Frequently Asked QuestionsHere are some things you might want to know about Winterville Writer Donny Bailey Seagraves!
What is a Winterville Writer?
Someone who lives and writes in the town of Winterville, Georgia.
What are you working on now?
WILD JOSH AND TIFFANY COOL. Click here for some information on this book.
Where did you get your (unusual for a girl) first name?I can thank my grandmother Myrt (yes, her grand kids called her by her first name because she didn't want us to think of her as a grandmother). When her son (my dad) went overseas to Japan during the Korean Conflict (a war), my mother was expecting me in a few months. My dad didn't know if he'd ever come back home so he asked his mother to make sure his "son" was named after him. My dad's name was Henry Donald Bailey, but everyone called him Donny back then. Myrt was a very strong personality and she believed in keeping her promises. So when I was born, she named me Donny. My middle name is Fay, after mother, who spells her Fay Faye (I can't explain that one). After I married, I began using my maiden name, Bailey, as my middle name. Bailey is sometimes used as a first name (for example, the Georgia author Bailey White) and since there are at least two other Donny Seagraves (both men) living in my area, I needed to differentiate myself.
What jobs have you had other than writer?
From 1998 until the present, I ran an out-of-print and used book business called Junebug Books. I still have my business, but have it on hold at the moment. My business was online only and I sold on my popular websites including Amazon.com, eBay, ABE, Alibris and Biblio.com, as well as on my own website. I began my online book business after an author friend of mine, Augusta Trobaugh, commented that I was on the computer all the time so I ought to find a way to make it pay. One of the first books I sold was in an eBay auction. I got almost $500 for it. I sold many out-of-print books directly to Amazon.com in the days before they opened their "Marketplace" (which put our used books right along side the new copies on the Amazon.com website). I'm still a big fan of the Internet and do a lot of "web surfing" each day. And I always enjoyed the "hunt" that book-dealers call "book-scouting."
Before that, wrote magazine articles and a regular newspaper column for several years while my children, twins Jenny and Greg, were growing up. My column appeared first in a popular weekly alternative newspaper, The Athens Observer. My editor there was the soon-to-be novelist, Philip Lee Williams. For about six or so years after than, my column appeared in The Athens Daily News, the same newspaper that once published the late humorist and columnist, Lewis Grizzard.
I also held part-time jobs as a bookkeeper, children's library assistant and fill-in city clerk. Before my twins were born, I worked for five years as a claims development clerk for the Athens Social Security Administration's District Office. This was a civil service position and I was good enough at what I did there to win a special commendation from the district manager in Atlanta.
Another part-time "job" I held for five years was as a city council-member for the town of Winterville, where I live. While serving on the city council, I was Mayor pro tem and chaired the public safety committee. Two of the most interesting things I did during that time: Driving a police car (the police chief followed me and said I was speeding!) and serving for 3 l/2 months as acting mayor.
Where did you go to school?
I started first grade at age five at the only private school in Athens, Georgia at the time: St. Joseph's Catholic school (no, I'm not a Catholic). Near the beginning of second grade, I transferred to Oconee St. School (a public school) where my teacher was Mrs. Campbell (now Dycie H. Schneider, whose story gave me the inspiration to write my first published middle grade novel). I stayed at Oconee St. School for 3rd, 4th, 5th and part of 6th grade (teachers: Mrs. Thurmond, Mrs. Doster twice, and Mrs. Martin) then transferred to Winterville Elementary School after moving to that area. I went to Child's Street School for 7th grade, Clarke Middle School for 8th grade, then Hillsman Jr. High (now Hillsman Middle School) for 9th grade. I then went to Athens High School (now Clarke Central) and after graduating studied Journalism at the University of Georgia.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yes, I have one brother, Michael David "Mike" Bailey, and one sister, Mary Leanne "Leanne" Benson. My brother is six years younger than me and my sister is fourteen younger than me. So I was quite the big sister in my family. I also grew up with an aunt, Judith, who was three years older than me (she was my mother's much younger sister), and an uncle, Terry, who was five years older than me (he is in my first book in spirit as the uncle). So I got to experience being a little sister as well.
What did your parents do?
My dad, Henry Donald "Don" or "H.D." Bailey, was the postmaster of Cleveland, Tennessee, when he retired after a 30 year career with the U.S. Postal Service. Before he was transferred to Tennessee, he worked for many years at the Athens Post Office. My mother, Faye, was (and is) a wonderful artist and an avid reader. After raising her family, she worked for ten years at a bookstore. My dad, who passed away several years ago, collected antique cars as a hobby. I learned to drive in a 1956 T-bird. Believe it or not, my mother still has that gorgeous turquoise car (and the hardtop and convertible tops that came with it).
Do you have pets?
A: Yes, I'm quite the cat person. Right now, I have a beautiful long-haired white cat, Casey, living in my office. She's eight years old and we found her wandering on our property, starving. I also had a red tiger cat named Cybil. Miz Cybil Kitty was as large as 22 pounds at one time! She passed away at age eight while I was rewriting my first published book. I miss her a lot -- but Casey does not! My first pet as a child was a Siamese cat.
What kind of kid were you?
Active, curious about the world around me, and a definite bookworm.
Were you a good student?
Not particularly. I only made good grades in the subjects that interested me. Now, as an adult, I wish I'd paid more attention to math! (Or maybe not!)
When did you start writing?
At age eight. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Doster, encouraged me to write poems and even sent some of them off to a children's magazine (which resulted in my first rejection slip). In high school, I landed a position as Art Editor of our school paper, The Thumb Tack Tribune. I drew weekly editorial cartoons and also got writing assignments as did all staff members. I guess those articles were my first published writing.
Do you still have your tonsils?
Of course! I use them every day.
What's your favorite ice cream?
Turtletracks. But unfortunately, this flavor has way too much fat! I also enjoy chocolate frozen yogurt, which has no fat but a lot of calcium and flavor.
Got a question for Donny Bailey Seagraves? Send an email.
For more information, visit my website, donnyseagraves.com.