New novelist to sign books Saturday

Prissy Elrod

Prissy Elrod

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 01:42 PM.

If anyone had told the conservative housewife that she would one night be driving around Tallahassee with a stoned, drunk homeless man in her back seat, imploring him - no, demanding - that he come back to her house, she would said they were nuts. But it happened.

If anyone had told the Apalachicola bookseller that she would be handed yet another self-published book by the friend of a friend of a friend, devour it in one sitting, and immediately forward it to a well-known literary agent, she would have laughed. Or cried. But that happened too.

An astonishingly frank memoir, “Far Outside the Ordinary” chronicles the period in the author's life when, during a routine physical exam, her 50-year-old husband is given less than a year to live. After he and she subject themselves to a grueling round of increasingly unconventional treatments, they return to Tallahassee , she moves black caregivers into their home to provide around-the-clock care, and Prissy soon finds herself an observer and then a participant in events far outside the boundaries of her once ordinary life. 

“Far Outside the Ordinary” is also a story of happily-ever-after, a romantic fairy tale. When her high school boyfriend reappears in her life, Prissy learns that love has no expiration date. Sometimes a second chance at love can come disguised, and when least expected.

"This is an extraordinary book,” said Dale Julian, proprietor of Downtown Books. "It is so totally Tallahassee , and yet addresses the big themes of love, loss, and self-reinvention with utterly convincing candor and sometimes even humor. I'm going to do my best to ensure its success."

An artist at heart, new novelist Prissy Elrod lives in Tallahassee with her husband while her treasured family lives within four miles of her. Writing her first novel was an exercise of courage. It took four years to write, three computers, two espresso machines, 48 how-to writing books, a Florida State University memoir-writing class, 24 blog subscriptions, a half-dozen periodical journals and 14 revised drafts. Elrod kept the manuscript to herself, not allowing anyone to read it for the first three years of writing her story and finally, in 2013, she sent the draft to a Pushcart Prize-winning writer in Texas , engaging him to read the manuscript and provide feedback.

Elrod is currently working on her second book. To contact visit or

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