Trendsetter to Know: Author, Traveler, and Inn Keeper Dave O. Dodge

Name: Dave O. Dodge 

Twitter: @DaveODodge 

Facebook: @dave.o.dodge

Instagram: @the_seasons_of_grace

Website: www.daveododge.comwww.meridabnb.com 

Age: A very young 63 

Title: Traveler | Inn Keeper | Author of “The Seasons of Grace”  

Married/Single: Married  

Kids: 0 naturally, but two wonderful kids by marriage and two beautiful granddaughters, wow I have never written that, ever! I must be old and sentimental. 

City you live in: Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 

A typical day in my life includes… Life in Merida is near perfect, the weather, the food and the relaxing way of life creates a fulfilling day. After a daily run, laps in the pool and lots of locally sourced coffee my day begins. As an inn keeper I am the morning chef, serving a 3-course breakfast to our guests, either in the dining room or pool side. Ochenta y Dos [an urban bed & breakfast & spa] is the creation of myself and husband, it requires daily tasks, from staff supervision, menu creations to mixing a cocktail or two. Hospitality is a grueling endeavor but throw in a massage, a margarita and I can continue with my day. When I do make it to my office, I of course, sign on to Facebook, that is where all the information I need is. Old people still use Facebook and that’s ok. I skim the other social sites, but not with my inner investigator skills as I do on Facebook. There is no dirt in “reels.”  As a writer I try to write something every day, and as a novelist I try to promote my book every day.   

I was born… in Franklin, New Hampshire. That is in New England, not Merry Ole England. 

My favorite thing about Arizona… When I arrived, it was still the wild –wild west. Coming from the east coast where everything has been done, Arizona was a land of marketing, events and nonprofit opportunity. My favorite thing was, in Phoenix, my creativity was not stifled and many benefitted from my talents and endeavors.  

I’m listening to… No laughing, but have you heard of Joan Baez? Diana Krall and Eva Cassidy make the list as well.  

My family… My family in Mexico is my supportive husband of almost 20 years together. Patrick enables me to think outside the box continuously as I reinvent myself every few years and take him along for the ride! He says OK, now that space travel is opening up, perhaps a colony on Mars is in our future.  Also, I have five rescue dogs all from the U.S. but one local street dog that followed me home one day after a morning run! What’s one more? Mini, Max, Mario, MO and now Milo make up the cluster.  

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… The protagonist from my first novel, “The Seasons of Grace.” Her name was Grace Metalious and has long since passed. She was a force to be reckoned with, something I can totally identify with.  Her writings inspired me to write her life story with as much grit as I could find.  

One thing I cannot live without… Peanut Butter M&Ms, which ironically are not found south of the border. I have to bribe guests and friends to bring them down. Luckily, airport security dogs are unaware of their smell. It must be the hard-shell candy coating!  

When I was younger, I wanted to be…Writer, World Traveler, Expat   

I’m inspired by… Creative thought! So many times, people are afraid to think outside the box, to take a risk, to fail! Create your own destiny, manage your own success. Words to live by, and I do daily! 

The one person who motivates me is… Kay McDonald of Charity Charms in Phoenix. A true woman in business: creative, empowering, innovative, very supportive and makes a beautiful Pavlova.  

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… Where should I start? Global warming, world peace, food insecurities, I cannot pin it down. But If I had to, education through travel will make the world a much better place. Open your eyes people, your world can be as big as you want! 

The perfect day would be… well, selfishly it would be near perfect when I saw my novel: “The Seasons of Grace: The Unauthorized Backstory of Peyton Place” on the New York Times Bestseller List and the phone rang and it was Hulu. That is a day I would welcome.  

My first job was… As a very old 11-year-old, I worked in a country store in New Hampshire sweeping floors, stocking canned goods, filling the penny candy case, and eavesdropping on the townies that sat in the booths sipping coffee and eating steamed dogs. That was my Facebook at the time, not much has changed.  Ha Ha   

My favorite escape… On the west coast of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca, are some of the finest beaches in the world, and I have seen lots of them. Zipolite is my go-to-place for total immersion into all things bohemian. 

My life… ummm? My life is not complete; I feel once those words escape my lips the grim reaper will be knocking. I never go on a trip without another one already booked for after I return. If you always have a plan then your life continues, evolves and becomes another adventure.  

I’m currently working on… I love saying this, I thought I never would. I am working on another novel. “Betty: A Life Interrupted.” The story of Betty Hill’s extraterrestrial life.  Like Grace Metalious, Betty is another interesting woman from New Hampshire. Google her, she was quite the character.   

Always… frank, always interested, and always loyal.

Never… had a hotdog or a hamburger, and I never, say never, as a rule.  

Favorite Quote…  ”Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it do, or GO without!” 

My Pet Peeve(s)… Mouth noises, it’s amazing how many people forget manners and how to chew their food. There I said it. Can’t take it back.  

Biggest Dream… One day when I accept a national award for screenwriting, I can use that platform to inspire kids in some small town everywhere who without many opportunities that the “The big ball of wax,” is out there, ready for the taking. No one can stop you.

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Rachel Kaplan

Meet local author and dog lover who donates the proceeds of her book sales to Foothills Animal Rescue where she adopted her pup, Smokey. Her story about Smokey is currently in the running for FUREVER USA’s Rescued Heroes World Tour, which aims to raise awareness and highlight the importance of rescue dogs.