I was reared at Oxford Orphanage, now called The Masonic Home for Children, in Oxford, North Carolina. This is still my home and all the students who were there are my brothers and sisters. I spent twelve years there and am happy to call this place home.
We orphans are a different breed from other families. If you are not an orphan, growing up in an orphanage, you will find it hard to understand where we are coming from. We spend together and each year during our annual homecoming, we throw our love around like there's no tomorrow. At the hotel, we get together in the conference room on Saturday night, and you should hear the conversations. It is amazing to stop talking and look around at the brothers and sisters having a good time. There is not greater love than those of orphans who were brought up at Oxford Orphanage. We don't hesitate to hug and kiss one another like we we will never see each other again.
During my childhood I read probably all the books in the library at the orphanage. I do not have anyone who was a major influence on my writing ability. It comes to me naturally. We did not have writing classes at the orphanage school so I did not get the chance to see what I could accomplish as a child. I graduated from high school and then left to make my mark in the big, wide world.
I had planned to attend nurses training in Kannapolis, NC with the help of my grandfather but later learned that was not so. I was told to work for one year and save my money to get my nurses' degree. So I went to work in Raleigh, NC doing secretary work.
I met my husband and we dated for over a year and the education went nowhere. Falling in love was more important to me at that time and I did not want to leave for Kannapolis. I married my husband, Donald, in 1957 and as of now we have been married for 51 years. He is the love of my life and we have three wonderful children, two girls and one boy, who are very dear to me. I was a stay at home mom and went to work when my youngest daughter was in middle school. They have given me six beautiful grandchildren and four step grandchildren who are very special to me.
Writing became important to me after I got my first computer. Of course I was working at the time so I would stay up at night writing and then sleeping little before going to work. I retired from Air Products and Chemicals in 1997 and that is when I really started writing seriously.
Retirement is great for me because we moved to Southport, NC where I helped to raise my two granddaughters while their mother taught school and daddy worked as a technical engineer. After moving into my new home and getting one grandchild in school, I then babysat my youngest grandchild until she went to preschool. I do pick both girls up from school each day and they stay with me until their mom is able to pick them up. My oldest granddaughter wants to become a writer after watching me edit my book.
I picked up my book again after my youngest grandchild went to preschool and was determined to finish it, which I did and then I tried to find an agent to work with me with no success. Then I started looking for publishers and decided on Xlibris because of a friend who uses them to publish six novels. I published my first mystery novel, "Grains of Sand", in August of 2007.
I am now having book signings at the different book stores in the area. Hopefully I can get Barnes and Nobles to put my book on the shelves for others to see and buy. I am in the process of trying to work something out now.
My second book, "Branches of Life", is ready for publication. I will take it to the South Carolina Writer's Workshop, hoping it will be picked up by an agent, editor, or publishing company. I have entered several contests for the workshop but I will not know anything until the weekend of October 23-25th. I have an optimistic attitude that this book will be on shelves of bookstores in the year 2009.
The book deals with drug lords and a young lady who is trying to make it in the clothing design world, which takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina. The book takes you on a journey that is unsafe where drug lords live and hang out. As the story unfolds, it keeps you on your seat until the end. In the story I have relived some of my experiences in the orphanage which should be of interest.
I am now working on my third mystery which should be through within the year. I have named this book, "Run Amy Run". It deals with faking a death and being married to several women at the same time. There are several different twists and turns in the book and it should hold the attention until the last page.
Writing is a hobby that I enjoy very much. I use a tape recorder to remember things I want to write about. It has been very helpful because I was waking up during the night and having to write things down and then not go back to sleep. The most enjoyable time for me to write is in the wee hours of the morning. At that time I am not interrupted by the phone or doorbell ringing. I love the quietness of the room with my fingers typing away the thoughts going through by head to be used in my next book.
As I tell my grandchildren, reading is for knowledge and entertainment. My books are for entertainment and my older grandchildren have read "Grains of Sand" and enjoyed it very much. They tell me that they are proud of their 'gram'.
Since reading is important in my life, why don't we meet in the reading corner of the room and enjoy a good book