Reading Leads Authors to Self Discovery


Jane Maiocco, Staff Writer

Moraga authors Darrion Theodore Carlyle, Linda Foley, and Al Foley answered questions about their writing careers, and their recent publications, on May 24 at an author festival hosted by the campus library.

Al Foley wrote his novel, Caleb’s Watch, for a “new challenge.” Linda Foley is the author of Caught in the Moment and Carlyle wrote Down By The Creek.

Librarian Sarah Morgan said, “The students who came were very engaged and I thought that the authors that came had fun talking about their craft because sometimes when you’re an author or any particular job, you work in your office or in your own brain so you don’t really get to share, so I think they had a fun time sharing.”

All 3 authors noted that their love for reading inspired their writing careers.  “I got into writing because I read a lot,” Carlyle said.

“I used to make believe I was sick so I could stay home and read…I don’t understand how people don’t read,” Linda Foley said.

When Linda Foley moved to the United States from Germany. She said she “had issues assimilating” so she kept a diary. “I encourage a lot of young people to keep diaries.”

Carlyle talked about the importance of writing to help him discover himself. “I understood who I was through my writing and so the journey of self-learning is something that I feel students can understand just by jotting some things down,” he said. “It was just my way of expressing my emotions and I didn’t learn about that until I got older but when I think back about it now it just me trying to learn how to express myself.”

Linda Foley also found writing essential for discovering her identity. “Writing is the best way to present who you are. People can take things away from you, they can take your clothes, they can take your money, but you still have your language and it should be treated with respect,” she said. “There’s so much positive to say about just being involved in words because it just brings your inner self to life. It makes you feel better, deeper, and more appreciative.”

According to Morgan, “the most valuable part was for the students to realize that writing is a lifelong process and you don’t just become a published author overnight.”

Carlyle advised young writers to “just be yourself, develop your own style and just have fun with it and you’ll find yourself in the place that you want to be.”