In 1979, Gabi Coatsworth left her native England for six months’ work in the States.
She reconnected with a man she’d met 5 years earlier in London. He lived now in Greenwich, but pursued her in Chicago.
Her brief stay in the US turned into a life here.
They married, had 2 children, moved to Fairfield. He drank. They divorced.
A few months later, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He stopped drinking. Gabi’s ex-husband became ‘the man I thought I married.” She cared for him.
After he died, she re-examined her life.
Gabi was in a writing group. When she put her thoughts on paper, members said, “This needs more of you. Write as if no one will read it.”
She rewrote her piece. Then she put it away. Publishing it would be “too definite,” she thought.
Years passed. Eventually, Gabi realized, it was time for a book.
“It’s one thing to write,” she says. “It’s another to know people appreciate what you’ve written.”
Gabi was encouraged by other writers. She’d started an open mic group at the Westport Barnes & Noble. where people read their work.
COVID hit, and the group went virtual. More writers joined, all over the world.
She had another open mic group at the Westport Library. Gabi also organized weekly sessions at the Pequot Library — a place where people sat quietly, and wrote.
All of those outlets offered encouragement. “Love’s Journey Home” — Gabi’s memoir — was published last year.
That was just the start of Gabi’s next journey. She recorded an audio version at the Westport Library’s Verso Studios — a first for the venue.
She wrote about the experience for Publisher’s Weekly.
In the middle of all that, Gabi completed a novel. “A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Over” takes place — fittingly — in a bookstore. It was published last month.
Next up: a prequel to “Love’s Journey Home.” It will cover Gabi’s life before age 25, when her memoir begins.
(To learn more about Gabi Coatsworth, click here.)
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