Arkansas Author: Sherry Laymon
Name:Sherry Laymon, Ph.D.
Location: Little Rock
Occupation: Writer, Educator
Title of most recent book: Fearless: John L. McClellan, United States Senator
Publisher: Tate Publishing
What’s the book about?
The biography of Arkansas’ most powerful senator. Sen. McClellan served in Congress from 1942-1977. His biography is a tapestry woven of stories about his agonizing personal life, his political contests and his involvement at pivotal points in Arkansas and American history.
What led you to write this specific book?
McClellan did not have a biography. I felt that documenting his contribution to Arkansas was a long-overdue work, so I wrote it.
Tell us about your other book…what’s it called and what is is about?
The book is titled Pfeiffer Country: The Tenant Farms and Business Activities of Paul Pfeiffer in Clay County, Arkansas 1902-1954. It is about a tenant farming operation in northeast Arkansas during the Depression whereby the tenants actually prospered. It is a positive story about tenant farming in Arkansas history.
What inspires you to write?
I love Arkansas history, but I get tired of hearing all the dire and negative stories that place our state in an unfavorable light. I write positive non-fictions stories about Arkansas’s history.
What advice would you have for other people in Arkansas wanting to become an author?
You have to be disciplined, patient and persistent. Discipline yourself to write something every day, even if only a paragraph. Be patient—writing a book does not happen overnight. Learn to be persistent—your book will most likely be rejected by numerous publishers before it is accepted. Take the editors’ criticisms as suggestions to improve the text and apply them, then resubmit to another publisher.
Be creative and original, but stay true to your principles.
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