Georgia Cockerham – “The Oregon coast is filled with scenery that awakens my creative soul, and it’s the rhythmic ebb and flow of the sea that inspires me to write and paint. The people I’ve met and continue to meet throughout my journey provide enrichment to my creativity and to my life.” On painting: My artistic talents took form when, at twelve years old, I took a job as a dance teacher, choreographing everything I taught and designing all of the costumes. My classes became quite popular and at fifteen years of age I was hired as Assistant Director to the owner of a new dance studio in town. Several life chapters later I retired as a self-employed investment advisor and insurance agent. Upon retirement I called former Brookings’ resident, Audi Stanton, and signed up for my first watercolor class. The placement of watercolor across my drawings was magical. I continue to paint not only because of how putting my feelings down in color benefits me, but also because I consider it a blessing to have the talent to do something creative that brings a bit of happiness to someone else. On writing: I had a grandmother who was both a teacher and published author, and I grew up with an admiration for those who could write well.
Entering college as an English major my intent was to become a journalist. I married and, due to an unexpected tribulation, spent most of the next twenty years supporting and raising two sons. During those years I found putting my thoughts down on paper to be a source of peace, but I never thought my writing, in itself, would be of interest to anyone else.
In 2003, I experienced the greatest tragedy of my life when my youngest son was killed in an accident. It was three years before I could write again and when I did the pain gushed out in the form of poetry.
As my healing continued, I wrote and illustrated two children’s books. A few years ago, when I was encouraged by a writer friend to write fiction, I approached my husband with the idea of my writing a murder mystery if he would review my work for accuracy with respect to the law enforcement references. He agreed, and our joint effort has resulted in the successful O’Toole/Starker Oregon Coast murder mystery series.