Shelbyville native to speak at library luncheon

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Jane Sevier (Submitted photo)

You can hear the drawl creeping off the pages of Fortune's Fool as author Jane Sevier's characters use idioms and expressions that can only be pulled from a life of southern experience.

Sevier -- a Shelbyville native -- will share some of her southern-fried knowledge and skills with hometown fans at the Friends of the Argie Cooper Library's annual luncheon at Blue Ribbon Circle on the Celebration grounds on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The lecture will be a bit of a homecoming for the author, who looks forward to giving back to the library that she frequented as a youth.

"Great libraries make great cities and towns," said Sevier. "I'm delighted and honored to encourage reading and support Shelbyville's library. After all, Argie Cooper Public Library was my home away from home when I was a child."

Fortune's Fool will be the author's topic of discussion. The award-winning novel is set in Depression-era Memphis, and is a mystery spiced with elements of humor and romance.

The protagonist is the newly widowed Nell Marchand, a socialite who finds herself suddenly broke. Without tangible skills to support her family, she tries her hand at fortunetelling only to find that she has true sight.

As she searches for a missing girl, she must outwit a corrupt banker and his gangster pals who will do anything to keep her hidden. Nell even finds a budding romance, but the author will leave you to figure that on your own.

Sevier shines at bringing the reader into an unmistakably southern place and time. Readers have called the story charming, and hailed the author's captivating voice.

Sevier's always had a way with words. Since she was a young'un, she's been drafting poems, plays and novels. Her passion for storytelling led her to various writing careers. She's lived in Dallas, Paris, Washington D.C., Austin, Texas and most recently, Nashville.

An eighth-generation Tennessean, Sevier is a true child of the South, and has unabashedly carried that heritage with her in her travels. The surroundings that marked her upbringing have certainly bled into the tone that permeates Fortune's Fool.

"It's in my blood and bones, and I have a southern way of thinking," Sevier said. "No matter where I lived, I was careful to preserve my accent -- to hold on to my 'y'all' and my 'great big ol' mess of.'"

"When Fortune's Fool came along, I knew it would be a southern story," she explained. "That doesn't mean I'll never write a historical tale set in the highlands of 9th-century Scotland, but writing about my own people feels like coming home."

Sevier hopes to inspire and entertain with her talk at the Friends of the Library luncheon. She may even share the inspiration and jumping-off point for Fortune's Fool.

"An idea is just an idea until you act on it," she said. "To give it life, you have to act."

Reservations for the luncheon must be made by Tuesday, Oct. 9. Tickets can be bought for $15, and are available at the front desk of the library. Proceeds will go towards the construction of a new facility.

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