ROCKINGHAM — Two authors with local connections will highlight Leath Memorial Library’s paperback book sale April 13 and 14. The appearances are part of the library’s celebration of National Library Week.
Donna Earnhardt of Concord — she grew up in Cordova — will present “Being Frank,” a picture book about a boy who learns that sometimes, truth should be tempered with kindness. And Marcia White will speak about a book derived from her dreams and journals: “Broken to Beautiful: Healing After Sexual Abuse.”
Earnhardt, who says she comes from a “family of Franks,” remembers standing in the shower — the place she uses for thinking and praying. And into her head popped the phrase: “Frank was always frank. Honesty is the best policy.”
Her father’s name was “Frank,” and he lived up to it, Earnhardt said Monday, although he did know how to temper honesty with tact. Sometimes her children don’t, though, she said with a laugh.
“Have you actually read the book your mother wrote?” she will ask them then.
Not only does the habit of frankness come from her family. One of the best lines in the book came from her husband, who was trying — rather unsuccessfully — to calm an argument.
“You wouldn’t get so many wrinkles if you didn’t glare at me like that,” he joked. Now, he takes credit for the book: “Oh, look at that! I got you a book published!”
“Frank” has won accolades from the School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, among others.
Earnhardt, who has been married more than 20 years and home-schools her three daughters, has written for High Five, part of the Highlights for Children family of magazines, as well as Blue Mountain Arts and other children’s magazines.
White, who works at Mount Olive Child Care Center, is a preacher’s kid who grew up in a loving family but with a horrible secret she kept even from her husband: She had been abused by three different men.
But it isn’t those men she talks about in her book — “I feel like that gives credit to Satan,” she said Monday — but the process through which she found healing.
“I’m a strong believer that the Lord has healing for anyone,” she said — a belief that eventually brought relief after she fell into depression, and suffered panic attacks and nightmares after marrying a man she had not told about her past.
When she finally managed to tell him, she said, he told her he would help her through her struggles with “the lies that I carried” to cover up the secret.
In addition, she said, “the Lord used several dreams … that I was able to take what was in the dream, and I’d learn from that.”
Through the years, various people told White that “you have a book in you.” One even brought her a bag of legal pads and some pens, which she stashed in the closet for 10 years.
Now, though, she has written her book and spoken at several churches and church gatherings, and she is free.
“It was a process of … 15 to 20 years,” she said. But “little by little, the Lord set me free.”
Reach Christine Carroll ar 910-817-2673 or [email protected]