The seeds of the story behind Original Cyn turned in the ground and nudged their way toward the sunshine well over twenty years ago now. A few months earlier, I happened to pick up a copy of Carolyn Heilbrun’s Writing a Woman’s Life. It lay on my desk for weeks looking so inconsequential at times I wondered why I’d purchased it. Then one day, I picked it up and started to read—that is until the phrase unambiguous wife caught my eye and latched onto my psyche. The unambiguous wife, I read, is a woman who puts a man at the center of her life, allowing to occur only that which honors his paramount position. Her desires, dreams and wishes are forever secondary.
Heilbrun described me—to a tee. I’d spent almost thirty years perfecting the godly role of a sanitized, unambiguous woman. Not only that, but during those years I also worked at perfecting the godly role of an unambiguous preacher’s wife, a woman with no idea who she was outside that role. So began my journey into myself.
Years later, I began my writing career and in turn, found my voice. With several published books under my proverbial belt I felt compelled to write a book that caused people to think, to question, to look at life from a broader perspective, to live the questions rather than squat inside the answers. I didn’t have to find the story, the story found me. It demanded I tell it without blinking, even when the going got tough.
Original Cyn pushed me harder and deeper than anything I have written to date. A story, I hope, that makes people think, a story full of questions, a story that takes each of us deep within our core where life’s questions reside. Original Cyn pushes boundaries, some of which were mine, years ago. A book I knew many may refuse to read, judge me, and ostracize me. But write I did. That was the easy part, the story told itself.
However, then came time to publish it—to put it out there. It is a scary thing to write a book that causes others to question their beliefs, their own actions and behaviors. In my heart of hearts, however, I knew the time was right for this story to be told. In fact, writing Original Cyn permitted me to hit a reset button in my life. Something happened to me. It elevated a hunger to listen to my soul-voice and to carry that over into any future writings—to take more risks, not only in my writing, but also in my day-to-day world.
Title: ORIGINAL CYN
Genre: women’s fiction
Author: Sylvia Dickey Smith
Publisher: White Bird Publications
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About Original Cyn: Protagonist Cynthia Carter’s life appears perfect—but for the fact that she and her husband, The Reverend Wilburn Carter, are controlled by fear. Cynthia is afraid she’ll displease Wilburn and if not him, his parishioners. But her biggest fear is the emptiness swelling inside her.
In the pulpit, Wilburn is the hero: God’s right hand, the messenger, the revered Reverend. At home, however, is a different story: he’s cold, controlling, selfish and self-consumed. Every Sunday, Wilburn stands at the podium and worries which parishioner might stab him in the back. But his deepest, darkest fear is that people will discover he’s a phony.
As Cynthia drowns in her lack of identity beyond what’s assigned by her preacher-husband, she wonders if she should stay in the relationship. Could there be more to life than just being the Pastor’s wife? Before she can decide, events force her to flee. If she goes far enough fast enough, those back home will have to deal with the chaos they created—deal with it or go to hell in their sanctimonious handbaskets. Until a phone conversation leaves her with even more difficult choices…
A powerful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking story, Original Cyn is extraordinary. Novelist Sylvia Dickey Smith takes readers on an unforgettable journey that spans anguish, heartbreak, hatred, love, fear, humor, peace and joy. Resplendent with compelling characters and an exceedingly-relatable storyline, Original Cyn is wholly—or perhaps holy—an original tale about moving beyond the black-and-white and living life in full, vibrant color. Sylvia Dickey Smith’s latest novel is a richly-drawn, rewarding read destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.
About the Author
A fifth generation Texan, Sylvia Dickey Smith was born in Orange, Texas and grew up in a colorful Scots-Irish family living in the midst of a Cajun culture. At 34, Sylvia’s curiosity about the world took on a whole new dimension when she moved to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. Awed by the differences in customs and cultures, particularly as they related to West Indian women, Sylvia began a journey of study and self-discovery. Back in the U.S. at 40, she started college and didn’t stop until achieving a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in women’s studies and a master’s in counseling. For the next twenty years, Sylvia worked in the field of human services and taught as an adjunct professor at the graduate level. Sylvia Dickey Smith lives in Texas.
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