Local author publishes collection of short stories

elaine-medosch.jpgBy Nick Diamantides
Staff Writer

One of the stories in Z. Kelley’s new book begins with these words: “One summer morning a woman went out to walk the dog and returned home a millionaire. What was significant was not that she, a newly recovered alcoholic, redeemed the lottery ticket at B&B Liquors, but that, for 23 years, she told no one about the winnings. Not her family. Not her friends.”
Blue Lawn of Heaven, a collection of short stories, was created by a writer known to many people in Long Beach. Elaine Medosch, formerly a staff writer for the Signal Tribune and city editor for the Long Beach Business Journal, and reporter for several other local newspapers, announced her book’s publication last month.
Medosch earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University and a juris doctorate from Western State University College of Law. She currently owns a freelance writing service called e m enterprises but writes fiction under the nom de plume Z. Kelley. Using that name, she has written two novels and has published several short stories in literary journals.
She wrote the stories in Blue Lawn of Heaven over a 10-year period. The tales are about normal people in extraordinary situations. The title story, “Blue Lawn of Heaven”, concerns a wealthy man who, of course, desires the one thing he can never have. Another story, “The Happiness of Trees,” concerns a young Quaker girl who spends hours in an oak tree during the American Revolutionary War. Unseen by the soldiers below, she hears the war’s secret stories.
Medosch said she decided to use a pen name for two reasons. “Fiction writing is an alter-ego type of thing,” she explained, noting that Z. Kelley can write things that Elaine Medosch might be reluctant to say.
“I also decided on ‘Z. Kelley’ because publishers look for things that are hip, slick and cool,” she said, adding that Kelley was her maternal grandmother’s maiden name.
The author noted that about 12 years ago, she began writing pages in a journal first thing in the morning. “When I started doing that, I began having vivid memories of some of my dreams,” she said. “Most of the stories in the book are based on my dreams.” She added that several of the stories have hidden meanings that she herself has not yet figured out.
New York Times best selling author Elizabeth George had this to say about Blue Lawn of Heaven: “These are charming and lyrical short stories that explore the human condition with a light and often whimsical touch. A good read.”
Two weeks ago, Medosch and her husband, former Long Beach City Councilman Ray Grabinski, hosted a book signing party at their California Heights home. The gathering included several current city council members, harbor commissioners and business leaders from the region. About 80 people came to the event.
“I was glad to see so many of my wonderful friends coming to express their support for the success of this book,” Medosch said.
To purchase a copy of Blue Lawn of Heaven, click on www.amazon.com.

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