By JULIE CHURCH
© St. Petersburg Times, published August 19, 2001
Creating a red dress takes writer's career to new levels
Kathy Carmichael considers herself an average, forty-something, East Lake "soccer mom."
But when this Ridgemoor resident sits on the sidelines at the field watching her son, Ian, 11, practice, she may also be thinking about romance.
Carmichael is a romance writer. Her first published novel recently hit bookstores and libraries across the country.
"Chasing Charlie" is the story of a librarian who feels she's in a rut. She buys herself a red dress and some amazing things begin to happen to her.
The book was written six years ago, but Carmichael said it caught the attention of an editor with Avalon Books when proposed by Carmichael at a writer's seminar in Clearwater last year.
Carmichael said her interest in becoming a novelist began a long time ago.
"Most writers start out as readers," she said. "'I was always a voracious reader and it took me a while to figure out that I loved the romance genre. I love happy endings."
Carmichael has several other books in process and is hopeful that those will get picked up by publishers as well.
When she's not writing novels, Carmichael is also quite involved with the Romance Writers of America. She writes a question and answer column for the professional group's newsletter and is president of the local chapter, which is based in Tampa.
In addition to Ian, Carmichael also has a 15-year-old son, Andrew, who attends East Lake High School.
She will be speaking at the East Lake Community Library on Sept. 20. For information, call the library at (727) 773-2665.
The Tarpon Woods Garden Club kicks off its 2001-02 season with a meeting at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 12 at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1555 Windmill Pointe Road.
A flower arrangement presentation by Peter Berden of Just Original florist and gift shop will be the program.
The meetings are open to the public.
The board members for the upcoming year are: Theresa Dotson, president; Joan Rahm, first vice president; Joan Baierlein, second vice president/year book; Joan Neilly, recording secretary; Dee Costa, corresponding secretary; and Barbara Casey, treasurer.
Call (727) 787-7802.
The East Lake Community Library has scheduled several events for the month of September.
Two computer classes will be offered. Internet Basics will be held at 10 a.m. on Mondays. Internet Tips and Tricks will be held at 10 a.m. Thursdays. Registration is required for both classes.
The A.M. Coffee Cafe will be offered every Friday at 10 a.m. Free coffee and breakfast pastries will be served.
All events are free and open to the public. East Lake Community Library is located at 4125 East Lake Road. Call (727) 773-2665.
The Palm Harbor Newcomers Alumnae and Friends will hold its regular luncheon meeting at 11 a.m. Sept. 6 at East Lake Woodlands Country Club, 1055 East Lake Woodlands Parkway.
Wei Wei Ritzhaupt will be showing ceremonial costumes from the Chinese Dynasty. Ritzhaupt has made more than 40 trips to China.
Meetings are open to the public, but reservations are required. Call (727) 796-1405. Valet Parking is provided at all meetings.
Cypress Woods Elementary School is holding an open house for all incoming students Monday.
Prekindergarten and Kindergarten students will meet their teachers between 1 and 2 p.m. Students in first through third grades will have open house from 7 to 7:55 p.m., and students in fourth and fifth grades will meet their teachers between 8:05 and 9 p.m.
Cypress Woods Elementary School is located at 4900 Cypress Woods Blvd. Call (727) 538-7325.
-- If you have news or photos about East Lake/Oldsmar schools, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, community organizations or people, contact Julie Church at the North Pinellas Times. You can call her at (727) 445-4229, fax material to her at (727) 445-4206 or mail material to North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.