My adventure at the Sun Valley Writers Conference July 2017

I'm a first time author/writer as many of you now know. But what you may not know about my dream is that this desire to publish a book started over twenty five years ago! I've found that I'm not the only author that shares this story.

A. Scott Berg is one of those author/writers I met at the SVWC. He is a consummate pro and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer. I attended his breakout session, From Page To Screen. It was about his 1978 National award winning book, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius and the process, let's say journey, of becoming the feature film Genius. My friend Robert Perry called me one day as I was in the midst of writing my book and did not suggest that I go see it, it was a mandate. I loved the film, and was completely immersed in the story and film. I never imagined that after seeing it that one day, I'd be speaking to the writer and creator. Berg's work took many twists, turns and thirty seven years after the book was written, it was turned into a feature film. I can relate to his decades-long process in the realization of a dream.

Berg is also an expert on the subject of F. Scott Fitzgerald and this month on Amazon Prime his consulting/producer work on the series, The Last Tycoon will launch. I saw a clip from the series, and speaking as a makeup artist and purveyor of all things beautiful, it looks like a detailed account into the world of Hollywood in the 1930's based on the last unfinished manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I attended other breakout sessions that included authors Sally Bendell Smith, the biographer of The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable life - stories about Prince Charles and his Mother Queen Elizabeth. I sat in on Helen MacDonald's session, author of H is For Hawk, a story of how, in the wake of losing her father, she withdraws from the human world. I loved her confessional style of speaking. There were so many other breakout sessions, author talks and great conversations with attendees. It felt great to be in the company of these writers, authors, speakers and photographers and my biggest challenge was to NOT compare my book and effort, to theirs.

The conference concluded with the author and speakers BJ Miller and Abraham Verghese: What Really Matters at the End of Life. This might sound like a terrible way to conclude the conference, but it was a truthful and heartfelt conversation on what truly matters. Those at the end of their lives didn't have their accomplishments, or unfinished business overshadow their wishes for more love and true connection. Their talk was candid and intimate, as it was timely for many of us that were in the midst of seeing those we care for pass on. I listened my heart's desire for a more relaxed last day and as I exhaled from all the information, entertainment and astounding beauty of Sun Valley I met the President of Boise State University and was invited to be interviewed by him this fall on his podcast, Reader's Corner with Bob Kustra. Good times ahead!

Charla