Susan Gregg Gilmore's southern roots are evident in her two novels, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove. While many Southern novelists claim Lee Smith's influence, Gilmore is the sole Bookmark guest who can claim Smith for seventh grade English. "She taught us we all had a story," Gilmore said.
NPR's Alan Cheuse said Gilmore's first novel was a "stand-out coming of age novel. Her second was part of TARGET’s Emerging Author Program. Special thanks go to Jacksonville State University for hosting Bookmark at its annual literary conference On the Brink and Gena Christopher for her generosity.