When Sylvia Dickey Smith started writing, she not only wanted to be a story teller, she wanted to make a difference. As a feminist writer, she creates strong female characters that have overcome adversity, be it controlling men, sexual or mental abuse or just coming to terms with their own insecurities and conquering them.

She uses her background as a counselor to weave tales with plausible storylines and tackles sensitive subjects contemporary to today’s world.

Four of her books take the form of mysteries based in her hometown of Orange, Texas. “Dance on His Grave” introduces you to Sidra Smart, a 50 something woman breaking free of a 30 something year marriage that was suffocating her spirit. Through the process of learning the ropes of private investigation she finds her voice as she breaks through years of suppression from a controlling husband and lifestyle. In freeing her own spirit, she helps others free their own.

Sid’s back story is not unlike Smith’s own. Both were married at 17 and were in controlling marriages with religious backgrounds.

Smith started college in her 40s and discovered a whole new world she didn’t know existed. She broke free of her marriage and became a counselor.

She started her writing career in her 60s. Smith kept talking about writing and one day a friend told her, “Sylvia, you’re always talking about writing a book, just shut-up, sit your butt in the chair and write it.” That was her call to action. It was time to put up or shut up.

“Writing Strong Women” has become her motto.

“Dance on His Grave” is based on a client she had as a counselor. The client always wanted Smith to tell their story to help others. After much time, “Dance on His Grave” is the result of that encounter.

“Dance” was followed by “Deadly Sins Deadly Secrets” and “Dead Wreckoning.”

She then penned a historical novel, “A War of Her Own” that takes place in Orange during the shipbuilding boom of World War II. Some of that story was based on her mom.

Most recently published was another in the Sidra Smart series featuring the cantankerous “Boo” Murphy in “The Swamp Whisperer.”

Currently a standalone novel, “Original Cyn” is being shopped to publishers by a new agent Smith recently signed with.

Smith spends much time promoting her books through book signings and speaking engagements, networking with other writers and working on the next great novel.

Though she visits her hometown of Orange frequently, she lives in Georgetown, Texas and will soon be relocating to Hot Springs, Ark. with current husband, Ret. Army Col. William Smith.

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.