Alisha Berger Gorder is a wife, mom and author who lives in Easton, CT. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, Hartford Courant, The Patriot Ledge, and Easton Courier. Joy A Modern Fable is her first novel. Alisha grew up in Trumbull, CT and graduated from Trumbull High School. She moved back to CT in 2006 to raise her children 5 miles from where she grew up, first living in Black Rock and now Easton. She has been a writer, reporter, editor, short story write, content provider and content strategy consultant for more than 20 years. Read more below from our interview with Alisha!
Children / Age(s)
Anya is 16 and Leo, 12
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood.
That it makes you vulnerable for the rest of your life, because the love you carry for your children is so vast.
Favorite local things to do in Fairfield / Easton?
I love walking in the woods in Easton and Fairfield, picking blueberries at Aspetuck in the summer, watching critters and birds at the Audubon, riding my bike down quiet, winding lanes or along the beach. I am grateful for sunsets at any spot along the coast and love strolling with ice cream in hand through downtown Fairfield on a summer’s night with my family. Oh, and Greiser’s Coffee and Market in Easton. It’s just the most wonderful spot.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Easton?
Easton is a small town with fewer than 8,000 residents. Yet, the sense of community is large. We all show up for each other. It’s really quite beautiful in that regard.
Do you have a favorite family restaurant? Date night restaurant?
I recently rediscovered The Brick Walk Tavern. They have a wonderful curbside service that makes for a terrific at-home date night. I also love Sushi Hana, The Harborview Market in Black Rock, and the Nauti Dolphin.
What is your go-to activity for your family? For yourself?
We love to hike together, bike together, and picnic someplace beautiful whenever possible. Personally, I could spend every minute skiing big mountains. I love the challenge of it, the sun on my face in winter, and the crisp mount air. Conversely, I also love just throwing out a beach blanket and sleeping on the ground in the clumpy grass in my back yard in the summer.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Asking for help when I need it. I’m still working on that. But, it makes a difference when I manage to do it.
Name one thing you regret when learning the ropes of parenthood and what you learned from it.
I regret that I took it all so seriously. I was a lot less fun than I could have been.
How did you decide that this was the right career move for you while having a family to raise?
My office closed when Covid took off in March 2020. My husband’s office went fully remote. My kids went remote. I had a busy house, but miraculously, just enough time to publish Joy A Modern Fable. It took 18 months to write (pre-Covid), but then it sat in my computer in a sort of purgatory for nearly 8 years until I published it. The strangeness of the pandemic gave me the change to finally get it out in the world.
What gave you inspiration to write a book?
Writing a novel has been a lifelong goal. I always knew I was supposed to do it. I actually have lists of books I planned to write that date back to elementary school. So I’ve really been doing it my whole life. I wrote Joy A Modern Fable pre-Covid, and most of the writing took place on the go; during carpools, in the common space at the malls, at the library, in parking lots and at my kitchen table between my paying job, my mothering job, and my wife-ing job. And yet, despite all the other things I had to do, I got it done. I’m pleased that I was able to do it. It was really difficult to give myself permission to dedicate years to doing something that might never find its audience and for which I will most likely never be paid. To the other women out there who have stories to tell; Get them down! Share them. It is what you and I were meant to do.
Where can you buy your book, Joy A Modern Fable?
You can buy Joy A Modern Fable anywhere books are sold, including Barnes and Noble, and The Fairfield University Bookstore. Here is a link to the Amazon page where you can get an ebook for $7.99 and the paperback for $11.99. Book linked.
Tell us more about your book!
Joy is, at its core, a happy book. Life is so hard for so many of us right now. The world is uncertain. We are in a pandemic. This is a book about regular people of all ages who go through extraordinary things that lead to them seeing the beauty and the splendor around them. It’s a book about finding peace.
Joy tells the stories of 5 regular people who are transformed by the journey of one character in the book. His name is Marty Mendham and he is a philosophy professor. Someone leaves him a cup of coffee on his desk. And he feels great about it. He reflects on how good this anonymous act of kindness felt and he comes up with a theory: You can actually increase the amount of joy in the world, if you are mindful of others – if you are kind for no reason. He decides to test it. He asks his students to do something nice for a stranger for extra credit. Well, they all do it. And the random acts catch on and soon the whole nation is involved in being nicer, courtesy of Marty The Happiness GUY. And people are better for it.
The book is a modern fable. A fable is a short story with a moral ending. This one takes place in Black Rock, Trumbull, Bethel, Easton (Eastville) and Fairfield. There are other locations too. The moral is: Joy is all around us, if you take time to see it. It is a book about being kind and caring.
It’s very difficult to be present in any moment. There’s always so much to worry about. So much going on. What I’m trying to do is provide a lovely read that reminds us of the beauty around us. That reminds us that we are not alone. And, that by just stopping and seeing the people in front of us – and taking time to acknowledge them we are going to be just that much happier and content. I hope you’ll take a change on me.