MACON -- Albany native Sarah Webster grew up hearing a tale her mother, Theora Brown, spun about her childhood cat, Mary Ann.
Today, that tale can be found within the pages of Webster's self-published children's book, "Mary Ann's Big Adventure."
The picture book designed for ages preschool-8 years introduces young readers to the Siamese kitten and takes them on the feline's journey with her owners to the beach for a family vacation, all with words and illustrations by Webster.
But Webster didn't want to take any undue credit, as the story originated from Brown.
"It's a story I wrote for school in college," 89-year-old Brown recalled. "But she (Webster) changed it up and made it better."
For that reason, Brown would not share a byline with her 59-year-old daughter on the publication.
"I tried to put her (Brown's) name on it," Webster said. "But she wouldn't let me."
Thus, the cover sports the words, "As retold by Sarah Webster."
But the pictures are Webster's own handiwork.
Available since December on Amazon.com, "Mary Ann's Big Adventure" has garnered some local interest.
"I've sold about a hundred copies so far," Webster said.
The book has even gained the admiration of Dougherty County Library Northwest Branch Head Librarian Gary Barton when he was introduced to it.
"I was quite impressed," he said. "It had nice illustrations."
Once Webster sat down to work on "Mary Ann," the project didn't take very long to complete.
"It took me about three months," the mother of one grown daughter said.
Although Webster worked on the book in her spare time, in between working a full-time job in retail in Macon, she was motivated to see the project completed.
"I became obsessed with getting it done," she said.
"Mary Ann" is not Webster's debut publication. It follows the August release of her self-published alphabet-picture book, "When I Grow Up ... I Want to Be A B C."
Webster admitted that her first book, which has also sold about 100 copies, took quite a bit more time to complete.
"That one took me over a year to put together," she said.
Illustrations for both books were accomplished by mixing free-hand drawing with computer artwork programs.
"Especially for the first one, I would do a pencil sketch and scan it in on the computer and digitize it," Webster said.
Webster has always enjoyed being creative.
"When I was in high school, my father was president of the Men's Garden Club (in Albany)," she said. "I used to make posters for them."
But Webster ended up not pursing a career in art.
"I didn't know which avenues to pursue," she said.
But Webster's creative knack found its way out, one way or another.
"When I was working as a paraprofessional in the Dougherty County School System 30 years ago, I was tapped by Title I Director Virginia Morgan to illustrate the 'Gnat the Fat Cat' reading series," she recalled.
After a divorce shortly after completing that project, Webster changed careers. It wasn't until a few years ago that she finally decided to cultivate her creative talent by going to college to study art.
"I was the ripe old age of 50," she said. "I went back as soon as my daughter graduated from college."
It was then that Webster left the Good Life City and headed for Atlanta, where she went on to earn an associate's degree in psychology from Georgia Perimeter College and a bachelor of arts degree in studio art from Georgia State University.
These days, Webster lives in Macon so she can be near her daughter's family.
"I have two grandchildren," she said.
She is also at work on another book, which again draws on family stories.
"This one is about my little sister, who was afraid of dogs," she said.
It's the next of several family stories Webster plans to turn into books for children.
"I have more aspirations," she said.