A year and half ago, one of our very own SAGE Award winners, Sylvia Dickey Smith, left Austin and moved to Hot Springs, however, she maintains her membership with Sisters in Crime/Heart of Texas Chapter and stays in touch with several of our members. She reports that upon arriving in Hot Springs she discovered no formal organization of writers but found a whole host of folks either writing or wanting to learn to write. After a visit to Garland County Library, she and the director agreed to start a writer’s college and offer classes to the public. This went so well it wasn’t long before the Hot Springs Writers League was organized and off and running. This next spring HSWL will be participating for the first time in the local Arts In The Park, where for one week, the whole town celebrates the arts in any number of venues.
Many of you have read Sylvia’s mystery/fiction books: Dance On His Grave, Deadly Sins Deadly Secrets, Dead Wreckoning, The Swamp Whisperer and A War Of Her Own, or cooked a recipe out of Sassy Southern Classy Cajun: A Good Times Cookbook. However, Sylvia’s writing has taken a different turn. She has just published her latest, a contemporary novel called Original Cyn.
Sylvia says that writing Original Cyn pushed her harder and deeper than anything she has written to date. She didn’t want to write a book she’d already written. She didn’t want to write a book that simply entertained. She felt compelled to write a book that pushed the envelope. Something that made people think, that shoved her and her reader beyond their comfort zone, a book that raised questions—a small target to hit, right?
When a writer’s heart feels so led, the writer doesn’t have to find the story, Sylvia says, the story finds them, and then demands to be told, forbidding the author to blink when the going gets tough.
However, as Original Cyn took shape, she found herself shoved beyond her comfort zone into a story that pushes boundaries, some of which were hers, years ago. A book she
knew many might refuse to read—may judge her, may ostracize her. But write she did, and that was the easy part, the story told itself.
However, then came time to publish it—to put it out there for others to read. This required her to face her fears. Why? Because in her heart of hearts, she knew the time was right for this story to be told.
In fact, writing Original Cyn permitted Sylvia to hit a reset button in her life. “Something happened to me,” she says. “It left me hungry to listen to my soul-voice and to carry that over into any future writings.”
Original Cyn is available on Amazon.com either as hardcopy or Ebook.
Literary Agent Holly McClure wrote this for the book blurb:
“When I first started reading Original Cyn, I expected a typical story targeting ‘women of a certain age.’ After all, Cyn was at that stage in life when her son was leaving home. Her husband neglected her and obsessed over obeying the rules and living up to what his church expected of their pastor. Neglected and frustrated, Cyn deserved a romantic interlude, and the opportunity is hinted at. It wasn’t long before I realized this book was much deeper than that. I was hooked. The author took on a difficult subject and handled it with sensitivity and insight. Her characters survive the unthinkable, and grow. This timely story will open minds and hearts and keep you hooked right to the end.” ~Holly Sullivan McClure, Literary Agent & Published Author
Sylvia’s next project is a work of non-fiction entitled: Just Say It.
She invites communication with our members and says if you are ever in the neighborhood, to let her know. She will book you a speaking engagement or a writing class to teach!