Angela Beach Silverthorne learned to be passionate about writing as a young girl. She would lock her bedroom door and write for hours in a twenty-five cent composition book, then carefully hide it from her snoopy six-year-old brother.
One day, Angela found her brother hiding under a neighbor’s house tearing pages out of her precious book. She grabbed him, screaming, “Why did you do such a thing?” Crying, he exclaimed, “So you’d play with me!”
It was evident at an early age that Angela’s work evoked strong emotion in herself and others. “Poetry has always been my favorite writing forum, allowing intense feelings to be absorbed and managed within a few words. But,” she noted, “I love to write in all genres. Writing is my chocolate; it’s addictive.”
Born in Georgia, Angela’s father moved the family to Williamston, N. C. in 1965, across the street from her future husband, Dallas. She continued writing, and in 1968 published her first piece in the Washington Daily News, an editorial, urging young people to support the Vietnam War.
After graduating from high school, she worked for Washington Garment Company and attended East Carolina University at night. During Dallas’ sophomore year at N.C. State University, they married and Angela moved to Raleigh to work and help “put him through school,” leaving precious little time for her own education.
Dallas graduated with an Engineering Operations Degree, and he began a career that took the family through 10 states. Angela worked in various jobs – 15 years in Hospice; 10 in Literacy; 3 as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for neglected, abused and abandoned youth; and the Director of a pre-school for at-risk children. She attended five colleges, finally graduating from the State University of New York in Albany (SUNY) with an English degree (minors in Shakespeare and Young Adult Literature) and 20 hours in her Master’s program in Developmental Reading before Dallas was transferred, again.
While attending SUNY, she was encouraged by one of her professors to write her first book, Promises Seeded Inside, (2001). Written in an educational format, each chapter examined different life experiences and how poetry evolved from them. She wanted to target the sect of readers who claimed they could not understand poetry.
After the publication of her book, a friend shared a copy with a songwriter from Yellville, Arkansas. For the next two years, Angela collaborated with him, writing country and western songs. Her poetry had found another home and stretched her writing to new venues.
In the year 2000, Angela’s daughter Tia suggested co-authoring a book on contemporary family issues. The idea for Depression Cookies was born. Published in October, 2010, the 10-year collaboration “is a coming-of-age story about a corporate family maneuvering through love, loss and change. Told from the distinct vantage point of both authors, the reader gets to journey with a mother and teenage daughter as they look for resolutions to life’s complex questions.”
Although the work is fictional, Angela says it contains bits and pieces of every corporate family they met, including some of their own experiences. She elaborates, “Family and love are powerful themes. It reestablishes the definition of family to include friends and associates who bond in times of loneliness. Throughout the book, tension is broken by humor and a menagerie of many colorful characters who prove life has to be reined, rather than letting it rein you.”
On the topic of writing, Angela notes ”The most important thing for a writer to do is write and read voraciously. It’s important to join a writer’s group to receive encouragement, to grow through structural critiquing, to establish a discipline of writing, and to receive inspiration to continue pursuing the craft.”
When quizzed about her success, Angela suggests, “While writing is important, marrying the love of my life, Dallas; having three daughters, Tia, Tara and Dana; being Nana to seven granddaughters and living an abiding faith is truly what matters at the end of the day. I see writing only as a tool to flesh me out long after I’m gone.”
Depression Cookiescan be purchased at I Can’t Believe It’s A Bookstore or the Beaufort County Arts Council Gift Shop. Check out the author’s website at http://www.depressioncookies.com for book reviews and book club opportunities.
Visit Angela’s Author Page to peruse more of her writing on the Pamlico Writers Group at http://www.pamlicowritersgroup.org.