Mississippi author signs book series

Published 9:17 am Thursday, October 15, 2009

Award–winning author Robert Dalby appeared at the North Shelby Library Oct. 11, and shared glimpses into his book series.

The Piggly Wiggly books are four novels published by Putman. No, these are not books about oinkers and piglets, nor any such curly–tailed squealer.

If you’re part of a reading club, or looking for a unique Christmas gift, consider Dalby’s series. Like author Fannie Flagg’s books, they’re sure to be humorous classics, with hints of truth.

Dalby discussed inspiration for the series, his hometown of Natchez, Miss., which is chock full of interesting characters, including some strong women “of another generation,” who band together, saving the town from financial ruin. Though written as fiction, Dalby blends truth, offering a peek into the lives of Southern women.

Dalby’s father was a pulp fiction writer, living in New York.

“I thought his being a writer was wonderful, and wanted to write, too,” Dalby said. “I write what I know, the Deep South, specifically a fictional eclectic, eccentric community, which I named Second Creek. I selected several wealthy widows for my characters.”

Dalby’s first book of the series, “Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly,” is based on the issue of big box stores moving into small towns.

“Like missing teeth in a smile, other stores go dark,” said Dalby. Owners of the local Piggly treat customers like family, especially when disaster strikes. When the Piggly is threatened by the big box dominance, local women take charge, bringing in a dancer to the store to woo women customers.

After many humorous twists and turns the store is saved, and dead embers of a romance are ignited, and thus a sequel is born, “Piggly Wiggly Wedding.”

“I like to write in a positive way,” said Dalby.

His books are set in the new millennium, with a goal to communicate interesting ideas about his own life time.

“Getting feedback from readers is what I like best,” Dalby said.

He resides in Oxford, Miss., where he works in publishing and writes.

Gladys Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer@hotmail.com.