Carlsbad authors Lisa Monaco Gonzales and Arthur Webster are two of seven authors who will share their stories as part of Carlsbad City Library’s fifth annual Local Authors’ Festival on Saturday, Feb. 23. The authors will discuss their books and answer questions during a panel discussion from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the library’s Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, followed by a book signing in the library’s courtyard between 12 and 1 p.m.
Monaco Gonzales is a best-selling author, speaker and child safety advocate. She contributed to the book Unbreakable Spirit: Rising Above the Impossible by sharing her nightmare of surviving sexual abuse as a child. She recently shared her inspiration for writing her story.
“When I was a child, journaling and creating poetry was my coping mechanism,” Monaco Gonzales recalled. “Three years ago, I experienced a life changing event that turned my world upside down. My past crept up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I knew it was time to open up my heart, be honest with myself, push through the healing process, and begin writing once again.”
“What inspired me to write my story, ‘Sinlessness’ in Unbreakable Spirit, was my children and all the children in the world. I learned through this recent journey that keeping a secret is more crippling than the actual secret itself. By writing my story, my voice was finally heard!”
When asked what has been most rewarding about her writing experience, Monaco Gonzales replied, “When I was handed my first copy, in print, the feelings of freedom were exhilarating. The secret I kept inside of me for almost 40 years was finally released. What was most rewarding was the realization that my story was a gift. I had created a safety net for my readers to open up and share their secret, where they may not have told anyone, but me. My readers were grateful that they were no longer alone. By making the choice and using my voice, my readers are now healing.”
Carlsbad’s Webster, who was born in 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, recounts the 11 years he spent wandering the high seas in his memoir Down to the Sea: A Merchant Mariner’s Story. When asked about his inspiration for writing the story, he said, “Over the years, I came to recognize that many citizens had little knowledge of the American Merchant Marine. I attempted to provide a basic history of the industry using my personal experiences as the background. I continued to be gratified that so many of my readers express their enjoyment and acceptance of the work. They indicate that the stories provide a realistic view of life onboard a merchant ship as related by one who lived it.”
For more information about the Local Authors’ Festival, call 760-602-2012 or visit www.carlsbadlibrary.org. Read about two additional event participants, Carlsbad authors Krongtong Na Songkhla and Carl Wellenstein.