“I always wanted to write fiction, and I finally decided a couple years ago that I was going to do it,” she said.
A professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Sleath took creative writing classes on nights and weekends, fueling her love of fiction writing.
“Pelican Island Pharmacy” is a novel centered on a single mom working at a pharmacy in Pelican Island, N.C. Jessie, the protagonist, relocates to North Carolina after being attacked by her ex-husband on the campus where she was a pharmacy professor.
“My mom worked as a clerk at an independent pharmacy when I was growing up in New England, and it had a soda fountain, and so I created this pharmacy in this book called Pelican Island Pharmacy that had this soda fountain because, to me, pharmacies always kind of have a sense of community,” Sleath said.
She drew on her own life experiences to create this fictional story; Sleath owns a condo at Carolina Beach and was a single mom for a time.
“They say you should write what you know, and so I decided to kind of create this suspense-type novel that centers around this small beach town, and the characters were a lot of fun to develop,” she said.
The novel was well received by her friends and colleagues who were with her throughout the whole writing process.
“It was a very easy read,” said Becky Eatmon, retired executive assistant to the dean of the school of pharmacy. “I picked it up one day, and I didn’t put it down until I finished it. I’m waiting on the sequel. I told Betsy the other day, ‘OK, when’s the sequel coming out? I’ve got to find out what happened.’”