Chris Rakunas traveled to Haiti to deliver medical and surgical supplies to an orphanage and several hospitals. His book, "Tears for the Mountain," is the story of the triumphs, heartbreaks and problems of distributing aid in a nation lacking the most basic infrastructure and with desperate people trying to survive.
Rakunas grew up in Costa Mesa before going to UC Berkeley, according to information he provided. He received an MBA from USC's Marshall School of Business. He left the health care industry to become an author.
He and his wife, Darcey, live in Oklahoma. He will be the speaker at this year's first author event for the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries on Sept. 15. The dinner portion of the program starts at 6 p.m. at the Mesa Verde Methodist Church, 1701 Baker St., Costa Mesa. The cost is $5 and reservations should be made by Sept. 10 by calling (714) 545-9613.
Several weeks ago I asked for the names of Costa Mesa authors. I also referred to them as "local" authors, and some people took me at my word, and sent in names of authors from Newport Beach, Fountain Valley and other "local" towns. In some cases I wasn't easily able to determine just where they were from, so I am including all of those I received.
Also, I realized too late that it would have been advisable to be more specific. I loosely thought of authors of fiction and non-fiction books. As was pointed out to me, some people just write short stories, or plays, or newspaper and magazine articles. Some authors have done most of these types of writing, some only one type.
At least one book will be celebrating its "coming out" party in October: Candi Sary's "Black Crow White Lie." Louisa Arnold's "Tennis Ticklers" is about ready for its fourth edition. Jim Washburn wrote the book on Martin guitars, and co-authored the autobiography of John Crean, "The Wheel and I."
Peter Cropsey wrote "Dead Man Waking. "A recently published book is "The Masked Avenger" by Peter Alexei Maradudin. Matt Lawrence, a professor at Long Beach City College who lives in Costa Mesa, has two non-fiction books, "Like a Splinter in Your Mind" and "Philosophy on Tap."
Kelly Townsend's "Not All Kids Do Drugs" deals with teens and Susan Hoffman's "A Precious Bond" is about kids and their grandparents. Herb Hoffman, who is said to be in his 80s now, has written 15 books on library science. Barbara Wallace has two books, "Beautiful Bride From Every Angle" and "Wedding Vendor Handbook."
Teryl Zarnow, who lives in Costa Mesa, wrote "Husband is the Past Tense of Daddy" and "The Mother Side of Midnight." Mary Castillo has written at least four books of fiction: "Lost in the Light," "Names I Call My Sister," "In Between Men," and "Hot Tamara."
New author J. E. Booth wrote "Worlds Move, Time Calls." Lenard Davis has two books on Newport but his latest one is "Wine Memories."
Other authors whose names I have been given are: Richard McKenzie, Tatjana Soli, Susan Segal, Gordon McAlpine and Aimee Pham.
I would still like to know more about Costa Mesa authors of fiction and non-fiction books.
Council Candidates and Libraries
In the next few months before the November election, there will be opportunities for all of us to question those running for Costa Mesa City Council.
I suggest you find out just how high libraries stand in the candidates' pecking order. If they say that the city doesn't have money to do anything about libraries now, remind them that now is the time we should be planning so that when we do have money, we can carry out the plans.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if we don't let them know we think libraries are important, they will continue to be treated as if they are not.
MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the Orange County Public Libraries.