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Novelist receives warm welcome at JSU

10/31/2012

Author Susan Rebecca White spoke on the 11th floor in Houston Cole Library on Monday October 23. Over 25 students, teachers and alumni attended.

The author was invited to speak by the Friends of Houston Cole Library in 2010 but a snowstorm forced her to cancel.

The Friends of Houston Cole Library “promote an appreciation among the University constituency and the community at large, of the importance of the Library as the center of academic life at Jacksonville State University.” For further information on how to become a “Friend” to the Houston Cole Library, please visit www.jsu.edu/library/friends.

The Dean of Library Services, John-Bauer Graham welcomed everyone to the program. Ms. White was then introduced by Dr. Joanne Gates.

Susan Rebecca White, a teacher at Emory University, began her discussion by saying she never thought she would be an accomplished writer.

“I felt like writers were tapped on the shoulder by God,” said Ms. White. But she overcame this by working on becoming a better writer. She quit her job as a teacher to work on her writing.

She said, “You become a better writer by writing.” She began working as a waitress and started a short-lived cleaning service called the “Mop Squad. She also returned to school as a graduate student.

She explained that the hardest part of writing for her used to be “getting to the end.” Eventually she found a voice that came to a conclusion, Missy, a character in White’s first novel, Bound South.

Ms. White read from her two published novels, Bound South and A Soft Place to LandBound South explores the relationship between three closely-knit southern women. A Soft Place to Land tells the story of two half-sisters separated after their parents’ death.

Then she read from her third book, which will be published in 2013. Ms. White announced that the book’s title had changed from All It Costs is Everything to A Place at the Table.

Ms. White said that all her books focused on the same thing, “Who is my family? What is owed to family? Are they only biological?”

Both of Ms. White’s published books were available for sale after the program. Ms. White stayed to personally sign the books.

Victoria Forrester, a junior, said, “I felt relief hearing a published author admitting writing didn’t come easy to her, but she still felt her voice needed to be heard.”

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