The Reason Behind Ring Around Reality

There’s a story behind my latest book Ring Around Reality.Although published in May of 2017, I originally wrote this book in 1980 and put it on a shelf in my closet. Frankly, I was intimidated by the manuscript. You see, even though I made Ring Around Reality a work of fiction, the book is based on my own struggle with alcoholism. My fiction is close to the actual truth, and I knew my family would figure out who was who and would be impacted by some of the revelations.

Then in 2014, within six weeks, I lost my older sister, my younger sister, and the man I loved. My grief was overwhelming and kept me from writing. In the spring of 2015, realizing that I was the last survivor of my original family, I took the original manuscript off the shelf and started an extensive rewrite.

I changed the title (the original was Ring Around the Rocking Chair which referred to the age of the protagonist’s parents) and concentrated on Diana Lossen’s story, illuminating other characters and their actions which, in turn, shaped Diana’s life. I changed names and occupations of some of the characters and I carefully crafted the story to keep the reader turning pages.

What I hope is that the story will, at the very least, cause non-alcoholics to question assumptions about alcoholics. Before I was affected, I used to think that true alcoholics were people who slept in the gutter, clutching a paper bag that contained a half-pint of whiskey. How they got to that point and where they were going didn’t much interest me. People I knew were social drinkers, myself included, or so I thought.

This is a story about how a person, believing she is a social drinker, gets into trouble, but doesn’t recognize drinking as the cause. Alcohol increasingly becomes a power over Diana’s life and denial becomes a way of life.

I won’t tell you what happens to Diana and spoil your reading of the book, but I will tell you I have been sober for forty-four years, so my story ends well, so far.

We live in a culture where drinking alcohol is an accepted and valued norm in life. I am happy for those who can drink sensibly and enjoy sharing a cup with friends; I can happily drink my water or soda and celebrate with them.


  1. Barbara Bauer says:

    This is not a comment about Kay’s latest book. It is an inquiry into my cousin Kay’s status and whereabouts regarding the tragic fires in Santa Rosa. It is my prayer that someone will see this and be able to get info to me. I do have Kay’s e-mail and will try that. I do not have Steven’s phone #. My prayers are for all the affected families and I am also praying for a good outcome from this post.
    PS–I am 2 books behind and must get busy and order same.

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