Southern Women’s Fiction Author, Shayla McAnn, brings us Tales From the Front Porch Swing, her weekly blog, where she shares stories of strong Southern women, some from her own pen and others passed down from her Grams. Shayla says there are a few things done right down South, and some of those are good eats, sweet tea, and tall tales.

Everyone has a story or two. They’re what keeps us going. They are our history and our future. It is in the sharing of our stories we can find faith, unity, friendship, and humanity.

Ms. McAnn has been an avid storyteller as long as she can remember saying, “I remember sittin’ the front porch with my sweet Grams, listenin’ to her stories. The Christmas after I turned eight, Grams gave me the most precious gift – a brand new typewriter. There’s no tellin’ how long she saved money from sellin’ her fresh yard eggs and canned peaches. There are two things I always wanted: a family and to write my stories. God blessed me with two beautiful children and many others who’ve come to call me, Mama, through the years. I share my life with an amazing husband, who is my best friend and partner in all things.”

“I’ve lived a life of adventure. I was a nurse, firefighter, paramedic, licensed massage therapist, and was team captain of the search and rescue team along with my horse and dogs. My children could fight small fires before most kids learn to do their own laundry.”

“As a homeschooling family, we took many road trips whenever I had a few days off. Galveston Island was a favorite getaway, as well as San Antone (San Antonio). The Space Center of Houston, Moody Gardens, among many others, provided the perfect field trips to enhance their education. Found within the pages of books and travel is the most excellent education.”

“I now have many grandchildren who sit at my feet listenin’ to stories. I reckon God blessed me with everything I asked for and then some.”

“I’ve danced with the devil many a time. Once, I was run over by a car in a crosswalk in a Walmart parking lot. One of my favorite storytellers, Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind, was also run over by a car. I often wondered why I lived when she and so many others did not.”

“Then, one of my little grands became seriously ill after receiving his immunizations one day. Hospitalized for days and not uttering another word for years after, I knew the reason I was still here was to teach him. I was his voice in a silent world. He will be a teen this year, and now I can’t get him to shut up for the life of me. Bless his little heart. He is makin’ up for all that lost time. All those words stored up inside, and they’re findin’ their way out, now.”

We don’t waste time worrying about all the stuff that happens in life. Instead, we enjoy the journey. Each day is a brand new adventure filled with love, laughter, fun, and a bit of mischief.

“As for my stories, I have published many in years past in my hometown newspaper. I have a series of novels to be released soon. They are stories of family, love, faith, tragedy, and triumph in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Some of my favorite stories to read are Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Rebecca Wells’ Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and Janice Woods Windel’s True Women.”

Shayla McAnn lives in North East Texas with her husband of twenty years, children, and furkids. When not homeschooling or writing fiction, she can be found on road trips, or maybe a cruise.