Milledgeville native and resident Susan Lindsley shares her imagination and events from her memory in her first published novel titled “The Bottom Rail.”
Lindsley’s book has won awards in two literary conferences and praise from top-ranked Southern authors.
Lindsley will have two book signing events this weekend for “The Bottom Rail” at The Red Door, located on South Wayne Street. She will sign autographs from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
“‘The Bottom Rail’ captures the gritty essence of the rural south in the immediate wake of World War II in this panoramic tale of love, betrayal, lynchings, chain gangs, moonshining and murder,” H.W. “Buzz” Bernard, a best-selling author of “Eyewall,” “Supercell” and “Plague,” said of Lindsley’s novel in press materials on the book. “It’s an ‘old south’ you won’t forget.”
Before publication, the novel won awards in the Dahlonega Literary Festival as well as the Southeastern Writers Association Workshop. “The Bottom Rail” is Lindsley’s first published novel and seventh published book. Her characters have been described as “decadent as Faulkner’s Snopes family and as driven as Flannery O’Connor’s.”
In “The Bottom Rail,” the Carter family abandons its stills in the Appalachians and migrate to middle Georgia during the Great Depression to get a new start as farmers. By 1946, they expand their bootlegging enterprises to include murder, cattle rustling, election fraud and interracial affairs.
“Those who have read it say they can’t put it down until they finish,” said Lindsley. “One lady called me and said ‘I had to call you; I’m in the middle of the Sunday before the election and I can’t stop laughing.’ The main event takes place on the Sunday before the election, which really did happen in Milledgeville.”
Lindsley said her passion for pen and paper really began after winning her first writing award as a middle schooler.
“I enjoy writing because you can create people that can do what you want them to do,” she said. “The first time I won an award for writing was for an essay I wrote about Maj. Gen. John Brown Gordon on the Confederacy. I also entered a poem contest at Mercer University when I was a junior, and I won.”
Lindsley’s first published book, “O Yesterplace: And other poems,” was self-published as a limited edition in 2000.
Her second book, titled “Yesterplace,” was initially published by Old Capital Press. It was republished by ThomasMax Publishing and the book title was changed to “Blue Jeans and Pantaloons in Yesterplace.”
As a niece of Susan Myrick, Lindsley has also written a biography about her aunt’s memories and personal diary entries and letters that were given to her after Myrick’s death. The biography, “Susan Myrick of Gone With the Wind” allows the reader to know a little bit more about the iconic film, “Gone With the Wind,” and it explores the friendship between Myrick and Margaret Mitchell, or Peggy, as Myrick knew her.
She is currently in the midst of printing a limited edition of a compilation of her father’s literary works titled “Luther Campbell Lindsley of the College of William and Mary: His Literary Works.”