Read all about it: Sun City writers publish books

June 6, 2011 

Some people know early in life they want to be authors; others feel compelled to type up their life experiences when they get older. At Sun City's Sunscribers writing club, all kinds of writers are welcome. Some members are even authors of published books.

Advances in self publishing have made it easier to achieve a lifelong dream of becoming a published author. But just ask Stephen Blanton, club president Margret Maloney, Mary Dempsey, Wanda Lane, Alfred Foy, Ruth Pizzat, Joe Morgan, and David Kerins-birthing a book isn't an easy process. Kudos to these writers who saw their work through countless revisions, writers' block, peer reviews, rough drafts and more. The reward was finally holding their books in their hands.

The books and their authors

"Into the Chilling Water" and "Potato Branch: Sketches of Mountain Memories" by Joe Richard Morgan are set in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930s and 40s. They depict many of the relatives, friends and neighbors from his childhood in Western North Carolina. Morgan was a teacher of language, literature and writing for more than 40 years, and earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from Stafford University in London. He divides his time between Mars Hill, North Carolina and Sun City Hilton Head. Orders:

Steven Blanton's book "The Heart of Islam" makes the case that Islam has the goal of world conquest. "The hope of mankind is to reach Muslims of goodwill before their fundamentalist brothers force them to wage jihad," the author writes in a blurb on the book's back cover. Blanton has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, where he studied the beliefs and practices of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims.


Although the short stories in "Little Bit of Fiction, Little Bit of Fact" encompass both real and invented situations and characters, most are loosely based on the life experiences of author Mary Dempsey. Dempsey lived for many years in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, where she taught in local schools and was co-owner of an independent bookshop. In her acknowledgments in the beginning of her book,

Dempsey writes, "A sincere thank you to the members of my writing group, Sunscribers, who gently critiqued my work and offered suggestions to enhance my writing." Dempsey says one of her favorite stories is "Attic Dweller," which is about a Christmas tree that's been with a family for more than 40 years.

Wanda Lane, in her book "Wrinkles in Paradise," also touches on friendship-and dachshunds, purses, body hair and grandchildren. Lane's humorous short essays hinge on her snappy, self-deprecating writing style. A regular columnist for The Sun City Packet, Lane take anecdotes from everyday and exaggerates them, with fun results. Some of her essays are more serious reflections on topics seniors often discuss. Orders:

Faith is one Ruth Pizzat's subjects in her book of poetry and stories, "Ruth...So Far." One short poem, "Attendance at Mass" addresses the role of organized religion in her life: "Though/attendance is required,/obligation became/ want/need/desire/food/drink/life/breath/a long time ago." Pizzat's poems and stories have been published in the National Catholic Reporter, SunSations and The Island Packet.

"I take pleasure in words, how they evolved and their use to paint a picture," she said.


Alfred Foy's books are available at Booksalicious in Bluffton.

A picture book intended for ages 5-9, "An Alphabet of Musical Instruments" introduces children to instruments. Each letter is represented by a musical instrument and accompanied by a sentence employing alliteration. Teaching activities for parents and educators are included.

Foy's "Little Fox Essays" takes from The Bible the idea that little things-an unkind word, an impatient moment- may do more harm than big transgressions. Each essay closes with thoughts for personal reflection and a sentence prayer asking for God's help. Foy worked as a public school music teacher and college professor. A native of New Orleans, he plays the piano and is a member of the Sun City Chorus. Orders:

David Kerins, a navy veteran, is a retired teacher and school administrator. "Through the Dark Valley" is his second memoir. The book recalls an era before modern antibiotics when tuberculosis was common and many young people succumbed to it. But Kerins survived, recovering after a stay in a sanatorium. It was there that he met his future wife, Helen, and rediscovered his Catholic faith. Orders:

Margret Maloney is the author of two books about Matinicus, a tiny island off the coast of Maine where she and her husband spend their summers. "Memories from Harbor View Pathway" and "More Memories from Harbor View Pathway" are collections of essays and poems describing life in this isolated lobstering community.

"My husband and I have spent 47 summers on the island and during that time have been a part of much of its life. I share in these writings a glimpse into a most unusual community that survives because of its will to survive," Maloney said. "These books are my attempt to share what I have come to respect-a simpler life." Orders:

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