Carol Spivey of Brownstown met her husband of 26 years through a mutual friend at a party.
Her new novel, “Just a Kiss,” is a fictional retelling of the day they met.
Her husband is Johnnie Spivey, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Seymour.
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“Several years ago, I was working for Dr. Mark Thomas DDS and I was telling a work companion, Nikki Huff, how I met my husband,” Spivey said. “She looked at me and said, ‘You could write a book about that.’ We both laughed and went on with our day.”
Spivey said her co-worker’s comment became the spark that eventually led to her journey of writing, and she has had a lot of fun writing her first book, a romance novel.
“I had absolutely no idea what I was doing,” Spivey said. “I loved to read but had no clue how to write. I started with an idea and a laptop.”
Both Carol and her husband are from North Carolina and had barely been married a month when they moved to Indiana in 1994.
“Johnnie is from Trinity, North Carolina, and we moved here because he was working for Lowe’s Distribution and he was to help with the startup of the new center in North Vernon,” she said. “He became a full-time pastor at Cornerstone August of 1999.”
The couple have four children, Taylor, Cole, Blaine and Kaylee, who were born and raised in Seymour. In December, the family moved to their dream cabin on 10 acres in Brownstown.
“Taylor has a cute son that is 3, Jackson Spivey, Cole is married to Peyton Spivey, Blaine attends IUPUI and Kaylee is a senior at SHS,” Spivey said. “As for pets, we have a 4-year-old black Lab, Oliver Bean Spivey, and a black kitten named Sniff, who lost his sibling named Scratch, and also four chickens.”
Spivey is originally from Randleman, North Carolina, where she graduated high school in 1989, then attended college at Lake Norman Dental Assisting School. She is starting her fifth year as an administrative assistant in student services at Seymour High School.
As far as writing goes, she has discovered that she’s what some people call a “pantser,” meaning she doesn’t make an outline or write a lot of notes, but rather she writes by the seat of her pants.
“The story unfolds in my head, and then on paper. Sometimes, the story takes a turn even I didn’t see coming,” Spivey said. “The book took me around four years to write and another year to finalize the editing, book cover, formatting and then publishing.”
Every piece is a journey, and the day she wrote “The End,” she thought it was easy street from there.
“Boy, was I wrong. The editing alone took months, and I hired professionals to help with each component, and everything took longer than expected,” Spivey said. “I’ll never forget the first time I looked at my manuscript after being with the editor for three weeks. I was so overwhelmed by her notes, I closed the laptop and didn’t open it for days.”
Spivey said the editor, Jessica Nelson from Rare Bird Editing, turned out to be fabulous, and she is so thankful for Nelson’s expertise and advice.
“I am no English major, and I self-published through Amazon, which was another fun experience,” she said. “I had a gentleman advise me to self-publish my first book because it was more hands-on and I would understand the process. I’m glad I did the work.”
Spivey said she was able to write quite a bit during quarantine, and she has almost completed her second book, a young adult romance with a paranormal twist, which she hopes to release next year.
“The second book will be for young adults and older teens,” she said. “My husband and I used to be in the youth ministry, and I’ve always had a heart for teenagers.”
In her adult romance, “Just a Kiss,” her character, Kiersten, finds herself stuck between a rock and a hard place when her best friend, Darrian, decides he wants more than friendship.
“She has just started seeing the handsome Jay, and then things get even more complicated when Wren comes on the scene,” Spivey said. “Talk about a romance roller coaster. There are lots of laughs and angst amid friendship, love and self-discovery.”
When Spivey is not writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, going on motorcycle rides with her husband, running, anything beach-related and occasionally watching Netflix.
“I hope to inspire others not to give up on their dreams. I can’t recount the times I thought about holding the final product in my hands and wondering if it would become a reality,” she said. “I have to admit, there were moments I almost gave up, but I just couldn’t do it. God had planted the seed and the desire in my heart, and I wanted to see it to fruition.”
She has learned perseverance and hard work pays pay off.
“Even at the age of 49, I’m discovering who I am and who I want to be. God has a purpose for each of us, and he knows the desires of our heart,” Spivey said. “Keep on working toward that goal. Keep looking toward the finish, and in the meantime, be all you can be.”
At a glance
“Just a Kiss” by Carol Spivey of Brownstown is available on amazon.com in paperback and the Kindle version. Local readers may contact Spivey on her Facebook author page, facebook.com/godisgoodwriterslife, to see if she has any of her books on hand.