Monday, January 4, 2010

Why I wrote I Am Ocilla

Many of you know I wrote I Am Ocilla for my children. Each one of them has a character in the book. Several of my nieces, nephews and other siblings and friends also have their own little slice of fun in the pages of my imagination. What most of you don't know is how I developed my characters.

Ocilla is the lead. She is based off of my oldest daughter Priscilla. We call her Cilla. When I call her, I say, "Oh...Cilla." Ha ha, I know it is silly but that is how I came up with the name. Cilla is also my executive reader. Everything I write must go through her strenuous approval. Fourteen year old girls can be brutal, let me tell you.

Ash and Rowan are not named after anyone. They do have the characteristics of all the great men in my life. They are strong, yet gentle. Loyal and fierce. What more can you ask for in a man?

Tanner, my spastic wolf is named for my youngest son Peyton Tanner Graham. When I first began writing I Am Ocilla, I let the kids know they would all have their own character. Peyton informed me he was going to be a red wolf. I laughed but my imagination went wild. I am quite fond of Peyton's character.

I would tell you more but then I might give away the secrets of I Am Ocilla. I can't have that.

I truly believe God whispered Ocilla's story in my ear.


  1. I can honestly say that I believe God has had a hand in my sister's talent and love of writing. Growing up, she had no love of reading or books. She didn't like using her imagination. Until a few years ago, she would have been the last person I would have expected to write a book like I Am Ocilla.
    As her children grew and her experiences with motherhood increased, her imagination began to bloom.
    The way that this story has touched our whole family, and even close friends is amazing.

  2. Awe shucks! Now I am going to have to love you forever. Kisses sis!