Growing up, Kim Ridley was always known as the kid with too much energy and no focus. She tried to conform to what she thought was normal, but eventually, she realized she had to be herself.

Her goal in life was to be a writer, but her parents just called it a dream. That dream is quickly becoming a reality, as Ridley’s first middle grade children’s book, “The Curse of Yama,” which is part of a series of books called “The C. Walker Chronicles,” is released Friday, May 27.

“It’s all just so surreal,” she said. “I never thought it would be possible for me to achieve this.”

Even more amazing is how she finds the time to write. A registered nurse for nearly 30 years, Ridley works as a nurse recruiter for Baptist employment services and works some weekend hours as a house supervisor at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.

“We are extremely proud of Kim for her accomplishment,” said Donna DePriest, supervisor of nurse recruitment. “I know she has been writing for several years, and it is wonderful seeing all of her hard work finally paying off.”

Ridley first dreamed up “The Curse of Yama” in the 90’s, but she didn’t begin working on it seriously until five years ago, when she decided she was going to fulfill her goal and get her book published.

“I had to learn the process on my own,” she said. “I went to writing conferences all over the country, and I had publishers review my work.”

It was at one such conference where Ridley met Ellen C. Maze, an illustrator author of spiritual supernatural tales, who recommended Ridley to her publisher at TreasureLine Books.

“The Curse of Yama” is the first in a series of books detailing the adventures of Chloe Walker, the 12-year-old daughter of an archeologist who falls ill after opening a mysterious, old book.

Believed to be under the curse of Yama, modern medicine cannot help her father recover. Chloe takes it upon herself to venture into the jungles of India to find a cure for her father and discover the truth about the curse.

“When you read Kim’s work, you are hearing her actual voice,” Maze said. “Her playful innocence and sense of a good time comes through in every sentence. Chloe is Kim, I just know it.”

One of Ridley’s greatest achievements thus far has been her invitation to present her book as a vendor at the 2011 LeakyCon, a charity conference held July 13 through July 17 in Orlando, Fla., and presented by the staff of The Leaky Cauldron, a website dedicated to all things Harry Potter.

As for right now, Ridley is relishing the excitement that is coming with the publication of “The Curse of Yama,” looking forward to meeting with middle school students, as well as continuing to work on her next novel, “Dirt,” which will be the first in a young adult romance series.

“Kim has unlimited creative talent and the most joyous outlook of anyone I know,” Maze said. “I don’t see her doing anything short of selling a million copies.”