But hold on to your platforms because today Summer is back, and she’s workin’ hard for the money. She’s released a new CD, The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer, which is a two-disc retrospective featuring two new songs. Her autobiography “Ordinary Girl: The Journey” is on bookstore shelves. And she’s also working on turning her life story, fittingly, into a Broadway musical.
p.s.: At this point in your career, how do you define yourself?
Donna Summer: At this stage, I believe I am a renaissance woman (singer, actress, writer, painter), in the truest sense of the word. I am 55 years old. I would be hard-pressed to define my life in any other way.
Tell us how your new book evolved.
It didn’t start off as an autobiography. I was writing a story about a woman and her adventures in Europe in the 1960s. But the more I wrote, the more the story looked a lot like my own. And as I continued writing, I realized I had a lot to say about my life, a lot I needed to say.
Are there any nuggets that may surprise your fans?
If I had to say one thing, it would be that I used to wet the bed. To say that publicly took a lot of energy and effort. There were definitely things in the book that I was not comfortable with, things that were hard to reveal about myself.
What do you want readers to come away with?
Knowing that the point of life is to learn from our mistakes and to recover. You have to recognize the resilience of the human spirit. It’s all about loving life, and moving forward and not letting things in your past hold you back. I hope people are inspired by this book.
When you’re not writing or singing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Right now, I am doing a lot of decorating. We live in a pretty cool place. It’s like a French chalet sitting on 25 acres. It’s very pleasant, not pompous. I am spending a good deal of time trying to organize the closets and decorate the bedrooms. I like to think it’s casually elegant, like myself.
Do you still paint?
Yes. I paint because it’s a way for me to be creative all by myself. Nobody has anything to say about my creations—no record company, no management, just me. It’s the only place I can somewhat be myself; it gives me a chance to get inside myself.
Where are you now in the journey of your life?
I think that I am headed up a mountain. I would say I am halfway to the top. I feel that as a creative person, I have opened a lot of doors, but there are still more doors to be opened.