Passion and romance. Words you wouldn’t be surprised to see together in a sentence. The passion I speak of though is the passion to write!
Despite the naysayers, the rejection letters, and the slim compensation, there are some amongst us that simply can’t imagine their lives without the creative outlet of pen to paper, or fingertip to key.
Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s a group of successfully published authors met regularly at the Greece Public Library for mutual support and to share their latest chapters. Two of the group’s authors, Audrey Pike Johnson and Virginia Kester Smiley, were both Webster residents. Virginia lived on Webster Road not far from Mill Creek Run. She was an avid collector with many hobbies, who had close to 30 of her works published. Audrey was a widow who lived on Fuller Avenue in the village and had at least 6 published books. Both were passionate writers most of their lives, but it was as grandmothers they found their greatest professional success.
While their passion for writing drove them, the subjects they wrote about were driven more by pragmatism. Authors may dream of writing the “Great American Novel”, but practicality often leads them to more accessible markets like “genre” romance novels. Gothic romance and nurse romance were both popular genres at the time.
In recognition of Women’s History Month, we currently have a selection of books written by Webster women on display at the museum. When not on display, they can be found on the shelves of the museum library.