Below is a picture of me with the first friend I ever made. Dreama Denise Sturgell lived next door to my Mammaw in a little college on Walnut Street in the small town of Portsmouth, Ohio. That’s in the southern-most part of the state where Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia meet up. I’m the one in ponytails and sweet, sweet bell bottoms. Dreama is the one showing us all where to stand. My mother had originally put me in the center of the photo.

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Much, much better.

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When I was starting work on my latest book, I knew just the perfect name for the lead character. So, I got in touch with Dreama –who has at various times gone by Denise, Dee, and Dee Dee, but never Dreama– and asked if I could borrow her name. She graciously said that I could.

Interestingly enough, I’m working on that project with the last friend I made. I should probably say most recent friend, I mean, there’s always a possibility I might make another friend.  That friend would be New York Time’s and USA Today best-selling author Emma Jameson.  I call her NYT best-seller for short. Actually, I just call her Emma.  I don’t have any embarrassing photos of her. Not yet.

But when you read my new book and read all about Dreama, remember that there’s a real Dreama out there who rocked hot pants with the best of them and owned a white cowgirl hat just like Audra Barkley on Big Valley.