Author brings humor, heart to series of locally-inspired books

Apr 27, 2021

A Wareham woman has written four books set largely in and around Onset and Wareham, and she’ll be hosting a book signing at ECHO on Saturday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Elizabeth Butts’ books “Singleish,” “Secondhand Purses,” “Thirty Happens” and “Four Letters” aren’t strictly a series, but characters from each book reappear in the others.

Her most recent book, “Four Letters,” tells the story of Nona, a woman in her eighties. Butts said she originally thought Nona would be a secondary character in her earlier works, but she liked her so much that she had to give her her own novel.

Nona, who Butts described as a “happy spirit,” is based on two beloved people from Butts’ life: art teacher Mrs. Dunbar and her Great Aunt Phyl.

“I like to say that Nona is who I’d like to be when I grow up,” Butts said.

“The thing that’s funny is that a lot of the stuff I write is just fictional things I come up with, and everyone assumes everything really happened to me,” Butts said. That can be worrisome — like when Butts’ husband read a scene describing an assault and came out of his office “white as sheet” and asking if the assault had happened to her.

It can also be funny. In one book, a character gets a bikini wax. That scene was based on a story told to Butts by a friend, she said, and she didn’t feel the need to get waxed herself to write it.

“I’m not that dedicated to my craft,” Butts joked.

Butts said one of her favorite parts of writing is when the characters “kind of take over the story for you.”

Butts encouraged anyone with an interest in writing to give it a try: “If there’s anything this last year has taught us, nothing in this life is guaranteed,” Butts said. “Open up your word document and start typing. Let someday happen. Write your own story! Put the words on paper. Make it real.”

Butts’ books are for sale at ECHO at 5 Elm St. and on