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He Quit Rat Race Only to Profit From Books About Money : Larry Chambers moved to Ojai to change his life. But he's ended up becoming a literary expert on investing.

March 24, 1994|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Larry Chambers lives in Ojai, the tiny city with the peaceful aura, and writes books and articles about Wall Street, the frantic hub of the financial universe.

Chambers settled in Ojai four years ago to "significantly change his life and do something that wasn't centered around making money," he says. He decided to be a writer and now earns a living producing books specifically about making money. Co-authored with Kenn Miller, the new paperback edition of "The First Time Investor--How to Start Safe, Invest Smart and Sleep Well!" was picked as a Fortune Magazine selection for the Book of the Month Club's August '94 list.

Chambers and Miller met as soldiers in Vietnam. They use military metaphors in the book, comparing finding investments to gathering intelligence on enemy forces.

Chambers exorcised his Vietnam ghosts in "Recondo," published two years ago by Ballantine/Ivy, in which he describes his war experiences in graphic detail. He is now working on "The Bank Customer's Guide to Safe and Smart Investing," with Jeffrey H. Champlin, and has signed with Irwin Professional Publishing to write "Asset Class Investing," a book for the everyday investor.

The man who wanted to get away from it all is also editor-at-large for financial planning at Wall Street magazine and has completed a screenplay making the rounds in Hollywood.

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You may still be able to attend the "Writing the Story of Your Life" workshop, which begins today at 6:30 p.m. at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road. Michael Foley conducts the onetime class for people interested in creating a written record of their personal journey. Bring paper, pen and a head full of memories. The fee is $38. Call 654-6459.

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Camarillo resident Gypsy Boots, the 83-year-old original nature boy, ageless athlete and personality about town, has penned a new book, "The Gypsy in Me." In it he chronicles a life dedicated to healthful eating and exercise. Gypsy's fast verbal patter and physical high jinks have been heard and seen on radio and television shows from Milton Berle's days to "The Tonight Show." Join Gypsy and health lecturer Charlie Fox at a reception from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in The Phantom Bookshop, 451 E. Main St., Ventura. Samples of honeydates and Kyolic garlic will be offered. No vampires at this soiree.

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Thomas Davis, whose first book "Suffer Little Children" earned a Shamus Award, will sign "Murdered Sleep" at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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Happy birthday, Port Hueneme, which incorporated March 24, 1948. Wene'mu, the origin of the city's present name, means resting or sleeping place, and may also have been the name of a legendary princess, according to the Ventura County and Coast Almanac.

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