My journey of seeing myself as a writer began when I was in 4th grade, thanks to an encouraging teacher. My journey as a professional writer began with this great lady—the last person on Earth who would ever think anyone would want to know her story. I called her “Grandma.” If you read A Name of Honor, you will come to as Gaetana Curatolo. She liveda hard life in Sicily, and that hard life helped her appreciate and embrace the life, opportunity, and family she had here in America.

I loved going to her house, where she spoiled her grandchildren. Candy before dinner. A quarter to buy a treat at the corner store. Hours spent looking at old photos of the people who meant so much to her. And could that lady cook! She taught me to make sauce, and every time I make it, I think of her. In fact, I treasure her sauce pot.

Ask the questions. The treasures that are your family have very interesting, inspiring things to say! Don’t wait—the time is right. Now.