By Laura Ann Tips/Staff Writer
Tashara Childs, an Attalla native and Etowah High School graduate, has achieved a longtime goal and published her first book, “Knocking on the Devil’s Door.”
The creative fiction novel is about a married couple struggling with relationship issues as they near their seventh anniversary.
“It’s the classic seven-year itch, and they’re just having a lot of problems,” said Childs, not wanting to spoil the story.
Childs said that her characters reach a different resolution from what seems to have become the norm when couples undergo challenges like infidelity.
“I’ve seen a lot of people separate or divorce, so I didn’t want to write that.
“I wanted to show that you don’t always have to separate because of your problems,” Childs said.
Growing up in Attalla in a loving home and tight-knit community had a significant impact on the outcome of the story in Childs’ novel.
Naturally family-oriented, she wanted to use the book to send a message that marital problems can be worked through sometimes, for the sake of the family.
“Both sets of my grandparents were married for over 50 years, and my parents were married for 28 years when my dad died, so I grew up watching people be in love and stay together.”
In fact, Childs said her parents’ love story is novel-worthy—they spent their childhoods in houses next door to each other before growing up and falling in love.
“Of course, I saw them argue and have tension, but they always got over it. Theirs was the first love story I ever saw as a kid,” said Childs.
Childs also started writing as a kid.
A friend recently informed her that she could recall Childs writing stories as early as fifth grade.
Although Childs does not remember those particular stories, she does know how her love and talent for writing was born.
“I didn’t really have anyone to play with growing up because I was an only child, so I learned to read really early, and I had imaginary friends that I wrote stories about,” Childs said.
She went on to use her writing skills to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in English from Jacksonville State University in only three-and-a-half years before moving to North Carolina. She now resides in Raleigh.
“North Carolina is actually a lot like Alabama, so Raleigh reminds me of home and of Birmingham.”
In addition to writing, Childs works with the Department of the State Treasurer in North Carolina as a proofreader.
She also spends a great deal of time tutoring kids in English and teaching classes in writing.
“I try to get to the kids who hate writing, and get them to like it—or at least not think of it as torture!”
In her free time, Childs enjoys traveling around the country with her friends to see musical artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and John Legend in concert. She has already attended 11 shows this year.
As for her writing, Childs barely took a week’s break before starting more projects once “Knocking on the Devil’s Door” hit shelves.
“I started a sequel to this book last week, and I’m working with someone in Raleigh to turn the first one into a stage play which we would hopefully take on tour around the country.”
“Knocking on the Devil’s Door” is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon, and for Nook through Barnes and Noble.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long, long time. Now that I’ve gotten to do it, it’s just very, very exciting.”