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Former accountant picks up the pen
Some stay at a job their entire lives just to retire to a warm area of the globe and relax after years of working hard.

Dolores Gruen executed each of those actions to perfection, except for the relaxing part.

The part-time St. Simons Island resident didn't want to simply sit by the beach and watch life pass her by.

"Don't just sit down and say life is over. Get involved in anything that will stimulate you," she said.

The one stimulating thing Gruen found was writing. In fact, the retired accountant has been working just as hard on her new career as an author.

Since seeing an ad for a creative writing course in a newspaper 21 years ago, Gruen has been writing stories, going to writers' conferences and hosting writing workshops.

The 83-year-old Gruen is hard at work on her eighth novel, the fourth book in her "Echoes" saga.

The third book in the series, "Only Echoes Remain," was released in April.

"I love doing it. Each book I say is going be my last because of my age, but I just keep on writing," she said. "I never dreamed of writing."

Now she couldn't dream of doing anything else.

She's worked a variety of jobs. In addition to being an accountant, she owned a children's clothing store for a couple of years, had a camping resort built in Gettysburg, Pa., with her first husband and ran a H&R Block tax office.

"I've had my finger in a lot of pots. (Writing was) a real leap," said Gruen.

Taking leaps of faith at a late stage in life is something Gruen has applied to her professional life as well as her personal life.

At 75, she married her second husband. The marriage would lead her to write "To Love Again," which is about two individuals who find love in their elderly years.

Her second husband passed away in 2012.

She has no regrets pursuing a new love or a new career. Her marriage helped her feel as youthful as she did when she first got married in her late 20s, and her novels keep her mind sharp and active, she says.

"That shows you that anything is possible," she said. "Life doesn't stop just because you're retired."

Gruen writes under the pseudonym "Dody Myers," and her books can be found locally at the G.J. Ford Bookshop, 600 Sea Island Road, St. Simons Island, and online at Amazon and Kindle bookstores.

* Coastal People appears Mondays. Contact Martin Rand III at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 324 to suggest a person for a column.

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