A storybook dream 20 years in the making

Dana Mills

By Theresa Gardner

Self-doubt and procrastination nearly kept a local woman from having the dream of her book published. Now many years after first putting pen to paper it is finally available to the public.

Dana Mills of Minden said she actually wrote the Children’s book entitled “Sayja’s Eggs,” more than 20 years ago when her own children were young.

Mills said she had kept the handwritten story in a notebook along with some songs she had also written. 

“Every few years I’d run across it and think how much I’d love to get it published someday, but just never knew for sure if the story was actually good enough, so self-doubt cause me to procrastinate,” Mills said.

Mills said a friend, the Rev. David Moore, from Beaumont, Texas, helped her daughter, Krystal Greer, get a book published entitled “Miracle Of Minden.”  The book was about Greer’s own father’s horrible accident which occurred in February 2019.

“When my own children were little, we never talked about, or let them believe there was such a thing as an “Easter Bunny,” or even a Santa Claus either, as a matter of fact,” Mills said. “We wanted our children and grandchildren to know the true meanings of our most cherished holidays.“

Mills said she can’t exactly remember why she chose Easter to be the subject of her first book.

“I knew I wanted to use a creative way to share this amazing story of the Resurrection, and honestly, I can’t even remember how I came up with the characters the ‘Scuddlewhompers,’” she said, “and that is what actually motivated me to finally get this long-awaited dream of mine done.“

Mills explained that her next step was trying to find someone that could draw the illustrations for her inspirational book.

“I had one young lady who helped me some. She had several illustrations finished, but then began having some major health issues and was unable to finish, much to my disappointment,” Mill said. “I asked a couple of friends that I knew were very artistic if they would be interested, but as much as they enjoyed drawing, they both said they didn’t think they had time to take on this project.”

Mills said she took to the Internet to search for the right person to help her illustrate her book.

“I don’t remember if someone suggested it, or I just thought about it, but I decided to put a message on “What’s Happening in Minden” asking if anyone would be interested in doing illustrations for a children’s book,” she said. “I got several very kind and interesting responses. One of these responses suggested I contact Laura Spillers. So after much prayer, I just felt like I should indeed make contact with her. I knew Laura’s mom Renee and good friend Carla.”

Mills said that when she spoke with Spillers about her “little story,” she suggested that her daughter Sophie might be interested. 

“When we met at the library, she brought Sophie, and right away I knew the Lord had brought us together and that Sophie would be the perfect one that I needed for this project,” she said. “I think it was either that same evening or the next day, Sophie already had me a picture of the main character, Sayja! “

Mills said she only made a couple of minor suggestions in changes of the story’s main character and then entrusted the teen with the rest of the drawings.

“I didn’t even see all the finished pictures until I got my first author’s copy, she said, “I was so delighted with Sophie’s work! It was just perfect for my story!” Mills went on to say she is looking forward to working with Sophie again on her next two stories of the Scuddlewhompers.

The books are now available to purchase on Amazon and Mills has some on hand for sell, as well.

To report an issue or typo with this articleCLICK HERE