‘Wandering Off’ – Local Lawyer Writes New Book
Rather than a single narrative, “Wandering Off” presents a collection of Bettis’ writings over the years separated into several themes.
“I think beauty is [the] thumbnails,” he said. “You will read it as much as you want. I had a lot of people say they couldn’t put it down, so they keep reading it. They will cross it in a day or a weekend, which is encouraging.
Bettis said the book contains several themes, including a look at North Georgia history, changing careers, children growing up, and political and religious commentary.
Several of the works in the book are columns written by Bettis for the Forsyth County News, where he has been submitting columns for more than 20 years, and “Wandering Off” features a sneak peek from Forsyth County News general manager Norman Baggs.
Bettis said gathering more than 20 years of writing into one book was a “long and arduous” process, and parts of the books come from speeches, unpublished writings, eulogies and even looks at historical events, such as Bettis’ son going to war in Afghanistan, 9/11, COVID-19, and racial issues in Forsyth County in the 1980s.
“Some are just historical pieces,” he said. “I tried to capture what we all felt after 9/11. It’s not necessarily relevant now, but a historian might look at this about a night sky with no planes in flight, it’s not something something you see very often. I tried to capture events that might be significant like that.
Bettis said even the title of the book comes from a commencement speech he gave to students in 2017 at Shorter University.
“What we’re doing right now doesn’t necessarily work well for our nation, so it was a challenge for these graduates to try something different, to watch how we worship, to watch how we conduct business, to watch how we get along with each other, so that was the theme, but there are several stories in the book. This is a collection of writings from over the past 20 years.
“Wandering Off” is Bettis’ second published book, following “The Little Book of Annoying Questions: Understanding the Coming New American Revolution and an Unexpected Generation,” which was published in 2016 and is a look at the millennial generation, who , according to him, is sometimes unfairly characterized.
So far, Bettis said the book has been well received, although not all of its columns could be included.
“A lot of people say they laugh one minute and cry the next,” Bettis said. “So it’s kind of this extreme of emotions in reading.”
“Wandering Off” is available in electronic, hardcover and softcover versions and can be purchased online and in bookstores.