When it comes to fulfilling her dreams, one local author says she has no regrets. In fact, that is the name of Linda McDermott's first novel, a collection of her memoirs, "No Regrets: Adventuring Through Life."
McDermott is among the featured authors at the Pop-Up Book Faire hosted by the Bear Valley Springs Cultural Arts Association to be held Sunday afternoon at the Oak Tree Country Club in Bear Valley Springs.
McDermott said she didn't always aspire to be an author; in fact, it came quite by chance. Throughout her life, she has traveled all around the world, and has, as a result, experienced a number of interesting encounters in the process.
"I happened to run into people that were just so excited about the stories that I was telling, and they said, 'You got to write it down.' I didn't even think about it until my children started begging me to tell the stories," McDermott said.
The author said she got her beginning in a quirky sort of way.
"I just bought a ticket somewhere, and the rest of it unfolds."
Her debut book, "No Regrets," is about how a young girl navigates through Midwestern expectations and manages to travel in all seven continents, including working twice in Antarctica. As she ages, she gains inner strength and confidence to travel, and experiences quirky adventures, which come her way in remote places as she searches for balance in her life.
McDermott said she spent her childhood in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area where she developed a deep love for handmade art, nature and a curiosity about travel.
"After raising children and completing a career in human resources, I started traveling in earnest," she said.
In her travels, she collected interesting items from all over the world, including natural materials and handmade items, which led to her writing a second book, "Grandma's Baskets," which is a children's book about fascinating objects Grandma has collected while traveling all over the world. The book features her own grandsons, Morgan, Jack and baby Max, who are interested in everything they find in the baskets.
"When I go to these countries, I bring home interesting things that you have to guess what they are … and I put them in my egg baskets which are from Appalachia," she said.
McDermott said the first book took at least 10 years to write.
"In particular, the past two years I have been really focusing on writing and trying to remember the emotion of the events so that I could really get the readers entwined in the adventures with me," she said.
Asked what advice she would give someone who was thinking about writing, McDermott said she would pass along the same message that was given to her.
"When I serendipitously ran across a L.A. Times book reviewer, she said to just write … start somewhere. You run into people everywhere that can feed your passion and add to your story," she said.
McDermott now resides in Tehachapi where she hikes daily with her dogs and hosts Pacific Crest Trail hikers from all over the world as they travel through the area.
Her books are available on her website, Out There Again Books.com, on Amazon (Books: Linda McDermott), or at participating bookstores.