A collection of short stories all taking place between 1940 and 1980 and set in India, England, Ireland and the U.S., the book depicts vignettes of different women of different ages — though it’s not a coincidence that all the featured locales figure big in the author’s life. The stories themselves are not autobiographical, but moments in Ring’s life can often be found at their core.
“I just took instances from my life and embellished them — dramatized them if you like,” she said. “The stories in the book really came from my imagination rather than real life — although I did, of course, use certain circumstances, places and people as props.”
A native of London, England, who spent part of her childhood in India, Ring arrived here in the early 1960s.
“I left London in the dim and distant past. I remember it was raining when I left so the contrast when I first saw La Jolla was incredible, as you can imagine,” Ring said. “But it was also a shock because I was used to the hustle and bustle of everyday life in London and by comparison La Jolla was like a little village in the heart of the English countryside.”
Her time spent in India as a child — her father’s regiment was stationed there — is indelibly etched in her mind. It was also the place where she was first bitten by the writing bug.
“When we left India I was 9 years old, so you see the memories I have of living in India are still very vivid,” she said. “I remember writing little poems when I was at school in India and certainly by the age of 14 I was writing little stories.”
Until fairly recently, Ring has never bothered to save much of her work — “I just chucked them out,” she said. She did, however, hold on to the stories that comprise “A Summer in the Hills,” and seeing them in print, she said, provided a much-needed sense of relief, “because I’d been carrying them around in my head for years and they got in the way when I was trying to write other things. So now they are out of my head and into a book and I can go on to other things.”
Ring will discuss and sign her book at Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Ave., during the bookstore’s “Weekend with Locals” event on Sunday, Feb. 24 from noon to 2 p.m. For more information or to find other “Weekend with Locals” events, visit www.warwicks.com.