FROM POVERTY TO A Ph.D.
Local author inspires students at St. Andrews Middle
Special to West OfShare this article:
Local author Sybil Nelson recently spoke with St. Andrews Middle School students about the very real challenges she, and many of them face.
All Priscilla wanted to be was a normal 7th grade student. But when psychotic, genetically-enhanced assassins started coming after her and her family, being normal was getting to be downright impossible.
In the Priscilla the Great book series, local author and publisher Sybil Nelson shares the story of an adventurous auburn-haired middle school student with some unusual powers. On March 13, she brought her book and some amazing tales of her own to St. Andrew’s Middle School.
A math teacher for nine years, Nelson aspired to become a published writer even as she worked on her Ph.D. in biostatics from MUSC. Now an award-winning author, Nelson also publishes novels for young adults under her pseudonym, Leslie DuBois. And while she celebrates her success, she’s also quick to point out that it was a long and hard fight to where she is now.
Growing up in Daytona Beach, Fla., Nelson grew up in relative poverty. But, as she explained to the students at St. Andrew’s Middle, she made it a point to take weekly trips by bus to her local public library where she read as many books as she could get her hands on. Later, Nelson went on to win a scholarship from Washington & Lee University to study Journalism, though she later changed her focus to math and music.
Her first book, Priscilla the Great, was published in 2010, and it has since won several awards, including The Strongest Start Novel competition, and was named a Flamingnet Top Choice Book. It was also voted the Most Hilarious Read of 2010 by Booklopedia. Since then, Nelson has completed four more books in the Priscilla series, including The Kiss of Life, Too Little Too Late, Bring the Pain, and The Time Traveling Bullet.
Nelson was sure to encourage the students at St. Andrew’s to read as much as they could, to use their imaginations, and to write as much as possible.
For more information about Sybil Nelson and the Priscilla the Great series, visit www.priscillathegreat.com.