"The Soul Seekers" may be Amy Bond's first published book, but it's not her first writing venture.

Bonds has written original skits and plays much of her life, but she never intended to be a writer. She intended to sing and act her way to stardom.

Bond grew up in La Grande with the small town camaraderie and support of her efforts. She had roles in all of the high school plays, wrote and acted in skits and sang at weddings and other local events.

She was happy when she went off to the University of Oregon for three years. She said it took her that long to complete her basic courses that usually take only two years.

"I was so intimidated by the talent and by the (prevalent use of) drugs and promiscuous lifestyle," she said, "that I wondered who I was. I had previously identified myself with being a singer and with my musical talent.

"I'm so glad I didn't follow that dream," she confided. "Yet, I wonder what I could have done if I hadn't been so intimidated by those around me at Oregon."

Bond went on to Oregon Health Sciences University and became a dental hygienist. She worked as a hygienist for nine years, full-time at first, but since the birth of her two children she has worked part-time.

She and her husband, Clayton, who manages the dealership and Visa departments for the administrative branch of an area bank, moved to Baker City five years ago.

With more time on her hands after the birth of her two boys, she began to conjure up characters, lots of them, but didn't write anything down, she said. She believes she wanted to do well and didn't try because she was afraid of failure.

Bond decided to write down sketches, outlining who her imaginary people were, who their parents were and why and how they became the way they were. Then she wondered what would happen if two of the characters met. It seemed natural to sketch out a time line to see where it would take her.

"It was like my fantasy adventure because I was so homebound now and had been so active," she said.

She likes to create characters who live the kind of lives she wished she could.

"The idea to write just came to me," she said.

Their second son, Reagon, was very ill and was unable to leave the home for two months.

Bond said she may have been struggling through depression, too, because her feelings came through some of the characters.

The result is a 200 page Christian Romance/Adventure published by iUniverse, an Internet company specializing in writers' first books.

"The Soul Seekers" will be joined this summer, she said, when she publishes a book of original skits, games and ice breakers that can be used by youth group leaders and at summer camps.

"All have been tested at the Saturday evening contemporary praise and worship service at the Baker City Nazarene Church," she said.

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Contact Sandy Holtz, Pendleton Community News editor, at 1-800-522-0255, ext. 1-225 after hours, or e-mail: sholtz@eastoregonian.com

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