Riceboro native Dawn Baker, a local television anchor and reporter, can add another achievement to her resume: She’s now an author. Baker’s recently released book, "Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Needs To Know," a 142-page, soft-cover publication, is now on local shelves.
Baker recently hosted an invitation-only book delivery party in Savannah, where hundreds of people from her hometown and the surrounding areas came to pick up copies of the book, which the author describes as a labor of love.
The book, written for teenage girls and young women, is broken down into seven chapters. It includes a forward by Paula Deen, Food Network star and owner of The Lady & Sons.
"I was very touched by the premise of Savannah’s own Dawn Baker’s book," Deen wrote. "‘Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Need To Know’ is exactly what we need for our teen girls and young adults today."
Baker tackles subjects ranging from weight issues to relationships to managing careers in short, easy-to-understand segments.
In one segment, titled "Make Your Word Your Bond," Baker reminds readers to keep their word, whether it’s to a friend or a business contact.
If you cannot follow through on what you promised, Baker wrote, you should let that person know as soon as possible.
"People respect you when you respect their time. One of the goals all of us should share is trying to become the kind of person that people can depend on."
Baker even addressed a recent fad, the tattoo, which can have lifelong effects on women.
Baker pleads with the reader: "Whatever you do, do not tattoo any man’s name on your body. Countless women have gotten tattoos with their boyfriend’s and husband’s names. When they broke up, they were stuck with those names on their bodies as a constant reminder of the love they lost and a mistake they could not take back."
Baker went on to describe how brides fret over old tattoos that seem cute at 18 but send negative messages at 25 on the most important day of their lives.
If a tattoo is a must, Baker recommended keeping it out of sight or just getting a temporary one.
In her book, Baker recalled growing up in the small town of Riceboro, where everyone knows each other and neighbors take care of one another.
Her parents divorced when she was 2, and she was raised by her mother, Lula Baker, who was a teacher, and her grandparents, Mary Alice and George LeCount.
When she told her grandfather she was majoring in broadcast journalism, Baker recalled in the book, he looked at her and said, "You wasting your mama’s money to go to that expensive school to learn how to talk? You have been talking long before you were supposed to." She recalled that when she returned to Riceboro years later to accept a position with WTOC and take care of her ailing grandmother, George LeCount told her she was doing a great job. In the book, Baker said she not only got an apology from her grandfather for his comment, but she also had earned his respect, which was priceless.
Baker said in an interview during the delivery party that she wrote the book because she was concerned about what she was witnessing in the world around her.
"In a time when morality, respect and good old-fashioned manners are somewhat taboo, many of us have been disturbed, angry, critical and have often lashed out at our youth; and yes, for a while I went on my silent rants as well. But I paused as I recalled the familiar saying, ‘If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.’"
Baker, who has no children, calls this book her daughter. She said it took her a year and a half to put on paper the mistakes she and others have made and compile it into a handbook, which she hopes will serve as a guide to the pitfalls many young women make in their formative years.
"I decided to channel my energy in the direction of writing ‘Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Needs To Know’ to the many young women who are lost. Women seem to be preoccupied with superficial things, sacrificing who they are to fit in, doing anything they can dream of in order to get attention from men, wasting their time gossiping and being jealous of others."
Baker said she hopes young girls and women who read the book will devote time to working on themselves.
Baker is donating 20 percent of the book sales to a scholarship fund: Dawning of a Miracle Scholarship Fund for high school female seniors diagnosed with chronic/life-threatening illnesses.
The book can be purchased at the following websites and Savannah locations: E. Shaver Bookseller at 326 Bull St., Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace House at 10 E. Oglethorpe Ave., www.dawnsdaughter.com and www.amazon.com. An e-book version is available at www.smashwords.com.