Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Linda L. Bunker has not received any gifts yet
Linda Bunker was born in 1941 in Connecticut. At the age of sixteen she embraced a Lesbian lifestyle after meeting a woman of twenty-four years. Fifty-six years later they are still enjoying their loving relationship, and only came "out of the closet" in 2012! Her first book, “Your Story Matters (Tell It), is a memoir of their fifty-five years.
Linda writes a monthly column for a local newspaper relating events pertinent to the retirement community in which they live. Her newest book features short amusing stories based on her life with her partner, titled ‘Claudia and Estelle’.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Connecticut? I was born in 1941 in Waterbury, Connecticut and at this time am proud to be a writer living in Prospect, Connecticut.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I think what inspired me to write was the arrival of my 70th birthday. At this stage I had an overwhelming desire and need to put my personal journey into words – to express what my life was like as a lesbian assimilating into mainstream while in actuality living in a cocoon. Here I was in my twilight years still living “in the closet” along with my partner of 55 years.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? At first I had the idea that I wanted to write a book to let those people who had hurt me in the past know exactly how I felt. Kind of revenge. It turned out, however, that what I really wanted was to give myself permission to be FREE – to share my journey – one of secrets, deception, guilt, hurts, and immense fear. Selfishly I wanted my truths recorded in a real book - one that I could give to my family and friends; one that they could hand down to their friends and family; and finally, one that I could read over and over for as many years as I have left. This would enable me to compliment myself for accomplishments, chastise myself for not “taking a stand” in some instances, but most of all I could relive the great rewards my lifestyle and my love afforded me.
Did you know that you would publish your first book (let alone two as of now)? No, not at the start. My thought was that I would only have copies printed for my personal distribution. But, after self-publishing, it was offered at Amazon Books and I was amazed at the wonderful reviews I got. This encouraged me to want many, many people to read it. Bella Books also accepted it to sell.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Definitely. My story is a memoir. Once I started writing I could not stop. My experiences (good and bad) were as clear to me as when they originally occurred.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I didn't give much thought about a title until one day I glanced up at a little plaque which hangs above my computer. It says, “Your Story Matters (Tell It)”. That became my title and my motto. I was determined to tell it like it was as accurately as possible.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? The genre “Your Story Matters….(Tell It)” is a memoir of my life as a Lesbian, beginning at the young age of sixteen - a time when many didn't even know what it meant to be “queer” including me. I wrote it in sections of decades and at the beginning of each decade wrote what was happening in the country at that time regarding gay people.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? Inspiration to complete my story grew as I remembered and related my experiences. When I finished and it was published, I wanted everyone to read it with the hope that it would bring understanding and empathy for the LGBT community. No one would choose to be gay....we are born that way and because of that we deserve to be treated as human beings and not social defects.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? My reward in all this is that I came “out of the closet” to the world. Amazingly to me, most everyone knew anyway, but no one dared to broach the subject, so we all went on pretending for 55 years. I now bask in the love of these people – they have accepted me and my partner and we can conduct ourselves as any heterosexual couple. It's wonderful, and this is the happiest time of my life.
What was the most difficult part of the writing process? This is easy to answer. My “lover” is jealous of my computer. I have to write when she is either playing golf, watering the garden, or sleeping late in the morning. I also find that after three o'clock in the afternoon that my body and my brain shuts down. This could be attributed to the fact that they know it is almost “martini” time!
Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? I have had no negative experience with regard to my writing other than the fact that my partner (who is now eighty-two years old) is a bit jealous of the computer at times. She does not like to share me with anyone, and I love it! I self-published with Create Space and my book came out last July and was offered on Amazon and Bella Books. I found them all to be very helpful and I was pleased with the results which made me want to do more to get it circulated. Of course, “Your Story Matters… (Tell It) is my first book, so I really don't have too much experience in any publishing/advertising arenas. I also am not in a position to give other authors advice – I need and welcome any advice and would be glad to share whatever I get.
Who is your favorite author and why? I have always been a reader. I prefer non-fiction and, believe it or not, Christian books. My favorite author is Max Lucado.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? My second book, “Claudia and Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple” has just been published (July 2014). It is a compilation of short, comical stories (with illustrations) relating to humorously embellished situations I and my eighty-one year old partner have experienced since retiring.
Share your message with us: The message I want to send is that it was our hard years of living the secret that has built acknowledgment and acceptance of gays and lesbians today. It was all part of the process. We had to live it to advance it to where it is today. The biggest message is that a lesbian is born a lesbian....why would anyone EVER chose to be one - there certainly are little or no benefits!!! I hope my books promote the idea of real, real love and devotion. There is such a thing! I am the luckiest person to have been blessed with it.
In 1958 a girl of sixteen met a woman of twenty-four. Against all odds and self-inflicted restraints, they selfishly allowed themselves to fall passionately in love. Fifty-five years later they find themselves still sharing this “secret” love. They decide now is time to come “out of the closet.”
Claudia and Estelle are two Lesbians who have been together for fifty-five years. The book consists of a series of short stories which have been comically enhanced covering their experiences since retiring.
Genre: Compilation of Humorous Short Stories
This is a dual Book Review is for ‘Your Story Matters... Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ – by Linda Bunker.
‘Your Story Matters... Tell It’ is a genuine, heartwarming memoir of a friendship between two women that grew into a passionate lifelong commitment and partnership.
Even in the best of circumstances human relationships (gay or straight) are hard work and when there is a strain of secrecy the odds aren’t good. I admire these two women for their love, devotion, and determination to build a successful life together in a period in time where society would have eaten them alive if their secret had been exposed.
Their love, strength, intelligence, compassion, faith and humor allowed them to grow as couple (in secret) while extending love, kindness, generosity to their families, friends and community. Even the local police considered their home as a safe place where they brought community kids that were in danger, abused and neglected in the dark of night to find loving arms, a warm bed, healthy food, laughter and games until proper family, friends or suitable foster accommodations could be agreed upon.
Author Linda Bunker tells her story with candor, assuming the risks of coming out of the closet, detailing historical facts regarding the progression of gay and lesbian rights, in order to leave their legacy of love to the generations of women who will follow.
Linda’s second book titled ‘Claudia and Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ is a companion book to ‘Your Story Matters... Tell It’. As the reviewer I encourage readers to purchase these two as a set because the humorous side of their relationship transcends the hardships and secrecy. Linda’s writing style reminds me of the late Erma Bombeck reminding us to look at our life circumstances from the lighter side. I believe that it was the lighter side of these two women that have brought them to the twilight phase of their journey together still embraced in each other’s loving arms.
Cold Coffee Press endorses this dual set of books ‘Your Story Matters... Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ – by Linda Bunker as the serious memoir and the humorous short story collection of two women enjoying retirement years from a more normal view outside of the closet. (August 2014) http://www.coldcoffeepress.com