Add "enclave for authors" to Danville's many attributes. In addition to world-famous playwright Eugene O'Neill, whose 125th birthday was celebrated throughout September by the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, Danville is home to Wynne Dalley, author of books on manners for girls and guys, and Verna Mosquera, renowned throughout the international quilting community, whose debut book is "A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle."
Wynne, born in London, spent several years as a model before becoming director of modeling for the Lucie Clayton Grooming and Modeling School, so her etiquette expertise is "boots on the ground," so to speak. Her two books are titled "Be Cool & Confident: A Guide for Girls" and "Be Cool & Confident: A Guide for Guys." The guides include information on creating a good first impression, table manners, thank-you letters, nutrition and healthy eating, with specialized information for girls on makeup application, hairstyling and skin-care and the importance of a well-groomed appearance for guys.
"Manners come into everything," she told me. "Good manners are every bit as important as good looks. It comes down to self-esteem, taking good care of your skin and hair and nails, making eye contact and being ready to shake hands."
In the book description provided by Tell Me Press, Lucie Clayton says, "Wynne Dalley has been a colleague of mine in running what has become the most successful modeling and grooming school in Europe. She has produced some of our foremost models, and the advice she gives to the new generation is invaluable."
Eileen Ford, co-founder of Ford Models Inc., says "Wynne Dalley has been advising young people for many years both in the United States and London. The etiquette advice she gives will be invaluable to anyone lucky enough to have a copy of her book."
Wynne, her husband and two sons moved to the Bay Area in the late 1970s. Her husband was invited to do a creative writing course at UC Berkeley and they intended to stay for only a semester, but have been here ever since. She said she started the British School of Modeling in Walnut Creek almost immediately after arriving, which thrived on North Main Street into the mid-1980s.
Although the guides won't be available commercially until March, Wynne said she has some copies available now that she will personally inscribe. The price is $14 per book or $25 for the pair. For details, email email@example.com.
Mosquera is a quilt pattern designer and textile designer for FreeSpirit Fabric. Her book, "A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle," was published in June. It features 20 pieced and appliquéd projects for quilts, bags and more using patchwork, appliqué and embroidery techniques. Her company is The Vintage Spool, a virtual store featuring her patterns, fabrics and fabric kits (http://thevintagespool.com/).
"Every single piece of fabric in the book was designed by me, and the patterns and samples were designed by me," Verna said. "It's something I'm really proud of because it's a really good representation of who I am as an artist and a quilter. I get emails from all over the world from people who tell me they've been inspired by the designs, especially Vintage Valentine. I have a really loyal fan base."
Verna grew up in San Lorenzo and moved to Danville with her husband, Miguel, in 2004. Their two sons are 11 and 8. She finished high school at 16 in 1984, and graduated from UC Hayward with a special major, "Marketing the Arts." Following college, she traveled extensively, studying art in Florence for a year. She also lived in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she met Miguel.
"I've studied drawing, papermaking, bookbinding and ceramics," Verna said. "I learned to sew when I was a child. I took my first quilting class 17 years ago and was completely hooked. After about a year, I was asked to teach a class and built quite a following. I started designing projects and after my designs were shown at the International Quilt Market in Houston, held every year, my business just exploded. Running a business from home can be really tricky, but I've had help from my husband, who's an integral part of our success. I've been able to work in the boys' classroom and coach soccer. I loved coaching, and I still play soccer -- it's been a passion my whole life."
Verna conducts three workshops a year, each with a different theme and project. The autumn workshop is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 8-10 at the Alamo Women's Club and will feature her latest fabric design, "Billet-Doux," which arrived in stores in September. To sign up, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-314-1740.
Contact Georgia Lambert at email@example.com.