Why do I write? Why does a painter paint and a sculptor sculpt? For the same reason I write.
I am passionate about my writing projects. I am driven to tell a story with the hope that it might touch someone’s heart or life in a positive way.
The stories I write (so far) are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. I believe with all my heart there is something that is worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond it all, love…True love that you only read about in stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits the stories that I share through my writing.
I started writing when I was a young girl, around the age of eight. The first real piece I wrote was a gospel song. I had an uncle whom I loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from our home. So, I wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is my first memory of feeling the passion deep down to my toes for writing.
Reading has been a true love of mine from the time I learned recognition of words. I loved fairy tales and checked out the Grimm’s book of fairy tales from the school library so many times, they had to create a new card for it.
Books transport us to places and events that we would never be able to physically attend. We can be in Paris, France or the Appalachian mountains or on top of the North Pole by turning pages in books. That is true freedom!
Through reading, I learned about making love (Harold Robbins) and how to be part of a motorcycle club (a book penned by the legendary Sonny Barger). I learned how to dress elegantly and be the ultimate hostess. I learned about life during the depression era (Grapes of Wrath) and life in the roaring twenties (The Great Gatsby) and on and on. By reading, we have the opportunity to explore many of the teachings of the masters who have lived on earth (Ram, Buddah, Krishna, Jesus, Black Elk, Chief Joseph Nez Perce) just to name a few.
What an incredible gift the written word is. It is hard to name a favorite author because my life has been touched by so many. I love all genres and formats of writing.
I get a thrill from reading Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Robbins because they dare to defy most every rule ever made about writing and it works for them.
My sister, Linda Broday, is a published author. Imagine that…it runs in the family. She has been my mentor as well as my sounding board and my inspiration to try harder and reach farther in refining my craft of writing.
My late husband was a lifetime singer/songwriter and at fifty, he taught me to play guitar. My love for music along with the written word gave me the tools I needed to write songs and I absolutely love it. As a result, I’ve written a rather large catalog of songs over the years with many of them being recorded.
Since our lives revolved and evolved around music, along with my book projects, I also create and release a music cd to accompany each one. The music matches the time period of the story. Perhaps this is a bit unusual, but it works for me.
My first book, Flowers and Stone, is set in the West Texas honky-tonks in 1970. It portrays the life of a Texas musician and the lifestyle that went with it during that time period. It is a love story with lots of music history and events woven throughout it. Then comes the twist when Luke Stone is arrested and convicted of bank robbery (a crime he did not commit).
The cd released along with this book is titled Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels – Early recordings and is music taken off 45 rpm records that were made in the late 60s.
The second book, The Convict and the Rose, is due for release in the next week and is the sequel to Flowers and Stone. It opens with Luke Stone’s arrival at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas and shows an angry, bitter and rebellious man. It take him a while to figure out prison wasn’t going to change him and he certainly wasn’t going to change prison. Determined to find a way to be positive and worthwhile in an extremely negative situation, he manages to crawl forward one tiny step at a time. The woman he left behind, holding his heart, tries to find her way in life without him. She tries many different avenues…From drugs to gurus to different relationships…none are successful. I won’t give away the ending of the story here so will leave it at that.
The cd released along with this book is as dear to my heart as the book itself. There are twelve tracks on the cd and all but one were actually recorded inside prison in a crude makeshift studio. The title track was written by Rick Sikes but never recorded. Jamie Richards, a talented singer/songwriter in his own right, agreed to put music to and record the lyrics and the end result is the amazing rendition of Forty Foot High, which is also the title of the cd.