Lunch #3: Author & Ashley Hall


John Thompson, author, with middle-schooler and fan, Abbey Force



Ashley Hall Senior, Liza Thompson (left, and daughter of John) with Head of School, Jill Muti


Paula Edwards Harrell, AH Dir. of Communications & Marketing (left) with 3 AH Seniors

A short hiatus during the holidays from doing my SNOB luncheon blog, but now I am back at profiling “interesting people doing interesting things in our interesting place”, while weaving-in a bit about Ben Gately Williams’ and my forthcoming book, Charleston, A Good Life.

The lunch occasion was with Charleston resident, John Thompson, who has become a successful author writing books targeted to middle-school children, a rather clever market niche, I might add. John also writes books for adults. You can find his works at John’s first award-winning book for children, Girl From Felony Bay, is being followed by sequel, Disappearance At Hangman’s Bluff. The lead character in the Girl From Felony Bay is Abbey Force, and by coincidence, that is the real life name of girl pictured above, while John was speaking at a local school.

John came to Charleston, a refugee from Wall Street (former Solomon Brothers), whereupon he launched a new career. He is married to Julia Forster, Director of Development at the Spoleto Festival, and their family makes its home on East Battery. Their daughter, Liza, an Ashley Hall Senior, is pictured above with Head of School, Jill Muti.

Ben Gately and I are particularly pleased and appreciative that Jill allowed us to profile Ashley Hall, she and several of her graduating seniors for Charleston, A Good Life. Ashley Hall is the only girls K through 12 grades school in South Carolina. I learned from Jill that girls generally learn differently than boys, and the girls develop their self-confidence much easier in a same sex school environment. As Jill remarked to me with a smile, “Our girls aren’t pushovers”;  I can certainly attest to that. One of the first people I met first coming to Charleston over 25 years ago was then private tour guide, Jane Thornhill. And as all who know Big Jane, even today, she definitely does not lack for confidence. Ashley Hall left its mark.

Also spotted at SNOB the day John Thompson and I had lunch were: John Winthrop, Cathryn Zommer, Ann Long Merck, Joe Qualey, Denva Simpson, Caroline Rivers, Steve Connor and Tommy Hall.

Charleston, A Good Life, co-authored by photographer, Ben Gately Williams, and writer/editor, Ned Brown, is a book profiling “interesting Charlestonians (old and newer), doing interesting things in a wonderful place.” The book will be released in latter 2016. Charleston, A Good Life,  will tell the story of why Charleston is a special place through over 50 environmental portraits of individuals; the first book about Charleston of its kind. What we are doing with the Charleston, A Good Life blog is telling you a bit about the people we are profiling, and other Charleston topics of interest.

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