Providing professional therapy for children of drug-addicted parents has inspired Genia Calvin of Frankford to write a series of four children's books to help them understand their parents' problems.

Providing professional therapy for children of drug-addicted parents has inspired Genia Calvin of Frankford to write a series of four children's books to help them understand their parents' problems.

Calvin explained her writing goals during the one-year anniversary celebration of the Hannibal Writers Guild on Feb. 9 at the Mark Twain Brewery, where the guild meets monthly at 5:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month.

As a therapist and counselor with Advanced Counseling Services in Hannibal, Calvin said she understands addiction and is writing the books, “to educate children on what addiction really is.” The first book is a story of a little girl whose mom has an addiction.

“Kids need to understand it's not something they did wrong,” she said. “Kids think parents don't love them and struggle to understand why parents can't just stop. … I want this book to help them understand the addiction controls their parents.”

The second book will feature recovery, she said, and will “show children their parents will be different when recovered.” Her third book will focus on relapses, because children “need to know what can happen if Mom and Dad get clean and sober and relapse.”

The fourth book will about children dealing with the death of parents due to addiction.

Her books will eventually be available online through Amazon.

J.R. Sommerfeldt of Quincy, Ill., has been a member of the Hannibal Writers Guild since it was founded a year ago by Ryan Freeman of Hannibal. Sommerfeldt is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Quincy and also writes a blog, on which he reviews video games. As a freelance writer, he writes Christian devotionals.

Although most members of the guild write fiction and he only writes non-fiction, he has been inspired by other members. “I have been honing my craft and looking at different avenues where I can write,” he said.

With a master's degree in divinity, Sommerfeldt said his goal for 2019, “is to have an established freelance network, where I'm doing work for people and getting paid.” One possibility is “writing theological dissertations and sending them to colleges.”

Freeman founded the Hannibal Writers Guild as an extension of the Missouri Writers Guild. As a Hannibal resident, he had been attending a guild in St. Louis, where he “rubbed shoulders with other writers” and was pleased with the group's industrial guests and visiting agents.

Freeman's new book, “Nameless,” is now with an agency.

In addition to writing books, he does marketing and is a radio producer for WGEM, involving local sports. He also is pastor of the Payson (Ill.) Christian Church.

At the Feb. 9 celebration, Freeman was ready to present Purple Pen writing awards to three members of the guild who wrote books in 2018. They are Sonna Egbers of Quincy, John Davis IV of Hannibal and Joshua Skurtu of St. Louis.

Egbers won a contest by writing a 50,000-page novel in a month in November. This was her first book, and she is editing it now for publication, Freeman said.

Freeman added that future plans for the Hannibal Writers Guild include the possibility of a one-day writers' convention in 2020.

The guild also plans to publish a Hannibal Literary Magazine in 2019, and is seeking submissions of 1,000-3,000 words. “We already have half a dozen,” he said. More details about the guild are on hannibalwrites.com.

bev.darr@courierpost.com