by Lisa Tome
When her 30-year career milking dairy cows ended, Shelly Wyatt had to find a new livelihood.
Wyatt grew up on the family farm, Meadows Farm, just outside town limits.
In 2012, the decision was made to sell the cows and that gave Wyatt three new careers.
Now the grandmother from Rising Sun is a school bus driver, dog groomer, and published author. "At 49 I had to reinvent myself, so here I am," Wyatt said.
She decided to take an interim job driving bus 77, hauling students to Calvert Elementary and Rising Sun High each day. She fell in love with the job and realized the hours are very similar to the hours she spent milking.
In January 2015, she turned her love of canines into a career. She took the dog grooming class through Cecil College, found she liked it, and started her own grooming business at her home.
Both those jobs give her time to write.
Her book, "Cold Revenge" was self-published and released in August.
The writing is only a small portion of that job.
"Self publishing sounds nice. But you have to learn to advertise yourself. You have to format it (the book). It's not just writing the book," Wyatt said. She hired an editor and had to wait for the editor's schedule to free up.
The premise behind "Cold Revenge" is loosely based on Rising Sun. The main character in the mystery/suspense work is a small town reporter who teams up with an old flame to solve mysterious deaths of her former classmates.
"I started with the idea five years ago. I finished writing it last fall. It's like baring your soul. You're putting something about yourself out there. But I said 'I want to do this. So I'm going to do it'," Wyatt said. "I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment."
The book is already selling on Amazon.com and for Kindle. Now Wyatt will work on the marketing. She plans to donate copies of the book to all the local library branches. She also hopes to set up some book signings. "I'm proud to say look what I've done. Not everyone can say they fulfilled a dream," she said.
She is at work on another novel entitled "Premonition of Murder". "I like self-publishing and I like writing. Follow your dreams. Don't let self doubt stop you," she said.
The novel, wasn't her first writing effort. In 2014, her love of dogs pushed her to publish a non-fiction work entitled "For the Love of Small Dogs". She has also written short stories which are published online.