Local Reads of the Lowcountry

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Our Prince of Scribes“Our Prince of Scribes”

EDITED BY NICOLE SEITZ AND JONATHAN HAUPT

Pat Conroy had a profound impact on the literary world. His work has inspired countless writers, and his generous spirit encouraged many to follow in his footsteps. Their appreciation for his support can be seen in a new collection of essays titled “Our Prince of Scribes.”

Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, and novelist Nicole Seitz gathered stories from 67 writers about Conroy and his impact on their lives. Haupt said the book reveals so much about Conroy, but the underlying theme is that he never stopped mentoring.

When Seitz began her career as a novelist years ago, she wrote Conroy a letter to ask for his advice. He called her the day after he received the letter and encouraged her to write her second novel, which ended up being named one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2008.

“He was that kind of larger-than-life literary figure, yet he would go out of his way for someone he didn’t even know,” she said.

“Our Prince of Scribes” is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble and other book stores. Royalties from the book support the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the Friends of Story River Books.

“Still a Rising Tide”

BY DAVID BRUCE GRIM

Still a Rising TideGrowing up in Salisbury, North Carolina, in the 1950s and 1960s, David Bruce Grim has seen racial inequality firsthand.

His experiences in the segregated South inspired him to get involved in the fight for civil rights, and he worked for the government in civil rights-related enforcement for more than 30 years.

After retiring, Grim moved to Lady’s Island and began researching the history of slavery in the Lowcountry. He knew there were plenty of books about the Civil War, but hadn’t seen much about the actual experience of going from slavery to freedom. So he set out to write his first novel, “Swift Currents,” which is told from the perspective of a fictional family of slaves who were freed when the Union Navy attacked Port Royal Sound in 1861.

The recently released sequel to that book, “Still a Rising Tide,” is set in 1893 and picks up the story of that family decades later.

“It’s about the rising racism that was occurring in the end of the Reconstruction Era,” Grim said. “But it’s also, of course, about this terrible hurricane. My second book ends with the storm and how the family copes. It’s sort of a comparison with how they’ve been coping with the racial history they’ve been living as well.”

“Still a Rising Tide” can be found on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, various local bookstores and the Penn Center. For more information, go to www.davidbrucegrim.com.

“The Black Scorpion Pilot”

BY LAWRENCE A. COLBY

The Black Scorpion PilotFormer Hilton Head Island resident Lawrence A. Colby spent 20 years flying for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Air Force Reserve. He spent five years working as a military assistant at the Pentagon. Now he’s reached new heights: His Ford Stevens Military Aviation Thriller Series is a No. 1 Amazon best-seller; the second book in the series, “The Black Scorpion Pilot,” was released in December.

Though he has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for years, the Lowcountry remains one of Colby’s favorite places, he said. He loves the area so much that he has snuck in mentions of several local spots in his books — for example, Skull Creek Boathouse and Green Wing Teal Road in Sea Pines.

“I love capturing places that I’ve lived or have visited, and I like to work that into my stories so that I write with full authenticity,” Colby said. “Because I lived on Hilton Head, I know the people, the places and the culture.”

Colby’s newest military suspense novel can be found online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers. It is also stocked locally at the Skull Creek General Store. For more information, go to www.colbyaviationthrillers.com.