Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 by

The Salvation of Miss Lucretia by Ted Dunagan

Young adult author Ted Dunagan, winner of the Georgia Author of the Year for his first three novels, starting with A Yellow Watermelon, was interviewed recently by ArtsATL. The amiable author chatted with Sarah Sacha Dollacker about his childhood desire to become a writer and the inspiration for his books. The semi-autobiographical stories focus on the friendship between two boys, one white and one black, who work together to rid their rural community of criminals in exciting adventures reminiscent of the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The characters Ted and Poudlum are based on and have the actual names of the author and his boyhood best friend.

In the interview, Dunagan recalled, “I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life, but I didn’t have the opportunity to start until about 10 years ago. I didn’t start out writing about my childhood. When I first started writing seriously, I had an editor working with me. I kept showing her what I was working on, and she kept telling me that it was terrible.

“One day, she said, ‘Didn’t you grow up picking cotton? Write about that.’ I didn’t actually pick that much cotton, but I realized that I grew up in a unique time and place. She encouraged me to write about my memories.”

Dunagan has been nominated for the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Award for his latest novel, The Salvation of Miss Lucretia. He is working on the fifth book in the series as his young fans eagerly anticipate reading the further exploits of Ted and Poudlum.