Three of the six featured authors, left to right, Gayle Brandeis, Mary Castillo, and Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, moderator, will participate in the Laguna Playhouse Woman's "Memorable Conversations with Six Celebrated Authors" to benefit the Laguna Playhouse. (Don Leach, Coastline Pilot / October 9, 2013)

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As Shakespeare famously said, all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. The half-dozen women who will star at the Laguna Playhouse on Oct. 21 have chosen a particularly difficult part — one that flutters in and out of the spotlight, with no understudy and plenty of lines to master.

Still, when the spotlight does gleam and the audience sits rapt, all that toil becomes worthwhile.

For the third straight year, the Playhouse Women, a support group formed in 2007, is hosting an authors event to raise funds for the playhouse. The theater rounded up a group of authors from the "Orange County Noir" fiction anthology in 2011 and netted novelist Dean Koontz last year.

This time, moderator Barbara DeMarco-Barrett will join five other authors — Gayle Brandeis, Mary Castillo, Alison Singh Gee, Jo-Ann Mapson and Tatjana Soli — in a discussion of the literary life. The event, titled "Memorable Conversations with Six Celebrated Authors," features hors d'oeuvres from Muldoon's Irish Pub along with a book signing.

"We are looking forward to everybody coming and seeing six wonderful writers from our community," said Ilona Martin, a member of the Playhouse Women and one of the event's organizers.

With six diverse authors onstage, there ought to be plenty of inspiration for visiting writers. And for a preview, the "Memorable Conversations" team consented to filling out a questionnaire for the Coastline Pilot. Here's the breakdown on each of the headliners:

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Gayle Brandeis

City of residence: Riverside

Genres: Fiction, essays, poetry, memoir

Titles you may have read: "The Book of Dead Birds," "My Life with the Lincolns," "Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write"

You may have also seen her: Teaching in the master of fine arts in Creative Writing program at Antioch University and serving a current two-year appointment as Inlandia Literary Laureate.

Top advice for starting writers: "Stay open — your senses, your mind, your heart. It's how inspiration gets in. Get out of your own way."

Least favorite question to be asked about writing: "I honestly don't have a least favorite question about writing other than maybe, 'How much money do you make as a writer?' because the answer is depressing to both me and the one asking."

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Mary Castillo

City of residence: Newport Beach

Genres: Mystery (paranormal and otherwise) and romantic comedy

Titles you may have read: "Girl in the Mist," "Lost in the Light," "Hot Tamara"

You may have also seen her: Doing public relations for The Lab Antimall and The Camp, alternative malls in Costa Mesa, among clients.