LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - As a new year approaches people of all ages often reflect on their past, but few turn those memories into books.
East Texas News spoke to four first-time authors from Lufkin. They're the newest members of the Pinecrest Writing Club.
Paul Barber spent years in the Pentagon as a crisis-management advisor. He penned two fiction novels based on the experience, but it was an autobiography that got him started as an author.
"Usually when you write, it triggers another memory, so you write about that," said Barber, an advisor to the writing club.
Barber had his first lesson with last year's launch of the Pinecrest Writing Club.
"If we got lazy he fussed at us a little bit," said Doris Gage, the author of "The Secret of Staying Young." "Then he would brag a little bit, so he was what really kept us going."
The ladies learned writing takes a commitment. The club started with 12 members. Four made it to published works that were celebrated this weekend with a standing room only book signing.
"Now, I wake up usually between four and five o'clock in the morning," said Darceille Warren, the author of "CeeCee Mountain of Memories." That's when I did a lot of my thinking. And I would write notes. And then I would get up and type it up.
The books are of travels, growing up, and for Wanda Leary, a story of painstaking survival.
"I don't know if I can totally tell you about it," Leary, the author of "My Life Like a Butterfly," said. "I get kinda emotional about some of it."
The chronicles are primarily for family. They're most likely the most popular Christmas gift under the tree of Leary's 28 family members.
"I gave a book to each one down to a 2-month-old for their mothers to preserve for them in later years," said Laverne Ward, the author of "Looking Back."
The memoirs are significant to all involved, but not purely for the writing experience.
"And the best thing we got out of the whole thing was new friends," Gage said. "I knew these people, but I did not know them well. Now I know them well."
It sounds like the beginning of a new book.
Paul barber is a commercial author. The four ladies aren't quite there, but they do have copies available at Pinecrest in Lufkin. Eventually the books will be placed in libraries for everyone's enjoyment.