Glenwood native publishes first novel

Published 3:29 pm Friday, September 12, 2008

Sue McDougald Watson, a native of Crenshaw County, has published her first novel, Jane Ellen’s Path, and a book signing will be held in Luverne this Sunday.

Watson, who taught high school language arts in the Crenshaw County School System for 20 years, lived in Glenwood for over 40 years. Her book was released April of this year.

“When my mother began to descend into the abyss of Alzheimer’s Disease, I needed an outlet, so I began to write,” Watson explained. “I would grab a legal pad, a pen, and load up my Dalmatian Homer, and we would go to the ‘back forty’ – literally. It was a way to relieve the pressure when it became too much to bear.”

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Watson’s book is about a young, black Southern female who grows up during the 1960s. The character endures many horrors, such as poverty, substandard educational opportunities, and blatant racism. All of this climaxes in the murder of her beloved grandfather. Her best friend, Lynn Wambles, who also has to endure the constraining pressure of growing up as a privileged white girl during those turbulent times, plays an important role in Jane Ellen’s life. Lynn reappears in the most unexpected way in the pair’s adult lives.

“The message that I hope people will get from reading my book is that while much of our history was wrong, there is hope to undo much of the harm,” Watson said. “If you enjoy books about relationships, or the South, or racial issues, strong women, or good and evil, perhaps you might want to give it a peek.”

The new author has already held one book signing in Highland Home, and she will hold a second one this Sunday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Luverne Public Library.

Her book is available online at, and is also available at Steppin’ Out in downtown Luverne.

Watson moved to Auburn three years ago to be near her son and his family. She now has three grandchildren, and she teaches sophomore and senior English at Lee-Scott Academy.