Many of us have felt like outsiders in one way or another. To find your tribe, where you can be the truest, the most authentic version of yourself, is vital. As an immigrant, I understand that feeling of starting over, creating a new version of yourself. When you enter a new community, the place and its inhabitants can make or break that connection. Both protagonists in Shiny Bits are displaced, outsiders. Dorie and Clementine must search for not only their tribe, but perhaps more importantly, their truest selves. In my personal experience, this feeling of connection with Bolivar is because of the authentic character of its landscape, combined with the fact that I never met one person there who was not friendly, welcoming, and generous. Shiny bits in between is my love letter to this place and the people who live there.
dedication page Nan & I at her 90th birthday I've often wondered who the people are that authors' dedicate their books to, what their relationship is and why they chose them. What a huge decision. But I knew very early on that I would dedicate Shiny Bits In Between to my grandmother (Nan) and Sheila, her eldest daughter. Both women have been muses for me, and many of my artistic endeavors are rooted in their persons. I couldn't have written this book without either of these extraordinary women. *** It was the early 1930's when my curious and fearless grandmother found an advertisement in the newspaper about a job in Brasil. It sounded like an adventure, so she applied and got the job. She boarded a boat in London and crossed the seas to Brasil where she met my grandfather. Nan had children late for the era. She was over forty when she had my uncle, her last child. She had adventures to enjoy, after all. Ethel Kenning (Nan) Nan and She