More About the Author
AN ACCIDENTAL AUTHOR
It began as a mundane task of cleaning out my filing cabinet. I happened upon a humorous anecdote I had written when my son was sixteen years old. He had asked me a question pertaining to sex that had struck me as funny. Since we Southerners have a penchant for turning ordinary happenings into entertainment, I had written an anecdote about it. My husband and daughter were sitting in the room so I read this anecdote to them and they looked at me with their mouths agape and said, "Honey/Mom, that is really funny!" The truth is they were amazed I could write something other than thank you notes.
A few days later, I was telling one of my oft repeated stories and my husband said to me in exasperation, "Why don't you write this stuff down?" The Scarlett O'Hara in me, who loves nothing more than a good challenge, surfaced and these two occurrences spurred me to action. Why not write some of these tales down for my children as a Christmas gift? I had a quest.
Since I had been raised by a Southern father and grandmother of uncommon wit, the fabric of my childhood was laced with humor. When I finally put pen to paper, the stories flowed as freely as water drops on a rainy day. The tales would surface in the quiet of church, where it seems much of my book was written on the back of offering envelopes. It would probably be best if my preacher never discovered this little fact. One day I was thirty minutes late picking my daughter up from the airport, where she was perched on her suitcase, hands in face. I had pulled over to the side of the road to write. When I surfaced from this rain storm of writing, I realized I had actually written a book!
With the encouragement and mentoring of two wonderful Southern authors, I began the arduous journey into the world of manuscripts and rejection letters. I had armed myself by reading everything I could on publishing and growing a thick skin, but the rejection letters were growing faster than my skin. Then, miraculously, thirty-one months and fourteen rejection letters later, Miss Hildreth Wore Brown-Anecdotes of a Southern Belle was published by an independent New York publisher.
Lives have many forks in the road, but this was a U-turn in mine. The world of marketing a book has taken me down many new paths. My readers have made the lost sleep, uncertainty, and long hours worth it all. I have made new friends and renewed old friendships. I have found family I never knew existed. Every time a reader tells me they laughed at my words, my soul smiles. I have been in love with the written word as long as I can remember and to use it to bring pleasure to others is the greatest pleasure of all.
Olivia deBelle Byrd is a self-proclaimed Southern Belle who resides in Panama City, Florida, with her husband, Tommy. She is the author of Save My Place & Miss Hildreth Wore Brown--Anecdotes of a Southern Belle.