In 1983, thanks to a childhood connection, my husband Richard and I had an incredible employment situation land in our laps. We spent eighteen months living in the bottom floor of one wing of a stunning mansion in Costa Rica, all expenses paid plus a salary. The characters and locales we encountered during this experience were sublime in providing rich fodder for great stories, and Costa Rica itself is such a playful, eccentric, beautiful, and enchanting entity that it deserves all the recognition and attention it receives.
My first novel, The Last Good Fairy, first published as a limited collector’s edition, won a New England Book Show Award for excellence in book design. That title and a linked collection of stories that take place during an out-of-control wildfire, Altar of Fire, are currently available on Kindle. My children’s book, The Legend of the Flying Hotdog, a fable about the power of kindness, was published by Green Tiger Press (Simon & Schuster), selected as one of the Best Kids’ Books of the year by Parents magazine, and optioned for film. I served as editor-in-chief for the literary magazine, The Hot Air Quarterly, for several years, and I obtained my formal education in creative writing at Wellesley College, where I graduated a Wellesley Scholar.
Times were looking bleak after a year of unemployment for author Celeste White and her husband Richard. But a phone call from Richard’s fairy godmother, a wealthy heiress who offered them a dream job in Costa Rica, completely changed their fortune. The story takes place during 1983 and 1984, during which time they lived next door to Commander Zero, leader of the Contras who were waging a counter-revolutionary war against the Sandanistas in neighboring Nicaragua. Before television had become widespread in the country, before the first high rise hotel was built in Costa Rica, before zip lines—even telephones and gas stations—were installed in the cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica existed as it had for generations of happy, proud residents. Crazy Good Fortune offers a cornucopia of magical, delightful, and often hilarious experiences, populated by characters you will never forget. An intimate, affectionate portrait of a country and a people.