Author Dana Grae Kane – Close Encounter on Gough Street


Dana Grae Kane, author, editor, ghostwriter, foreign language diction coach, tobacco pipe aficionado, pet-sitter, philanthropist and advocate of the homeless both human and four-legged, and more, enjoyed a close encounter with longtime family friend Stephen K. Peeples on May 24, 2023.

They spoke at length over lunch in the atrium outside her cozy apartment on Gough Street in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights district.

Born in July 1945 in Bend, Oregon, to a pioneer family, and raised in Portland, the multi-hyphenate Kane is an inspiration to almost everyone who meets her. She’s an indomitable spirit who spent much of her adulthood dealing with extreme challenges – mainly her Hollywood record executive husband Paul Kane’s poor health and a six-figure medical bill – with creativity and unflagging enthusiasm for life.

“My husband was uninsured, so I had to make money fast,” she said in a conversation with Oregon Coast TODAY editor Gretchen Ammerman. “Ghostwriting for people who are desperate is like a cross between being a prostitute and an art forger.” But she knew how to deliver top-notch work against impossible deadlines, and there seemed to be no shortage of desperate writers on deadline in Hollywood.

Dana Grae started writing in second grade; at age 7, she won a writing contest with a poem. “It apparently impressed the judges,” she told Ammerman, “because I became a ‘poster child’ for a Ford Foundation/Stanford Research Institute experimental program to introduce foreign language education into Oregon public elementary schools.”

“Ford/Stanford gave me the job because I could function competently under pressure at that age in front of a live TV audience without screwing up,” Kane added in an email.

She grew to be a consummate storyteller whose writing combines her command of English (she is also functionally literate in French, Spanish, Italian, and German) with a sharp sense of humor and a colorful, cinematic narrative style that makes even the tough parts fun to read.

To wit: her 2014 book “The Castle Gargoyle: A Hollyweird Memoir,” written seven years after her husband’s death.

Further proof: her contributions to Oregon Coast TODAY magazine.

Kane and Her First Peeples Encounter

In the early 1970s, Kane was a colleague of Peeples’ mother, Joan S. Peeples, at Dart Industries in Los Angeles. The women were both highly over-qualified executive secretaries for the company, then the parent of the Rexall drugstore chain. Kane was also close friends with Joan’s UCLA grad-school-attending husband, Bill Peeples, as well as Stephen and his younger sister Ruth.

Dana was with the Peeples family when Joan died on June 21, 1974, after a prolonged battle with cancer.

The author with The Author, Gough Street, San Francisco, May 24, 2023.

“Since I finished paying the medical bills and began writing for Oregon Coast TODAY, I have donated all my fees to animal shelters, the SPCA and Humane Society, as I did with the fees from my retirement business, pet sitting,” Kane said in her email.

“I fancifully envision my IPO, funded by major animal rights venture capitalists,” she told Ammerman. “It can be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as Pee, Poop & Scoop, Inc.”

Kane talks about all the above and shares lots more fascinating stories from her colorful life in these four clips.

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Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated multi-media writer-producer and award-winning radio/record-industry veteran raised in Miami and Los Angeles by career newspaper journalists and music lovers. Based in Santa Clarita, just north of L.A., Peeples wrapped a 45-year media career in 2021 to work on book projects and the occasional post. See the “Stephen K. Peeples” page on his website. You’ll find more original stories and exclusive interviews posted there and on his YouTube channel.

Article: Author Dana Grae Kane – Close Encounter on Gough Street
Category: News and Reviews
Author: Stephen K. Peeples
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