Linda Center book signings Nov. 1-2

Former G.S. resident offers similar message in adult & children’s books

By Fran Thompson
Linda Center wore a lot of hats during the 13 years she lived in Gulf Shores. She taught dance and gymnastics, captained a boat for Sun Ray Cruises and planned nuptials for Weddings by the Bay, a second family business she ran from her Plash Island home with her husband Bill.
But a passion for writing was something she never saw coming.
“It wasn’t til 2012 that I even thought about it,’’ Center said while back in Gulf Shores to visit friends and work two book signings. “I was the least likely person to ever become a writer. I didn’t even like English in school.
“There was a time when I loved to travel. We went all the way to south Africa and around the world. But now all I want to do is go to places like the Smithsonian Institute. The passion I have for writing has completely changed they way I look at life,’’ she added.
These days, the Centers split their time between Chattanooga and the The Villages in Central Florida, with frequent visits to Gulf Shores.
In addition to visiting friends here, the author will present book signings at The Copper Kettle Tea Room in Foley from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 and at the Annual Fall Harvest Fest on the campus of Gulf Shores United Methodist Church from 9 a.m.’til 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 2.
Center will have copies of her newest book, Crystal Discovers the Glow, as well as her first book, The Relationship Dance, available at the signings. Both are also sold on Amazon.
She wrote The Relationship Dance while living in Gulf Shores. It is a short biography with human interest stories about life, relationships, and religion.
In it, she illustrates how God wants people to dance in unity despite religious differences. The book contains eye-opening interviews and inspirational stories from all walks of life about God’s design for relationships of all kinds and for all ages.
Her most recent release, Crystal Discovers the Glow, addresses Linda’s advocation for the importance of education for children.
In the book, Crystal is on a beach trip with her family when an accident transports the eleven-year-old to a fantasy world of mermaid life and adventures under the sea. When faced with overwhelming fear, Crystal starts to ask some big questions: “What does my future hold? Who made the universe? Why do I disobey?”
Filled with determination to find answers, Crystal discovers the power of God and the truth to her questions. These truths set her free from fear and give her an inner glow and a belief that anything is possible. Center said it is the first in a Glow series.
Center also writes stories for magazines, as she continues to follow her writing muse.
“My platform in life has changed. I thought I was meant to mentor women in relationships, but I found out that didn’t fly. It was time to get off that dead horse and find something else that would be my purpose in life.’’
With her 32 years of experience coaching dance and gymnastics to children, Center knew she loved children. And she saw a connection with her own childhood school experiences with the writing struggles she encountered.
“I never studied or even paid much attention to using correct English or punctuation,’’ she said. “ It was a struggle when I started writing,’’ she said.
“It is now my passion to go into schools and tell children and their parents and grandparents the importance of paying attention at school. I encourage children to do their best. They may not think they are going to need those skills now, but one of these days they may have a passion for something where they need that education.
“It’s important that children know that. It’s important that children get that, even if it they are listening to a crazy old lady.’’
What is interesting about Center’s first two books is that one is for children and the other for adults, but the themes are similar.
“They are both inspirational,’’ she said. “They both have a spiritual message. They have that and being set at the beach.’’