About the Author

Colleen L. Reece
Once Upon a Time 

A small girl put down her tattered copy of a beloved book and said, “Someday when I grow up I am going to write a book.” Her parents advised her to dream big, read as many books, write many, many stories as and be ready for her ‘someday’ . . . even though they lived near a small town that produced timber, not authors.

When she was eleven, the girl wrote to a radio give-away program. Letters aired earned whatever the senders wanted. A far-seeing mother saved this draft,


Darrington, Wash.
June 3, 1947

Dear Free for All,
I’ve heard of the “Gang” as you call them and if they can’t guess this, something is wrong. Because, it’s easy as pie.
Most of the children around here have bicycles, but I don’t have. Daddy goes up every day to fall timber (as we live in the heart of the timber country) and by the time he gets home, the store is closed. But if I had a bicycle, I could go to town and bring thing [sic] home in the day-time. Although there are lots of trees around here, money doesn’t grow on trees and neither do bicycles.
I’ve written before and so, Free for All, if you don’t send me a bicycle pronto,  I’m going to spend more money in postage writing to you than the bicycle costs.
If I won it, I would be the happiest girl in the Universe. There is one chance in a million and I’m taking it.
I wrote in on a quiz once and I won some money so I’m signing myself
The Lucky Girl
Colleen Reece

Weeks later a gorgeous blue and cream $60.00 bicycle arrived at my home; my first writing success. Did it herald the arrival of my ‘someday’? No, but it sparked my 50,000 word The Staircase Mystery a few years later--a young adult novel designed to out-Nancy Nancy Drew and out-Hardy the Hardy Boys. All the publishers to whom I submitted  felt differently except one who praised it highly but wanted $2000. No sale. Note: Plot, characters, and setting are interesting, but it is so amateurish I use as a horrible example.

Years passed. I became a school secretary, then a government secretary. I didn't seriously pursue writing until the mid-1970s. In 1978 I felt called into full time free lancing. Since then God has multiplied my "someday" book into 150+ "Books You Can Trust," with 6,000,000 copies sold. Some have won awards but my greatest reward is seeing several of those I taught and/or mentored making their mark in the writing field. I give thanks daily for the courage to "dream big" as Dad and Mom taught me . . . and for the opportunities God has given to make those dreams reality.


Happy ending. I did get to write my mystery series: Six "Juli Scott, Super Sleuth" titles. (Individual titles also available in print format.)
 
Go HERE to view all of Colleen's books.


 


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1 comment:

Margo George Wilhelm said...

Hello Ms. Reece -

My name is Margo George Wilhelm and I hope you have a wonderful 2018!

I have a question about a Christmas Short Story my mom read to me that was published in a magazine back somewhere around 1967 -1970 called “Christmas in the Clearing”. It was about pioneer family near the town of Snohomish and the parents went to Everett to get things for Christmas. Because of snow, their return was delayed but they made it home for Christmas. This was way before cars and (here is where My memory is a little muddy)I think the children spend a long night listening for the ferry, which makes sense since people came “up river” to Snohomish back then.

This story is/was Special to me - my mom’s Great Grandparents were Snohomish pioneers and she would talk to me about how the story made her think of her Grandfather growing up northeast of what was the town “back in the day”. The box of Christmas Books disappeared from my parents’s House and I cannot locate the story anywhere. I wonder if you’ve ever heard of it or if you wrote it - I remember that the author was a woman from Snohomish County and that it may have been published in “Jack and Jill”. If it was not published in “Jack and Jill” it may have been published in a Christmas based periodical that my mom bought because she loved the story and read it to me when I was probably 5 - I know it coincided with my introduction to the “Little House” books because I think I even asked my mom if it was about Laura :-) (I was 5 - how far could the “Little House in the Big Woods” be from my Grandparents up in Snohomish?).

I reached out to another Snohomish County author (Carole Dagg) who shared my quest with several Snohomish County Librarians who have directed me to you. Their generosity with ideas has led me here and

On a different note - I understand you are from Darrington - my father worked for the Forest Service Station just northish of town back in the late 50s. He grew up in Arlington and spent several summers in Darrington. He has ALWAYS spoken fondly of those days. I’ve been out there with him recently. It’s still really remote and really beautiful.

Thank you in advance for any help or insight. I truly appreciate it. My email is margolyn2@yahoo.com.

Sincerely,

Margo George Wilhelm
Mason, OH