Local writer has part in unique Elvis anthology
Mississippi is known for its literary community, and one local woman is adding her name to the list.
Sally Green was one of 23 authors who had their story chosen for “What Would Elvis Think,” an anthology of Mississippi tales.
A debut book signing has already been held at the Lumuria Book Store in Jackson. Thursday, several of the authors, including Green, will attend a book signing at Lorelei Books, 1103 Washington St., at 5:30 p.m.
Green said long-time editor, Johnny Lowe, came up with the idea to have an anthology of stories about Mississippi.
“He’d seen anthologies that are about different cities or certain genres but thought a general anthology about Mississippi would be a good idea. The only requirement for the stories was that they had to take place in Mississippi,” Green said.
Comprised of genres including general fiction, romance, mystery and noir, “What Would Elvis Think,” is sure to satisfy a diverse group of readers.
Green said when she found out she had been selected as one of the 23, she was shocked and elated.
“My first reaction was surprise,” she said. “I was excited and thrilled, of course, but still surprised that my story had been selected. Rejection is so common for writers, and I’m still a little amazed that my story is actually in print, in a real book.”
Initially, Green said, Lowe reached out to Inkslingers, which is a writers group in Clinton, to submit stories for the anthology, but then expanded his search to include others.
“My friend and mentor, John Floyd, suggested that I submit a story for Johnny’s consideration, which I did,” Green said.
Entitled “The Ride,” Green’s story is about a fifth-grade girl who lives in Clinton, and not only does she experience being bullied at school, she also has to come to grips with an alcoholic father. One evening, father and daughter take a ride in his convertible, and it becomes a night she will never forget.
Green said she combines real-life experiences with her imagination for her story ideas.
“Not all the real-life experiences are mine. A lot of them are things that have happened to other people or topics I am challenged to write about,” she said.
Since this is Green’s first published story she said she was reluctant to give advice to those interested in writing, but did say taking community writing classes and being intentional about writing helps.
Lowe, who is a member of Inkslingers, said the writing group published a couple of books before that had mostly been sold locally, but for “What Would Elvis Think,” he said the goal was to “make it as good as we could get it.”
“I wanted to have one (a book) for Amazon and one we could put into bookstores,” Lowe said.
Lowe said serving as the editor of the book was a learning process and when trying to come up with the theme for the anthology, he finally decided on Mississippi stories.
Initially, Lowe said, he just wanted to do stories relating to Clinton, but when he didn’t get a lot of submissions he decided to broaden the scope.
“Stories could take place anywhere in the state or the characters could live someplace else, but be from Mississippi or they could be about someone just passing through Mississippi. The tie in was that stories just had to somehow be related to the state,” he said.
Lowe said he chose the title because everyone knows who Elvis is and because of the “play on words.”
“This is not a book of stories on Elvis, I just thought it would be a playful title,” he said.
In addition to Green, there are several other writers who are being published for the first time, however, the anthology does include stories from seasoned writes like Floyd.