On May 15, we were thrilled to welcome Prissy Elrod, author of the recently released memoir Far Outside The Ordinary, to the store for a book signing. We stole a few minutes with Prissy to ask her a little about the book, her writing process, and her love for her hometown of Tallahassee.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Never. I was an artist. I just woke up and decided I wanted to write this book; it had been living in my head. So I did that. I had to learn how to write first, though, so I read books, took classes, joined a writing group.
Set here in Tallahassee, Far Outside The Ordinary is the story of how you tried to save your husband after he received a terminal diagnosis. All these unbelievable, out-of-the-ordinary events happen along the way. How would you describe the book? How have others described it?
It’s a sad story, but it has a happy ending. I’ve heard it described as Steel Magnolias meets The Help meets The Blindside.
FOTO is a true and very personal story. What was it like to get this story down on paper and then give it to the world to read?
Very scary. It took four years to write, and I didn’t let anybody read it for the first three years. I sent the manuscript to a Pushcart Prize-winning writer in Texas, and hired him to read it and tell me if it was any good.
Tell me about your writing process.
I always write in the same place—a little art/writing studio in my house. I write maybe a couple hours in the morning, and then I have to play with my friends, or help with my grandchildren, or clean my house. Then I go back and write in the afternoon for about an hour, and sometimes I go back in the evening and write some more.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on another memoir—the sequel to this book. Then my third book will be fiction.
FOTO is your first book—what was the publishing process like?
I went to a writing conference and pitched it to a lot of agents, and there was some interest in it. But I learned about a new way of publishing called “authorpreneurship,” and I ended up starting my own publishing house called Leather Leaf Publishing. To make the book, I went through a company called Thomson-Shore in Michigan. The cover was designed by a very good graphic designer who happens to be my niece.
How long have you lived in Tallahassee?
I’ve lived here ever since I went to FSU when I was 20 years old. So over 40 years. I raised my kids here—I have two girls and five grandchildren. Everyone is local.
What do you love about it here?
I love everything except the allergens! The hills, the flowers, the people. The art classes at LeMoyne. It’s like a mini cultural city.
To learn more about Prissy and Far Outside The Ordinary, visit prissyelrod.com.