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Thursday, August 16, 2012

never, EVER too late!

Today, I am excited to present a story that will inspire any writer who has begun his or her career in later years. By permission of the author, Rebecca DeMarino, I am reposting information from her blog about a writer she knows well - her dad, Howard Worley.

It was June of 2010, and my dad, at age eighty-seven, lay on a hospital bed, prepped for an angiogram. His aortic valve was just about closed, and his cardiologist ordered the test as a first step to open-heart surgery. The heart surgeon would not want any surprises when he went in to replace the valve.

Now Dad held my hand and told me he wanted to tell me the end of the western romance he was writing – the novel he began to write nine months before.He titled it THE STAGECOACH MURDERS.

He had read and owned (from the look of his cupboards) every Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey novel printed. As we wound our way through airport security on our return from The Highland Springs Resort, in Cherry Valley, CA, I remarked the resort would make a good setting for a novel.

I was writing my first novel, a historical romance set in the 1600′s, but I was thinking of a contemporary suspense. Dad said 1800′s. He’d been intrigued with the old photos of Highland Springs back in the days it was a stagecoach station.

A few days after the trip, I received an email from him. Subject: Highland Springs Story Line. The body of the email contained a complete synopsis of the story. He signed it: How about it. Love, Dad.

I wrote back, Dad, why don’t you write it? And so he did. Now it was nearly finished, and I had read each chapter as he completed, carefully printed and mailed it to me by priority mail service. A western romance, where Louis L’Amour meets Zane Grey: THE STAGECOACH MURDERS. 

I couldn’t wait to get each new package! Though he’d never studied the craft of writing, he was a natural and knew each chapter needed a hook. Dad was writing a page turner!

I didn’t want Dad to tell me the end of his story. I squeezed his hand and told him he would be just fine. He would come home to his ranch to write his ending. But he insisted, and as tears fell, I listened.

His heart surgery was a success, but his recovery was interrupted two days later when he suffered a major stroke to the left side of his brain.

My siblings and I stayed by his side 24/7, both in the hospital and when he returned home. His physical recovery came quickly, and soon he was taking care of himself and his horse, Cotton, on his own again.

But speech, and the ability to write, were a struggle for him. He knew exactly what he wanted to say, or write, but the words would come out a jumble, or sometimes the opposite of what he was thinking. He was frustrated, but determined to finish his book.

And he was blessed with a speech therapist who was determined to make that happen. When he told Dad his speech had improved to the point he no longer needed speech therapy, Shawn pointed out that there was still work to be done. Dad had a novel to finish.

He was inventive in his sessions with Dad, printing out western art and asking him to write three short sentences about the action it depicted. Then he would have Dad connect two of the sentences, then bring in the third.
Howard on his 88th birthday

And in January, at age eighty-eight, Dad finished his novel! 
He never gave up. He never said it was too late, too hard or he was too old, too tired. He has left such a legacy for his children and grandchildren! The hope he gives to others recovering from stroke, and their loved ones, is truly inspirational.

And he has proven the words on a little purple pin I put on his bulletin board afew years back. It says: Please be patient. God isn’t through with me yet. Thank you, Lord.  

Beautiful Lily MacIntyre travels west with her parents where her father will run the Wilkinson-Hall Stage Line. When the stage stops in Arizona City, Boone Osborne joins the ride. Lily is annoyed with herself for being drawn to the handsome ex-Texas Ranger, but when her father is murdered on the stagecoach and her mother dies of a broken heart, Lily finds herself bent on revenge and Boone the means to find it.

Their hearts soon become entwined and love ensues. But is it enough? Boone seeks justice, Lily seeks vengeance—both want to find the killer. If they cannot trust each other, can they trust their own heart? 



  1. Just had time to do a quick preview on Amazon's Look Inside. Great writing! Very smooth, and I could really picture the stagecoach setting. Thanks for the inspiring post.

    I'm so glad Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace have made it so easy to get our stories out to readers who can appreciate them. Unheard of just a couple of years ago.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Rich! I have not had a chance to read the story as yet, duet to technical difficulties, which has put me way behind with everything! Can't wait to read it though. I'm sure it's my kind of story.

  3. Stories like Rebecca's dad and mine are proof that you don't have to be young to write novels and sell them. When we give up on our dreams, we may be giving up one of God's greatest blessings for us. I'm so glad Howard didn't give up. I'm 76 and know that God has a lot more in store for me. My tenth novel in three years is being released next month and five more are under contract. Life isn't over on this earth until our last breath is drawn and we ascend into heaven. Keep at it Howard. You probably have lots of stories you could tell.


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