(CBS Local)– Patricia Heaton has always straddled the line between being a leaper and a planner.

The Emmy Award winning actor leapt into acting when she moved from Ohio to New York and has sustained decades of success in Hollywood on shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle” and most recently “Carol’s Second Act” on CBS.

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Now, Heaton is planning out her next chapter as a film producer and volunteer and used her new Simon & Schuster book called “Your Second Act” to springboard that plan into action. In the book, Heaton writes about her own life and also shares the stories of countless individuals and friends who have redefined their paths later on in life. The actor learned a lot about herself and others while putting this book together.

“I like change and I like to keep growing,” said Heaton in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I never like to get complacent. I think once my boys left the house, I thought I’d have more opportunity to do things. Producing a movie has kind of been a new thing for me. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences, even though we have to finish the same film. I love sitting on the other side of the camera and controlling what I’m seeing. It started when I was little in Ohio that there was always something out there that I want to go see, find and experience and that feeling has never left me since I was little.”

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Heaton was producing an independent film in Oklahoma City before production got shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Heaton and her husband who was directing the film were actually staying in the same hotel as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and the hotel had to be evacuated because he tested positive for COVID-19. While Heaton is fulfilled in many different ways from her work in front of the camera and behind the camera, no experience compares to her run on the CBS hit sit-com “Everybody Loves Raymond” with Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and the late Doris Roberts.

“Even when you’re on a long running show, it’s going to end,” said Heaton. “Then you’re going to be looking for that next gig. I’ve been very fortunate that Raymond and The Middle were two long running shows while I was raising my kids. I was able to have steady work while being close to home. That whole show was just a gift. To go in everyday and just laugh all day long and have this beautiful writing put in front of you. Every week to do a table read was so much fun. The camaraderie is the biggest thing everyone misses when a show ends that builds over the years.”

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Heaton’s book is available now wherever books are sold. Simon & Schuster is a subsidiary of ViacomCBS.