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Laurel native's new book set in Laurel [Senior Circles]

Author Faye Green, a Laurel native, has written a new book, "Gertie," set in Laurel in the early 1900s. The release of her new book reminds me of an interview I did with Green after the release of her previous book, "Dicey." I had the pleasure of interviewing Faye, with an eye to learning more about this senior woman who was writing about seniors. Here are some of the highlights from that interview as well as information on her new book.

During the interview, when I asked Green if she considered writing a second career, she was hesitant to call it that. She preferred avocation.

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Afterward, while driving home (a 55+ community in Middletown, Del.), Green thought more deeply about my question, "Do you consider this a new career?" She was sure that I saw that the question made her hesitate and left her without words, which was unusual for her.

In a follow-up e-mail, she wrote, "I believe the writing, publishing and even the public speaking have finally brought me to where I was supposed to be for a long time. I have never felt so comfortable and optimistic about my role. Whether or not writing is a career in the traditional way does not seem to matter to me. Writing does. Everything I have done in my life has led me here and as I look back, I see my path. I have had people who have known me for a long time tell me that they are not surprised that I am putting books out there. I am the one surprised."

Green's third book, "Dicey," was self-published and came out April 1, 2013. "Dicey" is about a woman who loses her husband and eventually finds a future for herself after that loss. Through romance, intrigue and a mystery trip to Haiti, Green shows that drama can exist in later life.

This was the first time Green had written about characters her own age. One of the characters is a gambler but Green says, "The book is not about gambling unless you know life is a gamble." The book is an affirmation that aging isn't the end of life, love and happiness.

One hundred people attended Green's first book talk, which was very exciting and encouraging for her. She continues her book signings and talks, and attending book clubs to discuss her book. Green said, "Writing this book has me doing things." In her speaking engagements, Green encourages attendees not to put off doing what they have always wanted to do. She says, "Retirement is just another chapter - fill it up and make it a good one."

When thoughts come to her, Green takes to her computer and writes three or four chapters. Then she does an outline, which helps define the timeline of the book. When she writes the outline, she knows how her characters will end up but she doesn't know how they will get there. The choices and emotions of her characters drive her outline. Not big on scene work, she likes to get to the point in her writing and tell the story. She loves to build characters and make them come alive. She especially likes to write "hard" characters - bad guys - because that is so not in her nature.

That brings us up to her current release, "Gertie," which is historical fiction. Green says, "I always wanted to write a book and include stories about early Laurel, that I learned from my father and grandfather, who, like me were born in the west end of town. Such is the poignant and timeless story of Gertie set in Laurel, 1909-1946." The main character walks up and down Montgomery, Main and Prince George streets and Tenth and Eleventh streets, in the west end of town as well as travels the roads to Fort Meade and Ocean City.

Gertie is a divorced woman raising a child in a small town in the early 1900s. Divorce is not accepted by society in that day, and her community ostracizes her. She struggles alone through many adversities. Through four decades of history in Laurel, personal drama and tragedy, Gertie filled her life by serving veterans at nearby Fort Meade, through WWI and WWII. She developed USO clubs and sat at the bedsides of wounded heroes.

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World War II changed women's place in the world when women became part of the workforce and raised children alone. When Eleanor Roosevelt recognized Gertie's service to wounded heroes and her overall war efforts, Gertie was finally redeemed in the eyes of her community.

It is only fitting then that Faye Green be a guest speaker at the meeting of the Laurel MD Chapter of the American Rosie the Riveter Association. Rosies are the women who stepped up during WWII and worked outside the home for the war effort. Green will speak Sat., Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. at the Fellowship Hall, First United Methodist Church, 424 Main St. Green will have books available for signing. All are welcome. Call Ann Marie Miller, 301-498-3397, for more information.

Called a Rosebud because her mother worked as a Rosie during WWII, Helen Kasemeyer, of Savage, and a member of the Laurel ARRA Chapter, has read "Gertie." She describes the book as, "A visit to well known locations in Laurel; heartwarming and intense; inspiring; an unforgettable woman of courage; beautifully written; engrossing; and difficult to put down." She suggested, "Don't miss this book if you really enjoy reading."

"Gertie" is getting noticed in Laurel. In addition to her speaking engagement with the Rosies, Green will be featured in an upcoming newsletter of the Laurel Historical Society and will be a guest speaker Dec. 7 during the Open House weekend at the Laurel Museum. The Woman's Club of Laurel has already asked her to speak in the spring.

If you are interested in writing and want to talk to Green or if you would like her to speak at your book club or senior center or organization, please contact her at greenvine@verizon.net.

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