Inspiration comes from many places, but perhaps the greatest source is the daily knowledge and happenings we observe around us as we journey through life.
Renowned author, Catherine Gildiner, imparted some of her insights to an enthralled audience at the Millpond Centre in Alliston Friday during a fund-raising event in support of the Friends of the New Tecumseth Public Library.
The non-profit organization has a mission to enhance and support library services and enrich the literary experience.
By profession, Gildiner is a psychologist, who spent 25 years delving into the secrets of the human mind. She now practises just one day a week. The rest of her time is devoted to her talent as an author. Born in Lewiston, New York, Gildiner crossed the border to complete her graduate studies at the University of Toronto in the city she now calls home.
While obtaining her PhD, she descended to the basement hall at the university campus where she studied the work of Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin.
Freud is known as the “father of psychoanalysis,” and Darwin stunned the world as a controversial naturalist who penned “Origin of the Species” and defined the theory of evolution.
“I spent hours in my cubical, ’til 6 p.m., then ran out for something to eat. Then back to study till eleven o’clock.” Gildiner said. “I did that for nine years.”
Her transition to author evolved over several years. During that time she wrote for several high-profile publications including Chatelaine magazine and the Globe and Mail.
“I really stayed in the psychological area.” She said of her writing. “I started doing it slowly. First with articles, then I wrote the memoir.”
Her memoir is an autobiographical look at her life titled “Too Close to the Falls” — a reference to Niagara Falls which is located only a few miles upstream from Lewiston.
In Too Close to the Falls, Gildiner recounts her early years as the daughter of the town pharmacist and a not-so-conventional 1950s mother.
Her second book, Seduction, is a novel.
In Seduction, Gildiner weaves her knowledge of Freud and Darwin’s theories into the story and around the main character.
The author spends considerable time traveling around North America and parts of Europe on speaking tours and book signings.
As a speaker, Gildiner is a charming, humorous, and witty individual who easily wins over the audience with her insight and stories from her life experience both as a psychologist and as an author.
When several members of the audience Friday night asked about a sequel to Seduction, Gildiner would only say it’s not in the offing as of yet, but neither could it be ruled out.
In the meantime, she continues to write and her considerable readership awaits the next book with great anticipation.
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