A life coach begins a new chapter by publishing her first novel. It’s marketed as a YA book, but she hopes to reach all ages. | Literature
Glodean Champion moved to Monterey in September 2018 because it is the second best place in the world. Well, technically for work – “to be closer to my clients,” she says. “If Disneyland is the first best place, Monterey is the second. People come here for the holidays. There are happy vibrations everywhere.
“I’m looking at the ocean right now,” Champion says from his apartment overlooking Del Monte Beach. “Do I have to add anything else?” “
Prior to moving to Monterey County, Champion worked as a life coach, with clients in cities such as San Francisco and Oakland, but also Salinas. (Covid-19 helped his business after the move as customer meetings migrated online.)
In 2006, Champion wrote a short story. She realized that she loved writing in college, and she earned a master’s degree in writing from California College of the Arts. She even published the 2006 story in an anthology. But it wasn’t until 15 years later that the story turned into a novel, which was published by Black Muse Publishing, a self-founded company, on March 24.
Salmon Croquettes explores both the personal and the political as the main character, 12-year-old Zayla, navigates her own development against the backdrop of a bustling community. Set in an environment of racism and daily police brutality, bustling Watts, Los Angeles comes alive as Zayla comes of age. She discovers that her first sexual feelings lead her to love another girl first. She also grapples with the confusion of feeling like a boy in a girl’s body.
“Imagine you have a parent who accepts the situation,” says Champion, “and another who doesn’t. The story is for anyone who is going through some kind of struggle.
This relativity is also transverse to all age groups, she says; Although the book is marketed as Young Adult Literature (YA), Champion notes that it receives “very good reviews” in all age groups. (She’s hoping for a larger audience for the book, even though the main character is 12 years old.)
Literature is a new area of exploration for Champion, who has years of professional experience as a coach and speaker. She has already made a leap into self-employment; a year after moving to Monterey, she quit working for companies and started coaching on her own.
Champion is also a former high school teacher and college teacher. She’s working on a Salmon Cakes sequel and memoir, Tough Love: Sh * t My Momma Used to Say, based on her mother, Frances Champion, and the “incredible intention” her mother put into her upbringing.