With a master's degree in speech-language pathology from University of Michigan, Barbara Stark-Nemon spent three decades working with children — mostly deaf — teaching English, doing speech/language therapy, teacher-consulting and supervising graduate students in Ann Arbor schools, hospitals and universities.
Her dedication opened a new world for kids and gave them a better chance to dream, reach for the stars and believe in themselves. Stark-Nemon, now 68, took these lessons to heart. While building confidence in young kids, she grew confident in chasing her own dreams and ambitions.
Writing, specifically novels, was something she had on the back burner for a long time, simmering and then boiling to a point too hot to ignore.
“I most enjoy becoming totally immersed in a narrative and bringing the characters alive who will live out the story,” says Stark-Nemon, who was born and raised in Huntington Woods and attended Berkley High School. “I’m also fascinated with the process I engage in with my writing group — working out problems with my manuscript and with theirs. I also love doing book research.”
Her work with children who had communication problems was a big influence on her writing.
“To find ways to get stories to them, and to assist them in bringing their narratives to others, cemented my understanding of how important our stories are to everyone,” says Stark-Nemon, who has called Ann Arbor home for more than 50 years. “I see my current career writing novels as an extension of my lifelong interest in communication and storytelling.”
Stark-Nemon’s grandfather was another big influence in her journey to writing novels. He was an attorney and a master storyteller who trained his grandkids to notice great stories around them. “He then loved it when we’d tell these stories to him,” she says. “He wanted us to tell them well.”
Stories about his childhood and young life in Germany, particularly about his sister, became the basis of Stark-Nemon’s first novel, “Even in Darkness.” Spanning a century and three continents, “Even in Darkness” tells the story of Klare Kohler, whose origins in a prosperous German-Jewish family hardly anticipate the end of her long life in a loving relationship with a German priest half her age. “Even in Darkness” highlights Klare’s reinvention as she faces the destruction of life as she knew it, and traces her path to survival, wisdom and most unexpectedly, love.
Stark-Nemon’s new “Hard Cider” will be out Sept. 18 — her second book published by She Writes Press.
“I like to say that ‘Hard Cider’ is a ‘What if?’ book,” she says. “What if some of the circumstances that relate to my own life experience had turned out very differently?”
“Hard Cider,” a contemporary novel, tells the story of Abbie Rose Stone. Believing she has successfully navigated the shoals of her complicated family, Abbie begins to nurture her long-held dream of starting a hard apple cider business on Lake Michigan and the dunes she loves.
“I guess I wasn’t done with the concept that a strong multidimensional woman must overcome unexpected circumstances with dignity and self-determination — a prominent theme in my first novel,” she says. “What might that look like for a woman of a certain age in our current society? I wanted Abbie to have an encore career, and be challenged to stay the course when a stranger’s long-held secret tests Abbie’s resilience and redefines her family forever.”
Writing novels has opened up Stark-Nemon’s world to “possibilities” and launched her on a second career, almost as rewarding as her first one.
“I’ve often said how grateful I am to have had such a satisfying career as a speech therapist working with children that allowed me to help them communicate, and allowed me to feel like I made an important contribution in my work,” she says. “To have that same feeling again as an author of passion and connection and reward through my work — in this case with readers who’ve appreciated my books, and through book awards and other recognition — has been beyond satisfying.”
For more information, visit barbarastarknemon.com.
Source : https://www.theoaklandpress.com/entertainment/author-stark-nemon-discovers-new-satisfaction-in-her-encore-profession/article_e232a8da-95dd-11e8-909f-279f5776cf2e.html