HOSCHTON — Debbie Griffiths grew up as an awkward child, living in a home of alcoholics in Thomasville.
The young girl wore thick glasses, had a face full of freckles and grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.
When Griffiths grew up, she put her past behind her to start her own business, Southern Pines, which is a retirement community located in her hometown.
Since retiring, Griffiths decided to put her heart breaks and triumphs down on a paper — that’s when her memoir “Little Lady, Big Dream” was created.
“I felt like I had an interesting life and by sharing my story, I could encourage others to overcome life obstacles and follow their dreams,” the Hoschton resident said. “It’s a spiritual memoir, filled with inspirational stories about childhood stories of being different.”
Griffiths shares her memories of tragedy and healing, self-discovery and success through overcoming feelings of rejection and unworthiness to her success building a multimillion-dollar retirement community.
The first edition was written and self-published in 2007. In 2013, Tate Publishing picked up the book, asked Griffiths to add a few more stories and the second edition is now on the shelves.
“It is really a life story. I refer the first book was the first 50 years,” she said with a laugh. “The second book is another seven years. It’s literally from growing up on the wrong side of the railroad track, then to be a determined successful female entrepreneur. I was probably the last person they though in my town to have a dream and make it happen.”
With the book’s rise to fame, so has Griffiths’ story. It is now going to be made into a film with Michael McClendon working as director and screenwriter.
“Now talk about an unexpected opportunity,” the author said. “It just landed in my lap. I tried to talk myself out of it. I’ve been retired since the age of 48, being a lady of leisure.”
After much thought and prayer, she decided to take the risk on the movie.
“So many things unfolded to show me (the movie) was meant to be,” she said. I think it has a lot of potential. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I’m following my dreams and know that God is leading the way.”
The movie will be titled “Patchwork Dreams.”
“Life is like a patchwork quilt, that’s where we got the name of the movie,” Griffiths said. “Everything is made up with patchwork. Quilts are made of little patches put together to make something beautiful and that’s how I feel about my life.”
Filming begins in March.
To purchase the book, visit www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore, barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.