FLORENCE -- In 1975 Lurma Swinney graduated from Wilson High School in Florence. Like many of her friends, she decided to go to college.
She chose Francis Marion (a college at that time). After spending time majoring in ping pong and student center activities, she “flunked out” (her words). But she loved, and missed, the challenge and thrill of learning.
After a year, she decided to return to prove to the professors she met at the university, to her family, and especially to herself that she could graduate from college. And she did.
That same determination to see a goal through to its end now thrusts Swinney into self-publishing and self-promoting her first novel.
A writer since she was in grade school, it kept her from talking too much in class after she finished her classwork. “Writing kept me out of trouble,” she says.
Swinney entertained her older sister at night with her stories and her classmates with her tales. In junior high she hid from the school librarian who encouraged her to get copies of her work to her so she could help her submit her stories for publication.
Swinney thought she might study literature and major in English at FMU, but found it boring. She did however, love English professor Dave Burt’s writing class. She left him a copy of a manuscript about 17 years ago and never reclaimed it.
“I was too embarrassed to go back and face him,” she says.
She then thought she wanted to become a doctor, and began taking biology classes. But the real thrill came when she decided to teach biology and science instead. She says at FMU she learned from Wayne King to love history, which she hated in high school.
She learned from Jeff Lee and Wayne Pruitt, FMU teacher education professors, to teach. She learned from Burt to write. She learned from Julia Krebs, biology professor, to love biology and science. She learned much about herself and the world. And she has used all those experiences in her book.
Swinney married, moved away and taught ... and wrote ... and wrote ... and wrote ... Swinney, a 1982 FMU graduate with a B.A. degree in biology, and a collateral in history, became a teacher and writer. Now back in the Florence area, she helps her mother run a family business. Her fine business sense is also helping her with her book publication and promotion.
Swinney’s 422-page novel, “Consequences,” is a "tale of death and murder." It’s about friends and intrigue, romances and heartaches. She is hosting a dedication reception for her work SATURDAY, JUNE 12 at 5 p.m. at South Florence High School. The public is invited.
Swinney lives in Effingham and is the daughter of Bertha Davis. The reception will include a reading of excerpts from her book, sale of the books, entertainment and refreshments, and book signings.
For more information about Swinney, or her book, call 843-667-0261, or write Swinney at PO Box 308, Effingham, SC, 29541.
She is appearing on local radio and television shows, writing press releases to promote herself and relying on family and friends in Texas, North Carolina and New Jersey to help her hold book signings to get the word out about her book.
It’s tough, she says, but she is determined to keep going.