I just picked up a copy of the Murrells Inlet Messenger and must commend you on circulation, a first class local newspaper.
My wife and I resided in Murrells Inlet (in Blackmoor) the first five years of living here on the coast, before moving to Pawley’s Island a year and half ago. We moved here in 2005 from Abbeville, S.C., after I lost both my parents three months apart, something tough to endure for an only child.
Judy and I are born and raised South Carolinians. We relocated here to be close to the grandkids. I have one of those life after 50 moments I would like to share with you and your readers:
In 2003, at the age of 50, doing consultant work, staying in hotels three nights a week, I began writing, pounding the keys on the laptop for something to do. It served as an outlet – somewhat therapeutic – because my wife and I had assumed caregiver duties for both my ailing parents.
We had sold our home in Greenwood, S.C.,to move in and care for them and my 94-year-old grandmother. We brought my grandmother with us to the beach several months after my parents’ deaths. Granny passed less than two months after the move. She was my mom’s mother. Over the course of 11 months, I had lost all three and, basically, my entire bloodline.
I eventually completed a 650-page novel. Over the next eight years, I wrote ten more novels and 100 short stories. No one, including my wife, had ever read any of my novels; my choice. I had shared a couple of short stories with friends and family. I was sort of a closet writer, doing it because I enjoyed it. I thought about one day submitting some of them for publishing but never seriously pursued it. I had and still have a full time job working at Metglas, Inc. in Conway.
One afternoon in June of this year, after I arrived home from work, a gentleman showed up at our door thinking the previous owners of our house still lived there. We had been in Pawleys for just over a year and half. I had seen the elderly man walking through the neighborhood. He introduced himself as Robert O’Brien and then realized I wasn’t the man he had expected to visit. He apologized, stating he had just dropped by to proudly show the previous owner a copy of his novel he had just gotten published because the previous owner had also shown interest in wanting to write a book.
I told him that was very interesting and that I do a little writing. Bob asked me if I had a completed manuscript. I told him yes. I had ten. Floored, he said you and I need to talk, stating he had started his own publishing company, Prose Press. This seemed much too coincidental for me. I felt like I had received a sign, an omen, that this was the push I needed to actually attempt publishing one of my novels. I selected one and began the dream. My wife, Judy, became my proof reader and the book was proofed and edited five times before eventually submitting a final version to my new friend and neighbor, Bob.
Two weeks ago, I became an actual author.
T. Allen Winn’s “Road Rage” has now been published and is available on Amazon.com. Barnes and Noble, etc.
Who would have ever figured that I would have started writing at age 50 and published my first novel at age 58? Things happen for a reason; my urge to write prompted by a tragic period in my life and Bob O’Brien showing up at my front door. I have indeed begun an incredible journey. Ironically, in January, I began keeping a journal on my laptop entitled “Life Begins at 57 ½.” Yup, a diary of sorts. I would have never thought in my wildest dreams that it would include me being a published author. No one can ever take this away from me. My only wish is that my parents would have been here to witness it. But, then again, I’m sure they are smiling proudly.