About the Author
In my heart-of-hearts, I am a teacher. Unfortunately, I don’t possess the temperament to be happy or successful teaching in a traditional classroom setting, so I have always found other ways to fulfill my perceived vocation. For many years, I developed and presented workshops on topics as varied as personal budgeting, leadership development and catechism.
Someone once pointed out to me that storytelling is the most powerful and well-received form of teaching. That’s one reason that Jesus, among other great teachers, used it so liberally and to such effect.
Since that time, I have dreamed of coming up with an entertaining and inspiring story that would allow me to share some of the life lessons I’ve learned. In particular, I wanted to tell a story that would elucidate the role of gratitude in creating and living a joyful life. Since I Last Saw You is the result of that desire.
Thanksgiving—the most underappreciated holiday on the American calendar, in my opinion—seemed like a perfect backdrop for such a tale, and is featured prominently in my novel. It’s my hope and my dream that Since I Last Saw You becomes a holiday tradition— a story that readers will want to revisit year after year and share with their families—much in the way that watching It’s a Wonderful Life is for me.
Author Alice Ann Kuder writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her essays have been published in the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As the Telltale Scribe, Kuder interviews individuals from the Greatest Generation—those who grew up during the Depression, then survived World War II— and has written mini-biographies for their loved ones. She lives in Seattle with her dog, Tess.
About the Songwriter: Shari Kruse
As I was writing this story, I noticed that a love of music was becoming increasingly significant to my protagonist, Ali. When I realized that Ali’s evolution included successful efforts at songwriting, I got the inspiration to recruit the talents of a musician to create a soundtrack, of sorts, for the book. I was fortunate enough to find the perfect person for the challenge right in my own backyard.
Shari Kruse is a gifted singer/songwriter from Seattle, and I regard the four original songs she contributed as being intrinsic to this novel. Although Shari was not a muse for the character of Ali, she nevertheless seems to know her spirit intimately, as evidenced by these songs. In fact, the title of the novel, Since I Last Saw You, is taken—with permission—directly from the lyrics of Shari’s song, Since.
Someday I hope to be able to include the music as well as the lyrics of Shari’s songs in the body of the novel. Until then, you can find her recordings on the Gallery/Music page of this website, downloadable from SoundCloud.
I gratefully acknowledge Shari’s generosity in contributing the following:
“Lessons.” Words and music by Shari Kruse. © copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
“Since.” Words and music by Shari Kruse. © copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
“Waiting for the Rain.” Words and music by Shari Kruse. © copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
“Thanksgiving Song.” Words and music by Shari Kruse. © copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.