American society, being valued, achieving success in school, and having dreams about future work and family life. One other aspect of this story (one supported by pollsters) is how little the younger generations care about cross-cultural differences.
I think the audience for this book leans toward young adults and female readers, but there is enough local color and social tension to entertain a wider group of readers.
About my other books: I taught "A Tale of Two Cities" for years (probably 20 years to 40-60 kids per day) for juniors in high school. Some of them reacted in the classic "oh so boring" way. I kept telling them, hang on for Chapter 5!
When we finished the book, class discussions were fast and furious, with some thinking Sydney Carton a fool and some finding him heroic. I told them I would write his story, and now I have! I personally found him quite endearing despite his alcoholic troubles.
My classes made a musical of the story as a class project. I wish I had all of those on tape, including our most famous hit, "Shoes, I Hate Shoes," as sung by Kris Erickson and Brady Wiggins.
After all this time, Sydney's Story is now live on Amazon. Twenty years of teaching, ten years of research, five years of playing with the writing, and a final year to finalize the writing. Time flies when you're having fun. Find Sydney here on Amazon. Sydney's Story is a prequel to A Tale of Two Cities.
The novel I wanted to write first has finally been finished after several tries over a period of five years. "Stairs of Sand," the tug-of-war between a perfectionistic mother and a free-spirited adult daughter, is now out on Kindle and in paperback here on Amazon. Here's the link to the preview trailer on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SnDv4THmmo
My first novel, "Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead" is an upbeat, multicultural, coming-of-age story. The trailer for it is right here on this page. I also have a book of poetry out, "And More White Sheets." Check that trailer too! The sequel to "Some Rivers End" is planned to release next fall.
Books, those I've read and the words I've written, have been my most important bridge to the world, articulating what I have felt but have not spoken and helping me to understand the lives of others.
My father served in WWII on the carrier Enterprise, and joined the army after the war. I was an army brat. Before I was a one year old, we left for Germany, where my father was the commander of a brigade escorting the trains between Germany and the American sector of Berlin. We lived in Kassel and Frankfurt. Returning to the U.S., we moved to my mom's home town, the most southwesterly city in the U.S, Imperial Beach, California. My mom loved the outdoors and most of all, the ocean. She could body surf with the best of them, clear into her seventies!
It is at the center of my writing, this little town of Imperial Beach (fondly known as IB).
Many of my memoir stories and the novel-in-progress are set in Imperial Beach and the San Diego area, which will always be home to me. I left San Diego for UCLA and never lived "down south" full-time again.
Majoring in English at UCLA was a dream come true for me. . . I was going to get college credit for READING as much of the great literature of the world as the curriculum could require and then some, as I read in my free time too. And as I taught, I learned of more authors and more books, poems, essays. . .things I continue to think of and quote to myself even now.
When I remarried, I think I married Daniel Boone. He worked in Alaska and Dinky Creek, CA, and is bristling that we have neighbors near our retirement home in Galena, MO. (We didn't know they were THAT close until we saw a plane's view photo of the house). Our home always includes dogs from rescue groups--we have down-sized from labradors (after Pete and Clayton died) to smaller, crazier breeds, a cockerpoo and a terrier mix.
I taught high school senior English until I realized that I had more homework (grading papers) than my students did and finally said, "Hey--it's time to LIVE!
I am involved in the UCLA Writers' Program, which I love. I have used writing as my voice in the wilderness since I was about seven. As Annie Lamott said in "Bird by Bird," a writer is often the good, quiet child, watching from the sidelines, observing and remembering. So it was with me.
My husband and I plan to move to the Ozarks as soon as we can. I often visit our Missouri home for the solitude it provides for thinking and writing. We can't wait to move out of LA madness. And we will have the advantage of being nearer to our daughter and her partner in Raleigh, NC, and not too far from son and family in Arizona.
For the latest in what I'm reading and reviewing, check my blog