By Anna-Claire Terry
A hobby that started as entries in a journal has been transformed into a children’s book sold nation-wide.
Opelika native Lois Irene Hale published “The Campbell Cats from Tannerville, Georgia” in 2014. The book depicts the story of a family of cats, the Campbells, who live and behave like humans. The plot revolves around the Campbell kittens as they explore new places and friendships.
The book is fictional, but Hale said the Campbell family closely relates to her own family and childhood. According to Hale, the Campbells are a close-knit family, and the siblings are friends- just like her family.
Hale’s sister, Nancy Dennis, said she and the rest of Hale’s siblings could find themselves in the book.
“We found the cat that was us,” Dennis said.
Hale said their protective mother did not enjoy letting her children out of her sight. Therefore, they lead a close family life. Hale said her childhood was a happy one.
Hale’s reason for writing a children’s book is her love for children and making people laugh.
“I’ve always had an imagination,” Hale said. “I wanted to make it fun and wholesome and just a good, family-oriented book.”
Hale took up writing as a hobby in her later years after retirement. She has lived in Opelika her entire life. She attended Beulah High School and enrolled in Southern Union Community College.
Hale said a lot goes into writing a book and getting it published. About three years passed from the time she decided to write a book to the time she was holding a copy of “The Campbell Cats From Tannerville, Georgia.”
Hale, who has done interviews with various media outlets, said she has received positive response to the book and plans to do several book signings in the future.
Hale’s dream would be to see this children’s book transformed into a cartoon television show.
She credits her success with this book to the encouragement of her family. Hale said that if it had not been for her mother, husband and siblings, the book would not have been possible.
“My mother is 80 years old now, and she is very proud to get to see this happen,” Hale said.
Hale dedicated the book to her late loved ones, her father and fraternal grandmother. She wanted to dedicate the book to them for the memories they left her and the pride that she knows they would feel if they were here to see her as an author.
Hale said she has two more books in progress. “The Campbell Cats From Tannerville, Georgia” can be purchased online from Amazon or at Books-A- Million and Barnes & Noble.
“I just really want to give all the credit to God because without him, none of this would have been possible,” Hale said. “He is an awesome God, and He gave me the inspiration for this.”