What would appear to be a normal ‘girls’ night out’ to onlookers, could help bring needed attention to Orange and surrounding areas. Ginger Mynatt, currently a freelance feature writer from Sherman, came to Orange recently to meet native author Sylvia Dickey Smith. The two writers became acquainted “through a friend of a friend of a friend,” according to Dickey, but they only met face-to-face when they arrived at the hotel in Orange.

Mynatt said, “[Dickey] e-mailed Donna Hunt who is the regional president for Press Women of Texas and told her what she wanted and Donna forwarded it to me; was I interested? My magazine just went belly-up, so, why not?”

“I got Donna’s name through some women…from Orange area who live in Sun City now,” said Dickey. “They heard about my books. So, we made friends.”

They suggested she contact a feature writer to promote her newest book, “A War of Her Own” (AWOHO) Dickey’s publisher had suggested the same thing.

AWOHO is a historical novel set in World War II Orange and the shipbuilding industry. Dickey’s three other novels, all mysteries, are also set in the Orange area.

Mynatt and Dickey interviewed the Harmon brothers, Carlton “Corky” and Don, about life in Orange during WWII. Corky delivered papers as a teenager during the war years.

Local journalist, Margaret Toal, joined the writers, to show them around town, acting as their historical tour guide.Over dinner discussions, Mynatt suggested there were several routes to take promoting Orange and AWOHO.

A local historical view of women during the war and their part in making the shipbuilding industry a success could be one avenue. She may also go from a tourist’s point of view, which would really be a boon to Orange, since that is one of the areas the city hopes to grow. There is also a possibility she may travel down the economic road comparing today with the economy of WWII and it’s effects on Orange.

Whichever path she chooses to take, Orange will benefit upon publication.

Mynatt, an award winning writer, is the vice president of professional development for Press Women of Texas; author of “Dancing on the Mountain;” and most recently was a contributing writer for “Texoma Living” which succumbed to the economy after their December issue.

Copies of AWOHO and Dickey’s other novels can be purchased at Bayou Trading Co. in Bridge City, Barnes and Nobel’s in Beaumont or online at Amazon.com.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.