A Tifton native has recently released her first published book.
Author Ivory McCray said the title of her novel is "Vicariously Free." It's the story of a young girl growing up and meeting God.
"To her, their relationship is unorthodox. Sometimes she accepts it while other times she dismisses it and pushes God away," she explained. "The young girl has an authentic voice and feels that what she says is so important that her name is not necessary, no names other than God for that matter, as it is the only one that appears throughout the text. Because her initial meeting with God was at a very young age, she calls him ‘G’ for short."
McCray says the main character has conversations with God and along the way, she is uncertain if she will ever understand their relationship. Being taught that he is most high, she associates all of the problems in her life with him as well. She begs him to help her, help others and even abandon her.
McCray commented, "She wants to be saved and if God is the entity that could save her, who is supposed to save her from him?"
She said "Vicariously Free" exhibits transforming power through the imagination of the narrator on her voyage to, with and away from God in a non-religious way, while sharing the darkest moments of her heart, in response to him in exchange for being free — vicariously.
To publish her first novel, McCray said she initially went after the traditional publishing houses, but after about seven months, she decided that she wanted to take the Indie route.
"Indie publishing grants the same opportunities, but the work is done by me. I feel like there is no better person to represent my work than myself," she said.
"Vicariously Free" can be purchased as an e-book onling via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, costing $9.99. A paper copy will soon be available.
McCray said she plans to write another book. She has written other books already but is pacing herself on what she puts out.
"My words are my children so to speak, so I feel like they all need the proper time to grow before I send another one out in the world," she said.
McCray says she has always wanted to be a writer.
"When I decided to seek other things it always found its way back in first place," she said. "Writing makes me all that I am and prepares me for anything I choose to pursue in life."
McCray lived in Tifton until age 18 when she began college in Macon. She received a bachelor's degree in art from Middle Georgia State College. She published "Vicariously Free" under the pen name "FM LIS."
McCray said her pen name has two meanings and both are what motivate her to continue writing.
She dedicates the book to her brother, Freddie, for always being the “rainbow in her smog-filled sky.”
“Forever My Love Is Selfless (FM LIS) and that is only possible because of you," she writes.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.