Hello, I am Jan Sikes. I started writing when I was a young girl, around the age of eight. My first writing was a gospel song. I had an uncle whom I loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, I wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is my first memory of feeling the passion deep down to my toes for writing.
Then as I continued to grow up, I became an avid reader of books. We had no TV in our home so reading was my entertainment. Many times, I’d be in the middle of a good book when Mom called for lights out, so I would hide under the covers with a flashlight and continue reading.
The stories I write (so far) are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. I believe with all my heart there is something that is worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits the stories that I share.
I am passionate about my writing projects and am driven to tell a story with the hope that it might touch someone’s heart or life in a positive way.
I also released a music cd of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.
I am widowed, live in North Texas, attend music festivals and have four incredible grandchildren.
Why do I write what I do?
The main characters of my stories are Rick Sikes (my late husband aka Luke Stone) and myself (aka Darlina Flowers). Our story is unique and for years, we were told by many people who came to know us that someone should write it. When Rick passed away in 2009, I began to think along those lines and searched for someone to do just that. I awoke one morning to the realization that the only person who could write it was me since I was the one who lived it. So, I took classes, studied everything I could find from sentence structure to formatting, then began to write. The story is a series of three books. I’ve published two, so have one more to go. Once the three books and music CDs are completed, I will write a screenplay for a movie.
I love writing and will never stop!
My husband and I had a music publishing company for many years, so when it came time to publish my first book, I simply used the existing company already in place to publish through.
I now have opened RiJan Publishing up to the public and am actively seeking authors who may be at the beginning of the publishing process and need a little assistance to maneuver through the maze.
Other Interests or hobbies:
Writing takes 99% of my time, but when I’m not writing, you’ll find me volunteering at various music festivals and events across Texas. I play guitar and write songs, and that is a lot of fun and relaxing to me. And, since I also have four amazing grandchildren, I devote time to playing with and enjoying them as well.
FLOWERS AND STONE:
The first of the trilogy, Flowers and Stone is set in the rowdy honky-tonks of Texas in 1970. It is the beginning of a passionate love story between two very unlikely people.
Luke Stone is a veteran Texas musician. He’s spent his entire life playing music and filling up the dance halls and bars from Texas to California. Darlina Flowers is a young naïve girl, fresh away from a holy-roller upbringing. She is out to try everything that had been forbidden by the church and her mother.
Nothing could have prepared Darlina for Luke to come stampeding into her life like a team of wild horses. Their love quickly ignited into an ever burning flame, only to endure a cruel twist of fate and injustice. Soon they were split apart by circumstance and separated by walls and bars.
This is a compelling true story based on the lives of Rick and Jan Sikes.
THE CONVICT AND THE ROSE:
In the sequel to Flowers and Stone, Luke and Darlina find their love severely tested as they struggle to overcome enormous odds.
When Texas veteran musician, Luke Stone, finds himself behind bars with a seventy-five year sentence, he is filled with hate, anger and rebelliousness. He’s lost everything that he treasures, including the woman who holds his heart.
How has it come down to this? He’s spent his entire life writing songs and making music, filling dancehalls and bars from Texas to California. But, when he refuses to tell the FBI what he knows about certain bank robberies that he possesses knowledge of, they make sure he pays dearly.
Broken and alone, in a prison of her own, Darlina Flowers struggles to find a way to live without the man she loves so completely.
Over the next sixteen years, Luke and Darlina each search for ways to somehow survive the fate life has hurled them into.
In an effort to dull the pain of living with only half a heart, Darlina gets involved in drugs, then follows a guru and tries different relationships, but nothing fills the void.
Several years pass before Luke makes up his mind that prison will not break him. He crawls up from the bottom one tiny step at a time, determined to be and do something worthwhile and discovers artistic talents he never realized he had.
The Convict and the Rose inspires hope and shows how anyone can turn a negative dark situation into a positive one. But more importantly, the story portrays a love that goes beyond earthly confines and proves how persistence and faith come with their own sweet reward.
The third and last book of this trilogy will be published in Spring 2015 and is titled “HOME AT LAST”