Thanks to Mike Marsh, Mike Jensen, the Sikeston Depot volunteers and many others who made it possible to honor the publication of my late mother's memoirs, "And God Answered." The turnout at the Depot was a real tribute to her and her decade's long accomplishments in the realm of creative fiction, non-fiction and newspaper columnist.
My wife, Viney, is the person who in large part made possible the publication of this book. Mom died before the book was sold. Viney took it upon herself to see the book through to publication. She worked closely with Dr. Susan Swartwout, Mandy Henley and others employed by Southeast Missouri State University Press, a relatively recent entry into the publishing field, but one with an already notable number of successes.
Mom had a college degree but not one in creative writing. Thus, she was taken aback when she sold the first story she ever wrote, in 1947, to Woman's Day Magazine. She went on to sell stories to magazines ranging from Alfred Hitchcock Magazine to the Saturday Evening Post, Farm Journal, Progressive Farmer, Readers Digest, and many others. In latter years, Guideposts, said to be the world's most widely sold and circulated magazine (one with Christian themes) bought many of her stories. In addition, she wrote a newspaper column for five decades, for a long time with the late Thomza Zimmerman of Advance ("From Dawn to Dusk"), and then, by herself.
As an aside, during a brief presentation concerning Mom and her writing career I mentioned that, particularly in her later years, she was significantly influenced by the themes and quality of commentary in the newspaper forum referred to as Speakout. I suggested the theory that though she made no mention of Speakout in her work or journals did not mean that it had no influence.
To a person, those in attendance seemed in adamant if not angry disagreement with my theory. Thus, I was more or less shouted down before I could give what I thought were good examples of Speakout's influence on her writing.
However, I am not giving up. I am going to spend the next several years reinvestigating and hopefully proving this apparently hot button hypothesis.
Mom''s book ("And God Answered") is available at amazon.com and jeanbellmosley.com on the Internet, Barnes and Noble book store in Cape, Blades and Family Hair Design, and the depot in Sikeston.
Cape Girardeau, MO