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Local author debuts new book
by Bobby Tedder
July 02, 2013 01:52 PM | 2248 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self / Author Milam McGraw Probst shows off her latest book ‘Writer, Writer.’ She’s flanked by husband, Jamey, whom she refers to in the book as ‘The Man of Her Dreams.’
Staff / Nathan Self / Author Milam McGraw Probst shows off her latest book ‘Writer, Writer.’ She’s flanked by husband, Jamey, whom she refers to in the book as ‘The Man of Her Dreams.’
Milam McGraw Propst is hardly the accidental author.

A writing career spanning 21 years and eight books is a testament to that.

In the late literary bloomer’s newest offering, “Writer, Writer,” the Sandy Springs  resident at once thoughtfully and artfully retraces her steps — taking the reader on her improbable journey from there to here.

“It’s basically the story of my writing career,” said Propst. “Included are bits and pieces from my life … and I share insights about my own creative process.”

She penned her first novel, “A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street,” more than a decade ago at the onset of her empty-nest years.

The fictional account of her childhood was later adapted into the movie, “The Adventures of Ociee Nash.” The titular character is based on Propst’s grandmother — mining her family’s history is a recurring theme throughout the writer’s body of work.

Moreover, her desire to chronicle sensitive family situations, like her “eccentric” late mother’s long battle with alcoholism, has produced gems like “It May Not Leave a Scar.”

Readers are given insight into the emotionally grueling, behind-the-scenes crafting of that project as well in “Writer, Writer.”

The latter book also deals with Propst’s guilt over spilling such a family secret in the former.

“In the end, I just decided that it may give people battling addictions and their families some hope,” she said.

Propst acknowledged the overall impetus for piecing together “Writer, Writer,” though, is a desire to archive her experiences and stories for current family and posterity.

Upon further review, colleagues consider Propst’s latest work a triumph on many levels.

“’Writer, Writer’ is, at times, funny, sad and moving,” said fellow writer Jaclyn White. “It is so well written that it moves you seamlessly from one story to another.

“It’s the story of becoming and being a writer … and the reader is allowed to look into a window on a fascinating life.”

Propst, a genteel soul in person, has come a long way indeed.

Her newest book was also borne in part of a desire to share a treasure trove of stories well received on the lecture circuit with a larger audience.

When beginning her career as an author at age 47, though, Propst was not yet publicly comfortable in her own skin.

“I was painfully shy back then,” Propst recalled. “I was too embarrassed and nervous to even read my work out loud.”

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