Jim Booth back home for book signing June 12
Jim Booth will be at the Prentiss Public Library Thursday, June 12th from 9-12 a.m. to sign copies of his new book, Terrapin Scratch. Booth has written many poems for Poets Anonymous of Florence, MS that has published 10 anthologies of poems but states this is his first fiction murder mystery book.
The book title is taken from the name of a school that was just north of Prentiss. Booth states, “the old building was near where the power substation is now and a couple hundred yards on the right. I remember it covered with kudzu. I never heard the real name of the school or why it was called Terrapin Scratch but it caught my imagination.”
Booth states it is there that the similarity to Jeff Davis County ends because the rest of the book is pure enjoyable fiction.
“They came to Terrapin Scratch School site Sunday morning at 1:00 a.m. because they believed there could be valuable artifacts left at the old school, which was built in the late 1800s. When they saw the glint of gold in their flashlight, they thought they had struck the mother lode. But, when they saw brown bones and a nasal opening, they realized the gold was a crowned tooth in a skull. Fearing the deceased might haunt them, they decided to replace the skull and find a county constable who was untrained and wouldn’t ask too many questions about being on private land hunting for treasure. They didn’t know Constable Thomas Jefferson Davis McCall, whose first question was, ‘You boys ain’t treasurer hunters, are you?’”
The book promises to be an entertaining and fun read and Booth looks forward to being in Prentiss again for the signing.
Booth is a 1961 graduate of Prentiss High School. He states when he was a child his piano teacher, Ms. Coston, called him William Henry and he was so shy that during the three years he took piano he never corrected her. He left JDC to attend MS College and USM where hereceived his Masters in Counseling and attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary receiving a Masters in Religious Education. He spent 30 years as pastor to the deaf in Oregon, Louisiana and Mississippi. He retired to Flowood where he continues to work for the Baptist Convention Board in deaf ministries.
“Jeff Davis County school teachers watched out for us. I think we had the best situation in schools because teachers pushed us to do things better and do them right. They spurred my interest in writing and I have carried the interest and love for telling stories and writing throughout my life.”
Booth says while growing up in JDC people such as Bill Bass, Irvine Barnes, Kenneth Lee and Wilma Lane as well as Whitesand pastors and leaders were positive examples and not afraid to “get in our face when we were wrong.”
Terrapin Scratch is dedicated to Booth’s parents, Bill and Lillian, stating, “What I am today and what I achieve in a large part is because of them.”
Jim Booth has also done graphic design of several book covers and has written books for deaf ministries. He states he also once “sang” with the Oakridge Boys in a concert, but confesses he was actually signing the songs for them.