SYLVANIA - Sylvania's downtown Soda Shop Gallery hosted a story reading and author signing with Audilee Boyd Taylor. Taylor is a Screven County native and published children's book author.
Although a reading of "Where Did My Feather Pillow Come From?" speaks first to the imagination of children, several of Taylor's fellow graduates of the 1948 Screven High class were also present.
"Like an artist paints his pictures on canvas, I paint pictures through words in the minds of the children," she said.
While her growth as a writer is blossoming more than ever in her mature years, she didn't always plan to write, Taylor said. Her interest was spurred when she gave birth to her daughter, she said. Taylor was in her 40s when she began attending writing workshops and fostering her growing desire to write for children.
Her fellow classmates said they don't remember her ever talking about writing in high school, but with the undying support and encouragement from her husband, Herbert Taylor, the small seed of desire planted by her daughter grew into what Taylor now considers her "calling and anointing from God."
"Where Did My Feather Pillow Come From?," with an early 20th Century farm life setting, tells a story of the care and plucking of geese in the making of feather pillows. Illustrated by Sharon Saseen, the book was first published by Castlemarsh TM Publications in 1982 and reprinted in 1998, with about 5,200 copies sold over the years.
Taylor's story was included in an exhibit and the directory of children's books by small presses, at the Small Press Center in New York. Taylor and Sasseen are included in "Something About the Author, Facts and Pictures about Authors and Illustrators of Books for Young People."
Taylor's short story "The Playground" was also published in the 1998 publication of "Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul," and "It's Never Too Late" in Georgia's Coastal Illustrated.
Taylor, a long-time resident of Savannah, is a founding member of the Mulberry Grove Foundation, a preservation effort for the portside area placed on the national register of historic places by Georgia.
Her latest book titled "The Mulberry Connection" about the Greene family entertaining their guest, Eli Whitney, was inspired by her passion for preserving Mulberry Grove for future generations.
"My goal as a writer," Taylor said, "is to entertain and educate children."
Taylor and her husband have four children and nine grandchildren.