By Dottie Dewberry
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt
On Tuesday, March 8, at the Bryan Public Library in West Point, author Susan Sims Moody is dreaming the dream and is looking to her future as she recently finished and self-published her third book.
She was at the West Point library for a book signing, which was hosted by the Friends of the Library.
Susan, the daughter of James and Evelyn Sims, is a graduate of Mississippi State University, is a former high school English teacher, is the mother of two children, and is currently involved in gardening and participating in 5K runs.
In addition to this, she tries to write at least 1,000 words per day. Sometimes this does not happen, but she is pursuing her dream.
Susan’s father taught school in Maben and was the principal of Maben High School in the early 90s. Her mother, Evelyn Golden Sims, taught English and creative writing for 33 years, of which, some of this time was in Southaven. She also can rightfully claim that she taught John Grisham in her creative writing class.
Moody and her husband, along with their two children, live in Hudson, Wisc., where already they have received 85 inches of snow and are expecting more. So killing two or three birds with one stone, she is getting away from the cold of Wisconsin, visiting family down South, and doing book signing.
Mrs. Moody, a second generation English teacher, professed that she did not write her books in order---bits and pieces here and there and then put together.
Are we to understand people who teach English are not in their right brain?
She told the group that she actually wrote Mercy during her lunch hour over the course of one year.
The significance of the literary club, which is mentioned in book three, is that it is based on a group of people from Maben, who meet in the funeral home, drink coffee, and some of them actually read a book sometimes.
The literary club of Maben will be featured incognito in Bedford,, a fictional town in the Mississippi Delta in The Devil Don’t Knock.
Original club member Elmer Dobbs used to drop by and visit with Nellie Blade at the funeral home and gradually over the years more members have been added to the group, all seeking kindred minds. Elmer sent word to Susan Moody, the daughter of Evelyn Golden Sims and the niece of Ann Golden Sims, all from Maben, that he was going to be dead before the next book came out. He has since passed on, but he did receive an advanced copy of the book before this happened.
A number of Maben residents attended the Tuesday event; some are actually members of the Literary Club: Lavenia Yeatman, Pat Harpole, Gladys Hendrix, Ann Walls, Jackie Christopher, and Dottie Dewberry. Members of the famed Literary Club, who could not be present, were Nellie Blade, Sue Box, John Waites, Randle Poss, Lonnie Jackson, and Wayne Vaughan.
The Literary Club collected money from its members to purchase the new Moody book to donate to the Maben Public Library.
It was easy to tell that Susan was a true Southerner as she casually talked about misspelled words and dangling modifiers in her books. Momma (Evelyn) major proofreader and former English teacher, sometimes misses things like “sleight-of-hand.” There is nothing like having your computer crash and losing chapters of your books. She told future writers to always kill someone off by page five.
She says that her books have a Christian influence, but do not be deterred; there is murder and other mayhem, plus humor, in her books.
She said that her books are out on e-books; they can be found in public libraries, and in book stores.
Look for Flatlands, Mercy, and The Devil Don’t Knock wherever books are found.