He was born Dec. 1, 1956 in a four-room shack with no running water or plumbing, located in the middle of a cornfield in Greene County, Illinois. His mother gave birth to him in her bed that cold, wintry morning with only a wood- and coal-burning stove to keep the room warm. His father wasn’t there for his arrival – probably hunting rabbits to feed the large family. Sam Scoggins was the 10th of 12 children.
By the age of 18, Scoggins was a felon. He also became an alcoholic and drug addict.
The 63-year-old has lived a rough life full of many ups and downs, overcoming several near-death experiences — one that left him learning to walk all over again. However, Scoggins said the story of his life is one that he wants to share with the world.
“I’ve always wanted to write my story to tell how hard life had been for me growing up,” Scoggins said.
Now, he finally has the chance.
Scoggins, who currently lives in Albertville, will write his autobiography with the help of Story Terrace.
In November, Story Terrace Communications Associate Suna Yokes confirmed that Scoggins’ book is currently in production.
Scoggins said the working title is “From Golden Boy to Silver Fox in 63 Years and a Wink of an Eye.” The book will encompass growing up in Illinois, graduating high school and starting his career in the telephone industry, his alcoholism and drug addiction recovery, and other significant moments throughout his life that eventually led him to establishing his home in Albertville.
“At age 63, I’m nearing the end of my life,” Scoggins said as another reason for having his life story published. “I want to dedicate it to my brothers and sisters, and all of those left behind in Greene County, Illinois.”
Charlie Moss, a ghostwriter, will write the book in first person from Scoggins’ point of view. He said ghostwriting often comes with a variety of challenges, but the biggest of all is to maintain Scoggins’ voice throughout the book.
“Sam seems to have led an interesting life,” Moss said. “As far as ghostwriting it, the challenge will be to make sure and get his voice right … I just want to make sure to capture his personality on the page. That’s the challenge. We don’t want this book to be obvious that it was ghostwritten, but we also want it to be written in a way that people will want to read it. … He’s told me he’s struggled to write a memoir for decades and just hasn’t been able to do it. He’s given me a couple of drafts he’s attempted that I can use to really get a good sense of his storytelling technique and how he envisions the book. But I also want it to be compelling narratively, and to flow. I think what Sam is discovering is that there is a difference between being a good storyteller (which I think he is, from what little I’ve seen) and writing those stories as compelling narratives.”
Moss said he hopes to have the book completed and see it published by spring.