Peggy Brooks is the author of “Skin.”
JONESBORO — First-time author Peggy Brooks wrote her book “Skin: A Matter of Race in America” because, she says, “I’m a very curious person. Always have been.”
Brooks used the curiosity to fuel her look into the history of race. She’ll be signing the book this Saturday at the Clayton County Library Headquarters branch on Battle Creek Road from noon until 2 p.m.
“I went back and pinpointed those moments in time that related to the subject matter, but in doing so it kind of took a different turn based upon the information I was getting,” she said.
Brooks, who has lived in Jonesboro the last 10 years, has two children, an adult daughter and a son at Jonesboro High School. Her son’s teacher, in fact, offered valuable feedback.
“I asked his teacher if he would read 30 pages just to make sure I had the grammar and all that,” Brooks said. “I’ve really tried to vet this book all the way along. I call it vetting because I’m a first-time writer. So he read those 30 pages and he was so excited. And he said, ‘Where are you getting this information from?’ I didn’t use footnotes because I thought it would be distracting. And I said, ‘I’m using a bibliography, is that OK?’ ”
Brooks cited “To Kill A Mockingbird” author Harper Lee and “The Help” author Kathryn Stockett as inspirations. “I admire those ladies and compare myself to them, but just in that way,” Brooks said. “We’re Southern women, first-time books.”
Several rookies, or first-timers, worked on the book. In addition to Brooks, her designer and her cover illustrator were both new to this.
The designer described the book best.
“I was explaining to her [the designer] about the book,” Brooks said. “I said, ‘Well, it’s not a book for blacks or whites.’ And she said it’s a ‘truth’ book. So that’s what I call it. I call it a ‘truth’ book.”