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Q&A with Doreen

Doreen & PoodleGrowing up in Great Neck, NY (as my husband says, a “princess from the Island of Long”), I loved to write and could always be counted on to take creative license where none was called for. (To whit, the Ode to Geometry I foisted on my eighth grade math teacher.) It just never occurred to me to try to make a living at it. Then, getting a B minus in a writing class at Cornell proved to me that the instructor was serious when she said I was a no-talent hack. So, what was a Jewish only child to do? Why, go to medical school, of course.

I didn’t write for years (thus sparing my medical school classmates and instructors Ode to Diseases of the Bowel). After graduation from George Washington University Medical School in D.C., I moved with my then husband to Tucson, AZ. (He wanted to be an archeologist and put his studies on hold so I could finish my medical training. In return, I told him I’d do my residency wherever he chose to get his Ph.D., not for one moment thinking he’d pick a city with no Nordstrom.) We divorced soon after and I vowed not to marry again for a long, long while.

Doreen & Tim DancingA year later, Tim (a fellow psychiatric resident), tricked me into going on a date. We’ve been together ever since, progressing through the all important M’s -- Monogamy, Moving in, Mortgage and Matrimony. And now, unfortunately, Motor home. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We moved to Boulder, CO in 1993 and several years later, my first book, I Know You Really Love Me, on stalking, was published. It won the Colorado Author’s League Top Hand Award for Nonfiction and became a bestseller on Amazon. I made numerous appearances in the media as a psychiatric expert including Larry King Live, 48 Hours, Good Morning America, The Discovery Channel, People Magazine, The New York Times, NPR and many others. I also traveled around the country for speaking engagements to forensic and law enforcement groups. Since all this exposure involved beefing up my wardrobe, I was happy to do it. Still, to this day, I count among my greatest accomplishments that our bus was featured as the centerfold of Bus Conversions magazine, thus fulfilling my lifelong ambition of becoming a Miss September. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, again.

sunriseMy literary agent suggested I write a screenplay based on I Know You Really Love Me and I found that I immensely liked that form, so much so, I wrote many more and even had a few optioned. I cut down on my practice to write. I was quite content. Tim, still practicing psychiatry 60 hours a week, was not. His solution was to take a midlife career break (who knew my husband was such a trend-setter?) and live in a converted bus for a year, traveling the country.

“Why can’t you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?” I demanded. “I will never, ever, EVER live in a bus.”

He’s obviously the better shrink.

Copyright © 2008 Doreen Orion