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story.lead_photo.caption Local author D.C. Gomez poses with her first book, "Death's Intern." (PHOTO BY KATE STOW)

Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Silfida DelCarmen "D.C." Gomez wasn't aware of the concept of race. Everyone there, regardless of color, was Dominican. She and her friends played in clear ocean water, and her home was surrounded by gorgeous vegetation.

At the age of 10, her family moved from that tropical paradise to the winter wonderland that was Salem, Massachusetts. There, D.C. and her younger brothers Miguel and Antonio were about to experience culture — and climate — shock.

"As a child, I was blown away that my parents were excited to freeze to death," D.C. said.

After graduating high school, her parents dropped her off in New York City, at the doorstep to New York University, where she majored in film and television. She learned she "didn't know enough about people to write about them."

A fear of failing motivated her to join the Army.

On Sept. 11, 2001, as the World Trade Center towers fell, D.C. was at basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia.

"For the first time in my life I was willing to die for others," she said.

As a 24-year-old truck mechanic, she was deployed to Iraq with the first wave of troops sent over following the 9/11 attack.

She left as a sergeant four years later and arrived in Wake Village in 2006 when, as a civil servant, she was transferred from Fort Riley, Kansas, to Red River Army Depot, where she still keeps her "day job" despite having enough books published and sold to put her on a USA Today bestselling list.

"I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to be good at it," she said. "I attended workshops, seminars, classes. I really faced my demons. I had this burning desire in my soul."

In 2012, D.C. learned she had thyroid cancer.

"In 2018 I made the decision that my hobby would now be a business," she said. "I started taking it seriously."

Since that decision, she has become a writing machine, churning out book after book — 13 of them in two years.

"I'm so blessed to have found my tribe here," she said. "Writing is a business that requires illustrators, cover art, editors, formatting and more."

Her brother, Antonio. and his wife, Kathleen, live locally and are a good support system for D.C. Kathleen illustrates her children's-book series and is the voice of the "Death's Intern" audiobook.

The "Intern Diaries," a series of five books, is set in Texarkana and involves witches, elves and even zombies. The star of the series is Isis Black, who, like D.C., is an Army veteran who just moved to town and has adventures with a cat named Constantine.

In August 2019, she was named on the USA Today Bestseller list when pre-sales of her books reached the required number. All of her books are listed on her page in both paperback and Kindle editions.

"We stop dreaming when we get older, and I want to motivate people to keep on," she said. "If this little Dominican can do it, anyone can do it. You can still dream."

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