Write My Name on the Sky
Against a backdrop of 1960s and 70s Los Angeles, 19-year-old Kate Prescott finds her soul mate in art student Jack Morrison, a man who understands her yearning to do something important with her life. Where Kate’s ambitions are vague, Jack’s are razor-sharp: become a famous artist.
They marry, and, as Jack Morrison’s wife, Kate falls under the spell of the art world and helps Jack realize his dream. However, social change is afoot in the business world where Kate earns a living, and as she progresses up the corporate ladder, her own ambitions crystallize: this is where she belongs.
Inevitably, as Jack’s star rises, his priorities clash with Kate’s. The consequences force Kate to confront the possibility of a life where she’s no longer Jack Morrison’s wife, and to face the deeper challenge of who she might truly be.
PRAISE FROM FELLOW AUTHORS
"Schroeder deftly intertwines the lives of characters, the era in which they live and the different worlds they inhabit with honesty and skill.”
Miko Johnston, author of the Petal in the Wind series
“Write My Name on the Sky has everything I love in a novel: a heroine who jumps headlong into a risky, exciting world, sensitively-drawn characters and a story that keeps me reading long after the light should be out.”
Janet Aird, author of Now I Remember I Love You
“An evocative, poignant and even cautionary tale for those who love the art world and the artists who devote their lives to their craft. Schroeder knows this world, and brings her readers inside for a riveting ride.”
Heather Ames, author of the Indelible mystery/suspense series
ABOUT THE BOOK
Write My Name on the Sky was inspired in part by my own experiences.
I was married to an artist in the 60s and 70s, and that was a particularly vibrant time for the art scene in Los Angeles. The brand-new L.A. County Museum of Art opened on Wilshire Boulevard in 1965 (having previously been housed as part of the Museum of Natural History in Exposition Park) and a lot of focus was shifting from New York to L.A., with galleries on La Cienega holding Monday-night “Art Walks” to display their collections.
I found the art scene fascinating, if a little pretentious, and as a non-artist, much like Kate in the novel, I often found myself on the outside, looking in. It took decades before I was able to distance myself enough to portray that world in fictional form—and it is heavily fictionalized in this novel, as are Kate’s adventures in the business world.
The novel spans a huge amount of time, from 1968 to 2000, and because my memory of the 60s and 70s is a bit hazy, I relied heavily on the internet, and the Los Angeles Times archives, for many facts. What did people wear in those days? What movies were playing? What model car would Kate drive? Did policemen have name tags on their uniforms? Who was the President? What did people talk about? I tracked the answers down carefully, because I didn’t want my readers to think, “Oh no, that’s just wrong,” and slam the book shut.
The Women’s Movement of the 60s and 70s plays a role in the story too. Cracks were forming in the Glass Ceiling as Kate began her career, and the novel is ultimately a story of one woman’s quest for independence and self-esteem, at a time when new possibilities were opening up for women in the business world.
The book’s title is a metaphor for ambition and its dark side. Many of the characters in the novel are wildly ambitious—and ambition often drives success, but at a cost, which comes out as the story progresses.
All names have been changed to protect both innocent and guilty, of course, and most of the story comes purely from my imagination, but I think it’s grounded enough in reality to make it believable—and, I hope, entertaining to read.