Janet Hogan Chapman
Georgia Author Memoir & Historical Fiction
Writing has always been an important part of Dr. Chapman’s life. Her many career paths have all included elements of writing. Dr. Chapman was a public school classroom teacher (elementary), grades K-1 and at-risk grades 3-5. During this time she held many teacher leadership positions. She has also been a teacher education university instructor, professional development provider, curriculum writer, private preschool/kindergarten director, church preschool ministry director, and pediatric physician’s assistant.
This memoir gives an account of the culture and events among teachers and administrators in a suburban elementary school. It is organized in three parts. The first is anecdotal background about educational experiences that influenced the author’s later philosophy as an educator.
The second part began as an academic research exercise for the author’s doctoral dissertation. Actual journal entries for a complete school year describe tumultuous events, relating the day to day experiences among the adults in the school and how those experiences affect them as well as their ability to effectively teach the students with whom they are entrusted. This is where you learn the raw truth about what really goes on in some of America’s schools.
The third and final part looks at how and why such school cultures could be transformed, and why that would be a tremendous improvement in an era where so many teachers leave the profession within their first five years of employment.
Historical Fiction Series
Willie May Wheeler, a poor, young, rural Georgia woman was willing to do whatever it took to escape her upbringing. She wished to become an independent woman of means in the big city of Atlanta. She managed to seduce a prospective husband who brought her to the city. The husband was not honorable, and May soon found herself alone and embroiled in the city’s seedy underbelly of crime and corruption. Her exploits included morphine addiction, run-ins with the law, and operating a brothel. May wound up as the defendant in a sensational murder trial that brought her notoriety among the upper echelons of Atlanta society. Despite all this, she never gave up hope for a respectable and successful life as a woman on her own. Practical and pretty, conniving and intelligent, we cheer for May as she makes her way, overcoming obstacle after obstacle.
This novella is a followup to the novel, Madam May: A tale of madams, morphine, moonshine and murder. It picks up around 1911 and tells the story of the love of May's life, takes her through the fears of WWI, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, Federal prohibition, the roaring twenties, the Great Depression, and family turmoil with two more husbands and children. She and her family cope with WWII and the immense changes in Atlanta throughout the mid-1950s. As usual, May's actions are somewhat questionable but regardless, we want her and her family to overcome the obstacles set before them.
Madam May's "daughter" Dorothy is an even more complex character than her supposed mother. Her life was tragic in many ways, yet her story is enduring and full of hope. You will be enthralled with this literary exploration based on true events in the life of an amazingly strong woman.