We are delighted to welcome Mrs. Alberta Nelson , a native of Hazlehurst, to the Rockin Railroad Festival presented by the Hazlehurst Chamber of Commerce, on Saturday, October 1. She is the author of “Incidents at Spitchley’s Crossing”, a story about unsolved murders in south Mississippi. Mrs. Nelson is a graduate of Jackson State University with a Master of Science in Elementary K-3 and Elementary K-8. She worked with the Federal Government for 12 years and as teacher for 25 years. She is married and has two children and two grandchildren.
An interview with Mrs. Nelson by Khalilah May revealed the following:
What motivated you to write this particular story?
The story was written over 15 years ago. I’ve been a writer all my life, since the 5th grade. I always had the strangest imagination … wondered why birds sing, what’s on the other side of the ocean. I write to satisfy myself. Dr. James Birdsong was a college professor that would write a statement on the board and ask us to write on what we thought of it, i.e. Why does the grass grow? At the end of the semester he told me that I had the most imagination of any student he’d taught. The stories just come to me, often when driving. I’ve stopped my car in order to jot things down, because otherwise it would leave me and never return. I write fiction. First, I decide if it is going to be a romance or a comedy and then I write a chapter at a time and the story unfolds.
How long did it take you to write the book?
The first seven chapters took only a couple of months. But the last chapters took about 6 months. The last two to three chapters are always the hardest because I want them to hold you to your seat.
How did you go about doing the research for the book?
I didn’t. I don’t do any research, it was all my imagination. I create my own characters; I create the country, the town, the community from my own imagination. I use pencil and paper and just start writing, I can’t use computers. Everything is done longhand and I pay someone to do all my typing.
How difficult was it to get the book published?
I’ve never attempted to have anything published. I write only for my own personal satisfaction, but I do copyright everything that I write. In 2007 Martha Whittaker from Dorrence Publishing found my book at the Library of Congress on microfilm. She contacted me and asked me to allow them to publish my book. At first I declined, and she kept asking me until I finally agreed in 2010.
How has the book been received by the public so far?
Five stars on Amazon, Google and Yahoo. I had a book signing on July 17th at Gallman multiplex with over 400 in attendance.