Give us the "elevator speech" about your novel.
In "Cleo's Oak," Cleo, a midwife in the 1800s, channels her story through Willow, a contemporary sixteen year old girl. Everyone that ever had a grandmother should read this story about sex, birth, death, marriage, divorce, spirits, magic, Celtic beliefs, war, religion, adultery and perhaps murder. Across time, human values hold true, regardless of era and place.
What brought you to Watauga County, North Carolina?
When we were looking for a retirement place, I told my husband "It must be in the mountains and it must be in North Carolina." He found the outskirts of Triplett (near Boone).
Who is the most famous person you've known or met? Tell circumstances.
I spent twenty minutes alone with George Bush in bed. Circumstances? Why spoil the fun?
What do you miss most about childhood?
What is your pet peeve?
Over-flowing trash cans.
What's the worst storm or disaster you've been in?
A typhoon on Chiba Beach, Japan. The wind was so strong it blew most of the roof of the rental house that my husband and I along with our five children stayed in. The house, protected by sand dunes, was two hundred yards from the ocean. It was night and I kept moving the beds to stay dry. We watched as water came up to the floor and into part of the house.
What's the smallest space you've lived in? What was it like?
A kitchen pantry. Thirty young women were living in a house in Baltimore. My room-mate and I had a choice of the pantry or a room with three beds and six women. Somebody had to build airplanes (we worked at Martin Aircraft) and most of the men were fighting the war.
As a time traveler, where and when would you visit?
I like this time. After all, they say we live in paradise.
What does your name mean? Why were you named that?
I don't have a clue what my name is supposed to mean. Pearl White was the early movie star that a villain tied to the railroad tracks. Louise was in honor of a social worker named Effie Louise Vines who worked heroically during the influenza epidemic in 1918.
What is the nicest thing anybody ever said about you?
Once someone said I was "impeccable." I had to go home and look it up in the dictionary before I knew it was a compliment.
What one thing would you like your obituary to say about you?
That my body had been donated to science and that there would be no funeral. Hopefully a scientist or doctor will discover the secret to long life from clues found in my body.
What is your favorite time of year?
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Like half the world, it's chocolate and afternoon naps.
What is the highest mountain you ever climbed?
Klein Matterhorn. The cable car takes you to the top.
You were a ski patroller for 25 years. What was the most fun you had on a mountain?
Riding a snow-cat with Joe White to the top of Sugar Mountain.
What is the name of your favorite daughter?
Why, Margaret Ellen. She is my only daughter.
What is your proudest moment?
The day my novel "Cleo's Oak" topped the best seller list and Muriel Street agreed to play the lead - or is that a dream?
Your biggest question is ...?
What is heaven like?