Stacey Abrams comes to W-S to discuss her latest thriller, ‘Rogue Justice,’ hosted by Bookmarks

Stacey Abrams comes to W-S to discuss her latest thriller, ‘Rogue Justice,’ hosted by Bookmarks
April 22
08:30 2024

By Felecia Piggott-Long, Ph.D.

More than 400 reading enthusiasts attended the Bookmarks discussion between New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur and political leader Stacey Abrams and Dr. Carmen Rojas, president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. The gathering took place in the sanctuary of the historic First Baptist on Fifth, on Sunday, April 5, at 3 p.m. Pastor Emily Hull McGee observed from the front pew.

Abrams served as Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives and was the first African American woman to become gubernatorial nominee for a major party in United States history. Although Abrams has established several nonprofit organizations devoted to voting rights, democracy protection, and effective public policy, and co-founded a financial services firm, an energy and infrastructure consulting firm, and the media company, Sage Works Productions, Inc., on this day, she came to Winston-Salem to remind her audience that she is also a successful writer.

In response to a written question from the audience asking what Abrams would like for her audience to know about her, Abrams said, “I’ve written 15 books and I would like for them to know that.”  Peels of laughter and applause filled the sanctuary.

Her purpose for coming to First Baptist on Fifth was to launch her paperback book, “Rogue Justice,” an intricately plotted thriller which features Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene, who has returned as the protagonist. Keene is attempting to recover after solving an international conspiracy.

Abrams revealed that her gift of storytelling is connected to the gifts of her family line.

 “My mother was a librarian … Dad was dyslexic … My dad told us stories when he came home from work late at night. These bedtime stories would include dragons, fairies, oozies, things eaten, things coming alive, teddy bears,” said Abrams. “I learned the art of storytelling, the art of writing good fiction, when I was young. I was 12 when I wrote my first novel, “The Diary of Angst.” My mother found it and had it bound. No one else will ever read it.”

Again, the audience gave wondrous applause and laughter following this revelation.

Her siblings are intricately involved in the editing process of her novels. She also draws upon each of them when she is creating characters.

“I start with a synopsis of four or five pages. Then I create three acts for the book. Following that, I create the problem for the text and then I complicate the problem,” said Abrams. “I cannot end the book unless I have resolved the complicated problems. The architecture of the book requires me to create a compelling problem, solve the problem, and discover new problems that come up.”

Dr. Aimy Steele, CEO of the New North Carolina Project and the New North Carolina Project Foundation, traveled from Concord, North Carolina, to see Abrams’ presentation. The purpose of these organizations is to expand voter engagement and access in North Carolina. “Every time I hear her speak, it inspires me. I travel anywhere I can to see Leader Abrams,” said Steele. “She inspired the work I do.” 

Constance Hash, retired principal, traveled from Charlotte to hear Abrams speak. “I thoroughly enjoyed Abrams. I respect her for being a young woman who is a shining example of what is most important for all of us – young and old – that is showing up to vote and engaging in the democratic process as citizens,” said Hash. “She is a brilliant, multifaceted and gifted writer.”

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