The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Life experiences, people inspire NE student’s books

By Danilynn Welniak/ne news editor

At 81, Dovie Pilney, mother of three adult sons, has published two children’s books while taking creative writing classes on NE Campus.

Her husband of 61 years did not begin as an avid supporter of her going back to college but has since changed his tune.

“Six years ago, I told my husband that I wanted to take creative writing classes and he told me that I would never do anything with it,” she said. “Now, he’s as proud as punch.”

Over the past two years, the Grapevine resident has published Charlie The Cocky Rooster and Charlie The Cocky Rooster: Another Adventure and is currently working on a third book.

“I took the best of my childhood memories and put them in these books,” she said. “The family that is in [these] books are more like we lived, and the adventures are fictional. These books are unique because they combine today’s world with the 1930s.”

Her inspiration to write children’s books originated from growing up in rural Oklahoma during the Depression.

“I want children to know what it was like back then,” she said. “Nowadays, kids take for granted all that they have. We had to use kerosene lamps and get our water out of a well.”

Pilney’s father worked for Carter Oil Company for 17 years and was laid off because of the Depression. The oil company planned on tearing down their home as well.

“My dad asked his boss if he could keep the house we lived in,” she said. “They gladly gave it to us, but we had to saw it in half and move it 50 miles.”

Pilney’s family ended up in Henrietta, Okla., on a 40-acre farm that had an old, abandoned barn. This farm became the setting of her children’s books, and Henrietta is the name of one of her characters.

Charlie and his acquired friends, which include Henrietta the hen, a lamb, a Peruvian llama, two skunks and a pig, discover the importance of friendship and learn to overcome obstacles together.

“My characters are all based on real people,” she said.

All of her original characters are based on a group of six women who used to work at Foley’s department store.

“After my college class, I used to go to Foley’s and get to know and observe the opinions of these girls,” she said. “They were so excited when I told them that I wanted them to be characters in my book.”

Her second and third book both contain characters based on people in her life as well. Each character emphasizes the person’s strongest personality traits, she said.

Published by Outskirts Press and Author House, both books are available at Borders and Barnes & Noble bookstores across the U.S. and England.

“I did every bit of these books on my own,” she said. “Neither even needed to be edited, so I sent it straight to the publisher.”

Pilney does not claim to be a celebrity, but everywhere she goes she runs into someone who recognizes her. From all the attention she got while walking through the Grapevine library, one would believe Pilney is a household name.

“I was at Tom Thumb a while ago and a 10-year-old approached me,” she said. “He told me that he loved my books, had checked them out of the library a few times and put them on his Christmas list.”

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