A brief history of my adventures in writing.
Hello, and welcome to my website! Let me introduce myself. I’m married, have three children, and two crazy Pomeranian dogs named Snowball and Rascal (owned with our son, Dane). As far back as I can remember, I’ve written things like poetry, articles, and stories, and even attempted a novel at the age of 13. As an adult, I’ve written everything from screenplays, to radio ads, to magazine articles and books. My first book, a work-for-hire by Los Angeles County, was a five-year-long project that included nearly 200 interviews, hundreds of research hours, and two-straight years of writing about the history of the L. A. County Poor Farm.
My second history book focused on the most interesting pioneers who lived and died in Park City, Utah. That led to a regular column in a history-oriented monthly magazine, in which I wrote dozens of unusual articles, like the story of the woman who lived in a mansion on Catalina Island in the late 1800s. The large house was built for her by her rich husband, but was located in a remote part of the island. She was so lonely, she had countless mirrors hung inside, purportedly to make her feel as if she had company. The strange mansion earned the nickname, the “House of Mirrors.” I also wrote about James Reaves, known as the “Prince of Swindlers,” who pulled off a brilliant swindle to claim a huge chunk of Arizona land by forging old Spanish documents that granted thousands of acres to his wife. I will be posting many of these articles to share with you on my Blog and hope you enjoy them.
And then I found myself working as a travel journalist, writing for numerous prestigious magazines and websites, and doing regular radio interviews for a program that was broadcast in Florida and online. Some of my articles, including those written for the Orange County Register newspaper are already on this website. If not, I’ll repost as many as possible.
My last book, Quick Escapes From Orange County (Globe Pequot Press), is still available on Amazon.com. The book is filled with ideas for quick getaways that are ideal for one- or two- night stays that are within a short drive from Orange County. I’ve recommended hotels, restaurants, things to do and see, and other interesting tidbits.
Although I’ll still post travel Blogs, I’ve stopped writing magazine articles so I can focus on my newest project, a historical novel entitled, In the Shadow of War. The novel opens in 1915 Manhattan during World War I and is the story of the twin daughters of a well-to-do businessman who moves the family to take over his deceased uncle’s business in London. Unfortunately, they are aboard the ill-fated Lusitania when it’s struck by a German torpedo, sinking in 18 minutes and killing nearly 1,200 men, women and children.
This is one of the stories of my heart, a novel I’ve wanted to write for well over a decade. It all began years ago, when I was employed by California State University, Long Beach, as a research historian, which included conducting oral history interviews of fascinating people who had lived amazing lives. One project involved analyzing and organizing a large collection of old documents found in a bank’s basement. That’s where I discovered loan papers for Col. John D. Craig, an adventurer and television personality, who hosted a popular show called “Mysteries of the Deep.” A loan was made to Col. Craig around 1930 to explore the wreck of the Lusitania. I simply had to interview the man to find out more!
After a two-hour interview with John Craig, during which he talked about his dive on the remains of the once-regal ship, I was hooked. I was determined that one day I would write a novel about the tragic incident…from the view point of someone traveling onboard the Lusitania. I hope to have the novel completed soon. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, be sure to visit my Blog – click on the icon on this website, or go to www.colleenfliedner.blogspot.com. And please feel free to ask me questions in the Comments section. I would love to hear from you.
This web site includes samples of my writing, including books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, web articles, and much more. Please look around and get a feel for the breadth of my work.
Thanks for visiting !