Local writer finds inspiration in “Dancing with the Stars” for biography

Season 25 of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” premieres on Monday, Sept. 18.

So, what does this have to do with Miami Valley’s literary life?

Well, local writer Vickie Weaver has penned a biography of her father, Carroll Webster, who was a dancer in the vaudeville era and spent four years in 1930s dance marathons trying for a chance to break into show business.

Vickie says she is a fan of the modern-dance competition of the show, and that was part of her inspiration for writing her father’s biography. A bigger part of the inspiration was wanting to know more about this aspect of his life which she captures in “Dancing In The Stars.”

Vickie has also herself enjoyed the avocation of dancing, although with her editing business, Writestyle, and writing the biography, she’s taken time away from the pursuit.

"I've never really gotten over my father's death," Vickie says. "Writing this biography was a way to honor him and his career."

Though writing about her father, his biography nevertheless took 4 1/2 years, explains Vickie.

Reasons the Cincinnati Comic Expo is worth the drive

“I researched the era and the world of dance marathons through books and internet sources. I really relied on the library for much of my research,” Vickie says. “I also looked at everything I could from my father’s life and interviewed relatives and others who knew him.”

Vickie began the book in 2010 and self-published it in 2015.

Vickie is a lifelong Dayton resident. She founded her editing business, Writestyle, in 1996. Learn more about her business and her book at www.writestyle.com.

"Writing the book brought me some closure," Vickie says. "I think the themes that really drive the book, and my father's dancing career, are drive, persistence and religious faith. I was also fascinated to delve more deeply into the historical, economic and societal events of the 1930s and 1940s. So many of those experiences and the lessons they are offer are still relevant."

READ THIS NEXT: 4 things you may not know about Ohio’s biggest Oktoberfest

Vickie offers a tips for others interested in writing a biography. “The research and writing for a biography is unbelievably time-consuming. Often, it can be difficult to find information. But don’t give up!”

12th Annual Dottie Yeck Good Life Award Writing Contest is Underway

The Dottie Yeck Good Life Award Writing Contest, run by the Washington-Centerville Public Library, is open to any teen enrolled in a grade 7-9 curriculum who lives or goes to school in Montgomery County. The contest awards a $3,000 cash prize to the top essayist.

Teens need to write 500 words or less on a specific prompt and enter their work online at https://www.wclibrary.info/gla/

The contest, now open for entries, has a deadline of Tuesday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m.

In addition to the top prize of $3,000, three Awards of Distinction (each $100) are given as well as $250 going to the winning classroom. There are also 21 Honorable Mentions and all the writers are honored at a program and reception at Centerville Library on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7:00 p.m. Winners appear in the Dayton Daily News.

Upcoming Literary Events

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2:30 p.m., Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood — Writers' Café, a casual hang out for writers ages 18 and up and of all experience levels, meets the first Friday (7 p.m.) and third Sunday (at 2:30) of each month.

Sunday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m., Books & Co. at The Greene — Mike Lupica , often called "the greatest sports writer for middle school readers," will introduce his newest novel, "Lone Stars." Autograph line numbers will be given out beginning at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Dayton Metro Library, Main (120 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton), Community Room 2A, 2nd Floor — Ed Davis, author of five books of poetry will offer a poetry refresher on the critical differences between poetry and prose.

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m., Wright Memorial Public Library, 1776 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood — Wright Library Poets meet in the library's conference room to share work and hone craft; beginners are welcome. For more information contact Elizabeth Schmidt, schmidt@wrightlibrary.org, or call 294-7171.

Mondays, Sept. 25-Oct. 30 (no class on October 2), 6:30-8:30 p.m., Oakwood Starbucks, 2424 Far Hills Ave. —Word's Worth Writing Center (www.wordsworthdayton.com) offers "Memoir: Write Your Story" with author and creative writing instructor Katrina Kittle. This series explores techniques to focus personal stories, give them shape, and define their underlying themes. See the website to register.

About the Author