Five "Fun Facts"
  1. I’ve ridden atop a Rose Parade float, blowing bubbles, smiling, and saying “Happy New Year!” to 16 million people worldwide.
  2. I learned to read at age four and, because of this, was a reclusive child at family re-unions (no one missed me from the throng – I was actually reading a book on the couch the nearly-fifty the others crowded in front of).
  3. My father was the school’s principal while I attended school. I obeyed all of the rules until I discovered ‘talking to your neighbor’ in fourth grade. There wasn’t a boy willing to date me in high school… but when I got to college, it was ‘all good.’
  4. My first exercise was belly dancing, long before Jazzercise, Zumba, and workouts at the gym. I’ve always been a crafter, with an ever-evolving list, including jewelry making. Writing captured my full attention in 2010 and I’ve not flirted with another hobby since.
  5. I met my beloved husband at a chance meeting at the beer keg in a Grad House party at Purdue University. It was the Internet dating site of the mid-‘70s.

Meet PJ

I was born and raised in the Midwest, but unabashedly aspired for adventure elsewhere, following my parents’ model. Writing is my elegant hobby, post-career as a speech-language pathologist. While I adored my successful private practice, I prefer writing – if I don’t like a character’s behavior, I can hit delete!

I live in Southern California, where seasons seldom matter, where any promise can be conjured and fulfilled. I write while my husband watches TV sports—often. He’s glad that I didn’t choose to play the French Horn as a post-career hobby.

Writing is a silent sport.

My genre is commercial women’s fiction. I wrote a series titled Faith, Family, Frenzy! about the small town & rural Midwest. I know the characters and settings very well and my fertile imagination creates the plots. None of the escapades I create have happened to anyone anywhere, not even me.

Perhaps my series is a form of memoir…

I write humor and satire with a literary bent. Besides the four novels, I’ve published two short story anthologies and have a third in mind … I’m available to speak to your group or book club. I’m eager to engage with other writers and readers of my books.

I am having a blast!

Pj Colando’s

Awards & Associations

Get to Know Author PJ Colando

What is it about the art and craft of writing that you most enjoy?
While I adored my thirty-year career as a speech-language pathologist, especially because I had my own private practice, my practice’s focus was ‘terrible-two toddlers.’ With the advent of non-parenting parents, I endured a few facial slaps and a little cursing… When I began to write as a hobby in 2010, I soon liked writing more than working with toddlers. I closed my practice in 2012 without a whimper or look back, something my husband never imagined was possible.
What, to date, has been your richest or most fulfilling writing experience?
I wrote thousands and thousands of clinical reports when I was a speech-language pathologist. While some of them included fabulous fiction – to convince an insurer to pay – reports required strict distance and adherence to a form. With my writing I can write creative and free. I empower my writing with my extraordinary empathy—and am often able to write in first person close in convinces readers that the protagonist is me, when it is decidedly not. I apparently channel Joy and Pain well.
What will you be working on next?
An anthology of blog posts I’ve written in my eight years of applying myself to this corner of writing craft, using ‘Life as a Miracle’ as a theme. I feel privileged to have experienced incidents in my life which cannot be explained if one doesn’t accept the notion of miracles—and to recognize these gifts instantly. The theme is based on a famed Einstein quote: “There are only two ways to live life. To believe that everything is a miracle or else nothing is.”
Do you have a guiding credo or ‘north star?
“Do all the good you can, to every one you can, every way you can, every day you can as long as you ever can.” – John Wesley, the founder of my faith
Who, or what, inspired you to pursue writing?
Hindsight is 20/20, right? I now realize that I’m harnessing my mother, the English major’s dream. She was a homemaker with four children, a 50’s mom disallowed from even considering that dream. I also honor my father, a born smart-ass whippersnapper, a gift that mingles with my mother’s gift of writing talent.
Do you recall when you became a Writer?
Because my homemaker mother was busy, I recall her help with writing a story, using a picture prompt my wonderful third grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, had assigned. Mother washed and dried the dinner dishes (usually my task) while I stumbled with the assignment. She provided a metaphor which earned me an A the next day. Mrs. Johnson became my mentor, as well as my high school English teacher.
I also know my acceptance into a newly-formed Honors at Purdue University, known as a largely male agriculture-and engineering college. I am the student you hated because I didn’t labor over the papers required in college curriculum and always got an A.
Ha! I am also the Girl Scout who sold the most cookies, sold door-to-door back in the day.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Be willing to fail and don’t feel foolish when you do. Accept critique. Don’t argue. Embrace revision. And, never lose your sense of wonder.
Are there any genres you’d like to attempt that you’ve not yet ventured into?
This question makes me laugh. I wasn’t even aware of the genre of my work until recently. I think I’ve found a workable groove and I plan to stay in this rut. My genre is… loose with the truth. Isn’t that better than what other writers of fiction state “I lie for a living”?

“PJ Colando has a natural gift for characterization and a very good ‘dialogue ear’.”

– Mike Foley,
Writers Review

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PJ Colando

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