Jeff Glor talks to Stacy Cordery about, "Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts."
Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?
Stacy Cordery: Juliette Gordon Low herself inspired me to write the book. I first learned about her when I was a very young girl in my Brownie circle. What struck me then was how someone so significantly hearing impaired could have created the multi-faceted organization that meant so much to me -- and to my mother and my grandmother. I admired Low's courage. Now that I have a more nuanced understanding of her life and times, I find her entire life to have been fascinating.
JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?
SC: The universe of support! When I wrote "Alice," I labored for nearly two decades with a few hardy friends encouraging me. But with "Juliette Gordon Low," I have discovered a whole world of well-wishers who read my weekly blog and send in cheery comments, a cadre of dedicated Girl Scouts whose knowledge and assistance are absolutely indispensable, and helpful people from Bedford, New York, to Savannah, Georgia, from my hometown to Warwickshire, England, who kindly share important information with me.
JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?
SC: I am a professor of History at Monmouth College in Illinois--and that is what I do. There's a lovely symbiosis that occurs as my research informs my classroom and vice versa. The energy of a book project and the enthusiasm of the students and my colleagues go round in a lovely, sustaining loop. Of course, when publishing deadlines tumble upon exams and papers, then I dream of owning a quiet yarn shop in North Dakota or being a lifeguard in Belize.
JG: What else are you reading right now?
SC: I'm re-reading Kristie Miller's wonderful "Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson's First Ladies" or the Biography and History class I am teaching. For fun, I'm reading Amanda Smith's "Newspaper Titan: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson, and Clay S. Jenkinson's "The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the W"ilderness." I always have several books going at once.
JG: What's next for you?
SC: Talking about Juliette Gordon Low! The writing process is hard work. The reward is getting to travel, meet people, and talk about a subject I find endlessly intriguing. I am looking forward to many happy book talks all over. And, in the ensuing calm, the idea for the next book topic will undoubtedly appear.
For more on "Juliette Gordon Low" visit the Penguin Press website.