Danbury woman publishes book detailing father's exploits as Darien cop
Updated 12:24 pm, Monday, April 18, 2011
The saying everybody has a story to tell is true especially when you're the daughter of a infamous Darien Police Officer whose rise to power preceded a shameful downfall.
Jean Sylvia Anderson, who currently resides in Danbury, grew up in Darien where her father, Amos, worked as a police officer. In an effort to relate the success her father realized before he was subsequently discharged from the force, Anderson recently published her first book "Amos, the Lone Wolf of the Boston Post Road."
"While I was working on the book I went to the Darien Library everyday to look through old newspaper clippings," Anderson said. "I managed to compile all the information by 1992 and that's when I started writing the book."
Because there was so much information for Anderson to sort through, she set up a system where divided the clippings into the year they were written.
When someone takes on the task of writing a novel, there is usually some sort of economic incentive involved. Anderson, however, is not concerned with any money the book generates.
"People characterize everything too much by money," Anderson said.
More important to her than any fame or riches is the fact she was able to complete the book. Anderson was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 52 and the disease has made speaking difficult for her; an issue that is both frustrating and a source of motivation.
"People doubt your intellect when you can't speak properly," Anderson said. "I know there are many people out there with their own problems and I hope they can relate to this book because of what I deal with."
Anderson said her book isn't so much about what her father did as a police office, so much as it is about the type of man he was and how his fall from grace was brought about by his own pride.
"This story is about ordinary people who do extraordinary things and how that can effect them," Anderson said. "Maybe my father attracted the wrong type of people and that's why he ended up where he did."
Writing about a family member may seem easier than other options but Anderson said she wouldn't have been able to write her book without letting a significant amount of time pass.
"You have to keep your perspective if you're going to write something like this," she said. "I waited a long time before I started writing but now I can look back and be more objective."
Before trying her hand at writing a book, Anderson wrote a screenplay which she sent out to hundreds of Hollywood agents. She didn't get anyone to pick up the screenplay but Anderson felt the timing wasn't right at the time. However, now that her book has been published, Anderson felt the timing was absolutely right.
"I knew a had a story to tell about my father and maybe because I thought I was running out of time I was able to write this book,"Anderson said.
So far, Anderson hasn't had the opportunity to hear much feedback about her book except from her family who all give it rave reviews.
"My family absolutely loves it and my son is so proud of me," Anderson said.
As an added tribute to her family, and a mark of the pride Anderson has for her family name, she chose to write the book under the pen name Jean Sylvia Anderson. However, Jean now goes by Stouter but she felt it was appropriate to use her maiden name.
"It was actually a last minute decision right before the book was going to be published."
Regardless of how the book is received, Anderson said she hopes there are kids with their own issues who will read the book and realize they can do same thing.
"There are always things you can do just as well, if not better, than other people."
"Amos, the Lone Wolf of the Boston Post Road" was published by Lauriat Press and is the first book Anderson has had published.