Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and seventy-fifth, is of biographer, fiction author and interviewee Alma Bond. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Alma H. Bond received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and became a highly successful psychoanalyst in private practice for 37 years in New York City. She “retired” to become a full-time writer. Since then, she has had 20 books published.
Her latest book, Marilyn Monroe: On the Couch, is presently in publication with Bancroft Press. Jackie O: On the Couch, the first of her On the Couch series to be published by Bancroft Press, was published on August 15, 2011, and received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Margaret Mahler, a Biography of the Psychoanalyst was published by McFarland Press in 2008. It received two awards, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist. Michelle Obama, a Biography, was just published by Greenwood Press. Dr. Bond has had 18 other books published, including “Camille Claudel, a Novel,” which was given an award in 2013 by the Paris Book Festival ,”The Autobiography of Maria Callas, a Novel ,which was runner-up in the Hemingway Novel Contest, “”Old Age is a Terminal Illness,” “Who Killed Virginia Woolf? a Psychobiography,” “Tales of Psychology: Short Stories to Make You Wise,” “I Married Dr. Jekyll and Woke Up Mrs. Hyde,” “Is There Life After Analysis?” “On Becoming a Grandparent,” “America’s First Woman Warrior: The Story of Deborah Sampson” (with Lucy Freeman) and a children’s book, “The Tree That Could Fly.” Dr. Bond also wrote the play, “Maria,” about the life and loves of Maria Callas,” which was produced off-off Broadway and is currently touring Florida.
Among other organizations, Dr. Bond is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Dramatists Guild, PEN, the International Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Psychological Association. She was one of the first non-medical psychoanalysts to be admitted into membership of the International Psychoanalytic association. Dr. Bond taught psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, where she is a fellow, and presently is a faculty member of WritersSchool, where she teaches Psychology and Literature.
Dr. Bond is the widow of Rudy Bond, the acclaimed stage, screen, television actor, and author of I Rode a Streetcar Named Desire. She is the mother of three children, Zane P. Bond, Jonathan H. Bond, and Janet Bond Brill, all of whom are published authors, and also the proud grandmother of eight.
And now from the author herself:
How I Became a Writer
I was coming home from jogging in Central Park when a nutty taxi driver came around a bend in the road and hit me. I flew 20 feet in the air, then came down and hit a pole hard. I lay on the road unconscious, in a coma, with seven broken bones. I was put in Intensive Care in the hospital, where no one thought I was going to live. They didn’t know me very well.
When I came out of the coma several days later, I remember thinking, ‘I’m very lucky to be here. I’ve really had a good life, done almost everything I wanted, had a good career as a psychotherapist, and a nice family and husband. I’ve traveled all over the world. But one thing I have not done that I’ve wanted to do all my life: I have not written. I’d had professional articles published, but I haven’t written the way I want to write. Full-time. Life hangs by a string. If I want to write, I better do it soon.”
So at the point when my life could have been cut short or compromised, I seized the moment to pursue an unrealized goal. I asked my wise son Zane, “Do you think I’d be crazy to give up a well-paying career for possibly a no-pay career? Zane answered, “I think you’d be crazy not to.” So at age 66, I guess you could say I had the courage to chance a new career and new venue. Two years later, after preparing my patients, I gave up a very prestigious, well-paying practice in Manhattan to take a chance on being a writer and not making a nickel. I came to Key West to a literary seminar and knew I wanted to stay. I love to write, although I could paper a room with the rejections I’ve received. It’s exactly right for me. I want to write as long as I live.
Today, twenty titles reflect the perseverance that put my professional training and experience to the published page. Who Killed Virginia Woolf? is a psychobiography; Tales of Psychology analyzes literary fiction; Margaret Mahler plumbs the psychology of the great child analyst with whom I once worked. Is There Life After Analysis? and The Autobiography of Maria Callas: A Novel draw further on my clinical perceptions. I have Callas speak with insight into her past which I don’t believe I could have done if I weren’t an analyst. Michelle Obama, A Biography was published by Greenwood Press, while Jackie O: On the Couch was published in 2011 by Bancroft Press. Next year, Bancroft will publish Lady Macbeth: On the Couch. At present, I am working on Marilyn Monroe: On the Couch, also to be published by Bancroft as part of my On the Couch series.
Jackie O: On the Couch is my favorite book, and has sold better than any historical fiction ever published by Bancroft Press. The reviews have been unanimously rave, including this one by Rebecca Graf, PR Manager for the Beach Boys:
A Creative Way to Look at Jackie Kennedy Onassis
“What if a famous person sat down on your couch and opened up their entire soul to you?. You would know it all. You would hear the entire truth. The good and the bad would be laid open before you. What if that person was Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis? Alma H. Bond takes the facts of Mrs. Onassis’ life and delivers them as though they were through her own lips in her book, Jackie O: On the Couch: Inside the Mind and Life of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Ms. Bond lets Jackie tell her own life story of privilege and heartbreak. Instead of being on a pedestal, Jackie sits down beside you as you read of a girl that could have been you. The topics of her womanizing father, cold mother, jealous sister, low self-esteem, love of a man who abused her and loved her, womanizing husbands, brief affairs, and the tragedy of widowhood are laid bare before the reader. You get a glimpse into a woman who feels that she is less than adequate or her husband would cherish her and not flaunt his mistresses under her very nose. I found myself leaning toward this fictional Jackie as I connected with her. Other times, I felt anger and the desire to defend her. Then I would feel disappointment to see her be human and make mistakes. I would love her for her wit and pride. When I got to the chapter on John F. Kennedy’s assassination, I found myself unable to read as the tears overflowed my eyes. Her description of holding him and the pain that ripped through her echoed in me. This is probably the most I’ve cried in reading a book.”
Becoming a writer is the best decision I ever made in my life, and I don’t regret it for a moment. In fact, I should have done it earlier, but then I would have missed out on another very rich part of my life which helps me write.”
We are a writing family. The widow of Rudy Bond, the acclaimed stage, screen, television actor, and author of I Rode a Streetcar Named Desire, I am also the mother of three children, Zane P. Bond, Jonathan H. Bond, and Janet Bond Brill, all of whom are published authors. I am the proud grandmother of eight, none of whom have published books… as yet. As a wise friend said, “In Alma’s family, it is publish or perish.”
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Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
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