Lisa Frieden, a Woodside resident with a background in science but a Ph.D. in English, was working on her autobiography, telling the story of her successful fight against kidney disease in her 30s, when she abruptly set out on a completely different course.
"I decided I wanted to do something fun," says Ms. Frieden, who is now the mother of a 9-year-old daughter and lives in the Woodside Glens neighborhood with her husband Kurt.
Cover of Lisa Frieden's book, "The Offering."
"I like romantic suspense, but I am always frustrated that it doesn't do what I want it to do," says Ms. Frieden. So she wrote the book she'd like to read.
The about-face was nothing unusual for Ms. Frieden, who grew up as the daughter of two college science professors and was headed for a career as a doctor when she decided to study English instead.
Ms. Frieden finished the novel while she was pregnant with her daughter, but couldn't find a publisher.
"It just sat on my hard drive," says Ms. Frieden, while other things assumed major importance in her life.
But talking with friends and members of a writing group who longed to some day write a novel inspired Ms. Frieden to take another look at the one she'd already written.
"The whole ending of the book needed to be totally tossed out and redone," she said.
In addition, the way books are published had changed a lot since her original attempt to market the book, and Ms. Frieden decided to publish the novel herself. She found an artist online who made a cover for the book and it is now available at Amazon, Kepler's and other online booksellers.
The book has received positive reviews, including an Amazon reviewer who said it is "a fulfilling mix of adventure, thriller, occult, romance, action and humor all tied together with a strong theme of the power of sisterhood and female friendships."
With one book under her belt, Ms. Frieden is hard at work on the next. She hopes to have her memoir completed by June and has another novel she began in 2007, a thriller set in Humbolt County called "Finding Clarity" that she wants to return to.
After that, she says, she has a series in mind, a story about each of the characters in the Cota Club, which played a big part in "The Offering."
"The Offering" can be found at www.lisafrieden.com. Ms. Frieden has a Facebook page at: [http"//www.facebook.com/lisafriedenauthor facebook.com/lisafriedenauthor.