On Wednesday, Feb. 8, author Michael Farris Smith spoke in Jackson at Lemuria Books. The novel “Desperation Road” is set in a Mississippi town where there’s drugs, whiskey, guns, and craving for revenge.
After reading a section from his book he talked about what inspired him to write this satisfying novel.
Smith said that it all began with this women and a child that he imagined walking on the side of the road on a hot Mississippi summer day.
“Originally it was just kinda Maben (mother character) and I thought, ok that’s desperate enough. That’s tough enough, but what if she has a child, well the steaks just went up big time. And the tension and the consequences and just what may happen just went up tremendously,” Smith said.
Smith continues to say that he didn’t know anything about them, but he knew where they were. He said that he saw them trying to get to the Fern wood truck stop. At the time, Smith was about 11 years old or so, and was living in Magnolia. A few years later, he moved to Macon. That is the place where he imagined the woman and child, with only one bag in their hands.
“I don’t believe you have to know a whole lot about your story before you start writing, and I have that image of those two, and I just started trailing them to see what happens. All you need is one good image,” Smith said.
Smith spoke about his rejections when he first started out, and that he got through it all by believing even when nobody else did.
So in the words of the talented Michael Farris Smith “All you can do is keep going, and sitting there, and trying, and trying hard.”