Two authors with ties to Jasper County recently published their first books and each plans to write at least one more in the future.
Lenora L. Wright and Arthur S. Benjamin have published books, now available for purchase, with completely different subjects. One is a children’s book; the other is geared to a more diverse audience.
Wright recently published her first children’s book, “Mommy’s Smile,” a postpartum love story about depression and anxiety.
“One in seven new moms will experience depression or anxiety during postpartum,” Wright said. “For something to be so common, the conversation is a little too quiet. I hope to normalize the conversation and to continue to remove the stigma of shame attached to it.”
Wright, a pharmacy technician at Hilton Head Hospital, is the daughter of William and Lisa Hunter, who reside in Jasper County.
“Honestly, I never thought I would be an author,” Wright said. “I had postpartum depression with my first pregnancy and when I became pregnant with my second child, I was nervous I would experience it again.”
Wright said the second time she confided in her support team, “like my husband and parents about my concerns and I realized I wasn’t talking to my son. I went looking for a way to explain it to him without placing the burden on him . I wanted him to know that Mommy has emotions, too, and sometimes Mommy may not smile. I couldn’t find it so I wrote it myself.”
Wright said she hopes the book will help new mothers know they are not alone and to share that every postpartum experience doesn’t look the same.
The idea for the book, Wright said, came to her about four years ago, but she didn’t start the process for it until late 2021. It was published in March 2022. Her book is available on Amazon.
“I am going to write another book,” she said. “I am still tossing around ideas right now.”
Benjamin, a native of Brooklyn, NY, has served as the Jasper County Detention Center director for the past 22 years.
Getting his inspiration from the movie “The Godfather,” Benjamin said he has always wanted to write a story based on “The Godfather’s” vision from a different angle, explaining everyone should find their own dreams in life, whether or not they follow in their family’s footsteps. His book is called ”Bishop,” and he hopes to develop a screenplay from it as well.
“I wanted to put a twist in this novel with a message of no matter who you are in life, God has a purpose for you and he will transition you to that purpose and goal,” he said. “I want to share with the audience the importance of believing in yourself and promising yourself that you’ll never give up.”
Benjamin said he wrote the story about 15 years ago, and his wife sent it out to different publishing companies.
“I didn’t think it was that good, but the rest is history, because everyone loves it and they are requesting a sequel,” he said.
As a detention center director, Benjamin said he was able to balance his time and write his first book.
“I have to discipline and balance myself to finish other material and work,” he said.
His new book can be found on his website, www.bishop629entertainment.squarespace.com.
Benjamin said he is already working on a second book.
“There is one in the making with a whole different concept and storyline,” he said.