I find myself in a new phase of life, so to speak. At the graceless age of fifty-two, changes come slowly and sporadically, but once they pass, it’s forever. For women, this pertains to perimenopause (and actual menopause), the empty nest syndrome, and marital issues that might arise when one or both partners retire from a lifelong career.
I’m dealing with perimenopause, and though I don’t dislike the transition, I’m none too thrilled about it either. I can handle the occasional hot flash (a change in my overall diet largely put an end to this inconvenient symptom), and I’d really like to see the end of the nasty monthly periods. And though I do enjoy the alone time with my husband, I think once our nest is empty of our youngest daughter (21), I’m going to miss her very much. She’s funny and insightful, and her little dog is a joy to have around.
A woman’s biological change sometimes transitions with a partner’s retirement. Suddenly, she’s thrust into the constant company of a person she’d learned to essentially live without for eight to twelve hours at a stretch. Again, I’m fortunate—my husband and I happen to like each other, and we work, play, and sleep together. He’s a considerate hottie, and getting “it” two or three times a day is not a problem for me. Like I said, he’s attentive and quite fetching, and looks damn good in black short-sleeved T-shirts… Ahem.
I wrote The Secret Life of Richard McCoy with aging only partially on my mind. I think the genesis of the character, Sally McCoy, came with my own awareness of my shift in life. Like me, Sally reached a point in the aging process where she’d gained the maturity to examine her life, and accept whatever regrets she’d accumulated.
Sally’s double-whammy is the knowledge that her late husband Richard McCoy, had layers of strange and compelling secrets, all the while discovering she still has the capacity to forgive, and fall in love again. Uncovering the mystery of how Richard’s life transacted independent of their marital relationship returns Sally to a former self she’d abandoned when she married him almost thirty years ago. For Sally, finding love with Victor Callahan, a man whose life carried a similar and potentially destructive bitterness toward Richard McCoy, is undeniably watershed.
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An author of Fiction Noir, and Erotic Romance, Karen Kennedy Samoranos co-manages a music education business in the Bay Area with her husband, Clifford, focusing on jazz theory and live stage performance for children ages 5 through 18. She has four adult children, and four young grandchildren. In her off hours, she hikes, is an avid fisherman, and motorcyclist (both dirt and street), and an advocate for regular exercise, the modest consumption of red wine, and adherence to whole foods.
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