Retired English teacher Naomi Williams, of Evans, waited until her 70s before starting her second career.
On Oct. 7, the 79-year-old former Augusta Preparatory Day School teacher celebrated the release of her second novel with a book signing at the Columbia County Library.
Williams' latest work is called Jacob's Daughter. She set it and her debut novel, Two Rivers, in the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Jacob's Daughter is the story of a struggle between a young woman searching for her identity and her overbearing, religious father.
Williams, who cites William Faulkner and William Shakespeare as inspirations, said the novel is filled with allusions to her idols. She said the new novel is more episodic than her first and relies heavily on imagery and symbolism.
"I think the mark of a great book is wanting to read it a second time," she said. "And my hope is that perhaps (with) my book, some people will want to read it a second time."
Williams, who occasionally substitutes at Augusta Prep, retired from the school in 1993, after stints at Westside High School and Langford Junior High in Augusta. During her tenure as an English teacher, Williams said she couldn't find the time to write for pleasure.
"Somebody asked me recently what advice would you give to someone who is trying to write," she said. "It takes commitment, discipline and it takes reading the best."
She said her next novel might be a nonfiction piece - a humorous take on retired living.
Williams will hold signings Thursday at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library on Greene Street and Nov. 3 at the Friedman Branch Library on Jackson Road in Augusta.
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