By Stephen Stirling
A retired elementary school teacher, Lodico has self-published five books in the last year, and she has already got more planned.”I just sent another one in yesterday, Lodico said in an interview. “Then I'm planning to take a two-month break before I start my next project.”Lodico's latest three works, “The Ice Princess Triology,” a collection of poetry called “Poems of Joy and Praise to God” and a biography of British poet Robert Browning cover a broad spectrum of topics and were each published in the last year.”I've always loved to write since I was 11 years old. It's a wonderful way to express my feelings about life,” Lodico said. “I also like to create characters. I find that it's a very relaxing hobby. It's a way to get away sometimes from the tedium of reality.”For the “Ice Princess Trilogy,” Lodico used her favorite subject as her muse: her family. The collection of children's stories chronicles the life of Princess Deidre and her eccentric family. Lodico said each of the characters in the stories are taken from members of her extended family, creating an interesting dinner conversation come holiday time.”Everyone in my family is really satirized in this story,” she said. “It's cute. My family were asking me if when I do the next story if I'm going to include each of them. So naturally I'm going to be doing a sequel soon.”For her collection of poetry, Lodico said she wanted to put something out that gave people hope and optimism for the future.”Poetry is just a catharsis,” she said. “I love the sounds of words and rhythms. It would be nice to write a poem every couple of days.”The biography of Robert Browning evolved from a thesis paper Lodico completed while in college. She said researching the life of a poet that she highly revered opened her eyes.”People come alive when you really read and research their lives,” she said. “You come to a kernel of truth about that person that you wouldn't have otherwise. It gives you a new perspective.”Asked about her prolific streak of writing, Lodico said she has always wanted to publish books but did not have the time until she retired.”I feel it's very hard to find the time to do this when you're young and working at your profession. I didn't really have time for anything extensive,” she said.While she has considered shopping her stories to publishers, she touts the control and comfort in self-publishing.”This way I have complete copyright to everything I write. When you work so hard on something, you want to know that it's going to come out the way you want,” she said.Lodico's books are available at several online bookstores, including http:www.amazon.com. Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.