Constance Hood has collected journals and notes her entire life. These interests and her passion for storytelling first emerged in her years as a student at Occidental College. Her day job has been educating students from “Which way do you hold the book?” through Advanced Placement Writing skills. For nearly a decade she wrote instructional materials for Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, and performed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic youth programs as a storytelling workshop artist. She also contributed to textbooks and instructional materials in the arts and in language acquisition.
Islands of Deception: Lying with the Enemy (2017) is a new book based on notes that arrived in the mail in 2006. Her estranged father was most proud of his effectiveness as an Allied spy during WWII, but his activities had been under a long term non-disclosure agreement. At the end of his life, he was permitted to share his experiences as an intelligence officer. This was the catalyst to action and adventures. As a historical novel, the intrigue lies on the bridge between true events and what may have been. Once the foundations of the story are laid, research and the stories of others are threaded through the plots to bring scenes and characters to life once again. Her first book Off the Tracks: A Beatnik Family Journey (2014) is based on her experiences living in Germany during the Cold War.
In the pile of Christmas gifts in 1960 was a pretty white leatherette journal, with gold letters 1961. Books were my favorite gifts, but this book was blank.
“What is this for?”
“You write in it. You can tell it things you can’t tell anyone else. If a secret is inside you, this is the place to keep it safe. Only you can share it.”
“Sometimes there are things we want to remember. Small kindnesses, sorrows, secrets, that sort of thing.”
So, on New Years night I began writing. Little did I know that year would bring profound changes. The white journal became a friend, a confidante, and eventually a record of what my life evolved into.