I began asserting my talents and abilities at an early age. By the time I was five years old, I was reading and learning to play the piano. Throughout my life, books and music have been my best friends. My parents encouraged my musical interests by enrolling me in lessons as soon as they heard me pick out “The Star Spangled Banner” on my tiny toy piano. They fostered my love of reading by providing comic books and scores of Little Golden Books to pass the time on our lengthy trips from post to post while my father was in the Army. As a young girl, I wrote stories and composed songs while other kids were watching TV.
In high school, I developed a passion for musical theater. In school, my circle of friends revolved around the choral department; outside of school, I could be found at the local community theater. I attended college and got an AA degree before coming back home to work as a legal secretary by day and performing both on stage and off at the Daytona Little Theater by night. It was there that I met Bryan Cranston—long before his “Breaking Bad” fame.
Bryan and I moved to California and got married. He was a struggling actor, and I pursued a career in the entertainment business under my maiden name of Mickey Middleton. As a member of the Burbank Civic Light Opera and as a solo act, I sang all over the Los Angeles area, in Las Vegas, and Japan. While in California, I continued to write—mostly short stories, stage plays, and musicals. I was a story analyst for New American Videos, did free-lance word processing on the side, and even worked on a game show. But the Hollywood scene was pretty alien to me, and I was not happy. The best advice I got was from Robert Goulet. He encouraged me to stay true to myself, stick to my music and writing, and not to stumble into the pitfalls of the L.A. lifestyle.
I returned to Florida, married a local man, raised children, went back to college, and got a degree in Elementary Education. I taught for 14 years in Calhoun County Schools and 4 years in Bay District Schools. During that time, I wrote and directed a musical for 6th-graders, directed plays for elementary and middle school, founded and directed shows at Center Stage Playhouse, wrote some children’s stories…and dreamed a book.
One night, I dreamed an entire story about a team of psychic Native Americans who find criminals and missing persons. When I woke, I remembered the story, start-to-finish, with all the details. Over the next few weeks, I continued to dream the story. Finally, I knew I had to write it down. I set myself up on the dining room table with a “modern” Kaypro computer and started the task transferring the recurring dream to paper.
Writing Backtrack: The Scout’s Story was like watching a play on the screen of the computer. I saw each of the characters and heard their voices. It was surreal and mesmerizing, and I felt desperate to get to the end, so I typed constantly until it was finished. Once the story was completed—much to my family’s relief—I gave the first draft to my father to proof, and I put the Kaypro away. My dad’s unexpected praise for the story gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself as a writer. But motherhood, homemaking, church service, and teaching were also important and time consuming, so my book fell to the wayside for a while…until I dreamed another story with the same characters, and then another. Suddenly, I knew this story was not an isolated event; I had a series on my hands.
Upon moving to Panama City Beach, I pulled out my manuscript and seriously considered its merits. I gave it to a husband/wife team to read. They liked it so much that they became my editors. They formed a publishing company called Patent Print Books and had Backtrack: The Scout’s Story e-published on Amazon.com. The second dream book in what was to be The Trackers Series was completed shortly afterward, and Mist: The Bloodhound’s Story became a published e-book.
In March of 2012, Backtrack: The Scout’s Story was released in paperback under my pen name of Mickey MorningGlory, a name given to me by my grandfather, who was (according to my grandmother) “one of the dark people from the Okefenoke Swamp.” Mist: The Bloodhound’s Story was released in paperback in 2017. Kachina: The Snapshot’s Story is scheduled for e-book and paperback release in 2018, followed by the rest of the books in sequence.
I’ve been asked why I’m writing so many books in this series. The reason is simple: These Trackers won’t let me rest!