Recently published author Victoria Loggins returned to the community of her youth just recently, on the weekend of Popcorn Day, to visit family and to celebrate a bucket-list accomplishment.
Loggins grew up in Hamburg, graduating in 1984, and, from her time working as a co-editor for the Cat’s Corner page in the Hamburg Reporter, grew to love the craft of writing.
She had always wanted to write a book, and, for many years, had an idea who might be her main character for the story.
But life got in the way. She began her post-high school life by moving to Dahlonega, Ga., where she pursued a college degree in criminal justice.
That degree didn’t take her to the career she has now, that of an accountant for the state of Georgia, but the degree and the job provided new experiences.
Currently, Loggins resides in Murrayville, Ga., about 70 miles north of Atlanta. She enjoys her job with the state, her side catering business, and her loving family, which includes a husband, two grown children and four grandchildren, with one on the way.
In some ways, life may have ended up the way Loggins wanted it, but not the way she planned it.
And that narrative works well with the story that Loggins eventually wrote, Close to Forever, a fictional account which follows the adventures of Alexis and Oliver, two people who were destined to be together.
Loggins said she always felt a connection to the main character of Alexis. In fact, she once told her mother that, had she been able to choose her own name, it would have been Alexis.
What makes up the character of Alexis? Loggins said Alexis is strong and determined, two traits that she says she identifies with, and, like Loggins, Alexis had a pre-planned life that ends up taking a few detours.
“I don’t think you have your destiny in life. I think life has its destiny for you,” she said.
Loggins said she thinks that people will relate to the story because, despite our best efforts, sometimes life just won’t cooperate. Avoiding bumps in the road is not a plan that works.
“That’s what life is—bumps in the road,” said Loggins.
Although the book has twists and turns to keep readers wanting more, Loggins said she feels it ends on a note of completion.
Oh, and don’t ask her for a sequel either.
People who read the book and fall in love with Alexis might want to know more. They might want more adventures.
But Loggins feels that  this story stands on its own. It’s complete.
And she’s on to the next work, a book with a working title, Numbers.
She said the chance to come home and to celebrate her first book was something she enjoyed.
“I am very proud to be from Hamburg, Iowa. It’s a great community and a great place to grow up,” she said.
Loggins is hopeful that folks will read and enjoy her book. She says she’s humbled by the experience and motivated by a desire to make her father proud.
The writing bug continues to bite Loggins, who said she is glad that there is time to pursue this dream.
“You do what you have to do in life and then you are supposed to get to the part where you do what you want to do,” she said. “This is what I want to do.”