Once Leslie Criss got newspaper ink on her hands, there was no going back to teaching English to junior high and high school students. She began a journalism career 23 years ago and has worked for newspapers throughout the state. During that time, she has written a personal column, Still and Yet, which has touched a chord with readers with its every-day, this-is-what-we-all-go-through musings.
The book is a selection of 82 of those columns. After years of being urged by readers and friends to publish a collection of “Still and Yet”, Criss relented. “I resisted because I somehow believed it was egomaniacal,” she said. “My friend Cheryl kept on until I relented, and I’m glad I did. The book has been well accepted and the signings and speakings at libraries have actually been fun.”
Criss, who is currently the features and special sections editor at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, decided to go the self-publishing route after research revealed that traditional publishing houses are not doing a lot of marketing for authors these days.
She says the columns have always been about whatever flits across her mind each week. “I’ve tried to steer clear of controversy, but when I feel passionate about an issue, I hold forth on it,” she said. “I try to do it with kindness and also gently so those who disagree don’t get angry (though some still do), but at least think about what I’ve written or just return the kindness and allow me to disagree with their point of view. Most weeks, I write about my dogs or my niece or cool people I’ve met.”
Criss was born in Grenada to an accountant father and artist mother. She earned an English degree at Mississippi College and took classes toward a master’s in journalism at Ole Miss. Before joining the Tupelo newspaper 12 and a half years ago, she worked for The Carthaginian and Vicksburg Post.
— Lynn Lofton, email@example.com
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