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El Dorado Hills author turns to cycling for exercise

By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA - Carolyn Newcomer is an El Dorado Hills mother, author, interior designer, biker and more. She’s the author of the Barf’s Books, a series of children’s books that are not only entertaining but also teach children about lifelong lessons such as kindness, friendship, teamwork and compassion. Her next book signing is coming up at the Folsom Costco in October. What do you love about your job? I love the flexibility of my work, as well as the creative outlet it provides. While working with many different clients, I have met a lot of wonderful and interesting people. Story telling is another creative outlet; however I can’t really claim a true passion for writing. “Barf’s First Flight — Lessons in Helping Others” was a crazy idea that I couldn’t let go of. Where did you get your inspiration for your first book? My inspiration came from my three children while traveling aboard a flight from Sacramento to Palm Springs My oldest, (who was 10 at the time) decided to make a “scene” with the airplane airsick bag. After having recovered from total embarrassment, I found the humor in the incident and decided that writing about the adventures of an airsick bag to be a hysterical idea. How long did it take you to write and publish the book? Writing the book did not take long at all. The story simply flowed right from my imagination straight to the keyboards. However, the publishing process did take quite a while with editing and rewrites. In addition, the illustrator, Andrea Raschke and I initially had difficulty communicating with one another since she is not originally from the United States. At first she did not know what an airplane sickbag was and it was lost in translation. We eventually resorted to communicating through e-mails, where in detail, I asked her to sketch an empty upside down Starbuck’s coffee bag. She understood. What are some of your favorite vacation spots? My family spends almost every summer in Sun River, Oregon. It is a beautiful place for cycling, golfing, hiking, rafting. There is something fun for everyone. We also have spent quite a bit of time in the Caribbean and Yucatan Peninsula. What are some interesting things that have happened to you? Writing the book has given me many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that I never imagine would have happened. I was presented with a television interview, several book signings at Border’s, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Fairytale Town, and many schools. Reading the story to the elementary school kids was by far the most fun experience of all. The kids responded to the story by laughing at all the right places, and I was given a chance to let loose and act silly with them. Tell us about your family. My children are now 21, 18 and 15. My oldest son, (Barf’s true creator) is attending Folsom Lake College and works at BJs restaurant. My daughter is starting her senior year at St. Francis High School. And my youngest son has just started his high school years at Oak Ridge in El Dorado Hills. We also have two dogs. What hobbies do you have? My favorite hobby is cycling and I currently ride with a wonderful group of women that refer to themselves as the Bodacious Biking Babes. There are 50 of us in the group. We ride regularly during the year, and in the fall we ride over a 140 miles for three days for “Breathe California of Sacramento”. It is a non-profit organization that educates young kids on the dangers of smoking, as well as the importance of clean air. Do you support other charities? I support a charitable group called The Center for Violence Free Relationships. They are dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual assault and domestic violence through education, advocacy and services in western El Dorado County. What is one thing about you that would people might be surprised to learn? I was the house cook for a fraternity while attending college. It was a great part-time job. The freshmen pledges had to do all the slicing, dicing and clean up. I simply created the week’s menu and prepared the dinner meals. As far as I know only one of my recipes ended up in a food fight. It was a lot of fun and a great way to get to know the guys while they were sober. Of what are you most proud? I am most proud of my family. My husband and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this fall. Hopefully a romantic bicycling trip will be involved. My three kids are becoming wonderful people. They are kind, responsible, thoughtful and compassionate. (Maybe not to each other, but to the rest of the world they are.) It is a joy to be their mom.