SEMINOLE — Mayor Leslie Waters has a new title to add to her name — author.
She has released “Good Morning Mayor, What’s Up?” through self-publishing and print-on-demand company Xlibris Book Publishers. This primer on local government explains how city governments are formed, managed and governed.
Waters said that while writing the book she leaned on her decades of experience in politics, both as mayor of Seminole and as a state representative. She’d long wanted to write a book on local government and settled on writing it from the mayor’s perspective because “mayors are universal all over the world,” she said. Not all countries have presidents or prime ministers, she added, but many cities across the globe have mayors.
This book has been several years in the works, she said. It was a difficult process, mainly because she had other priorities and was only able to come back to the book when she had time, she added.
“I have a new appreciation for authors,” Waters said.
The title of the book came from her visit to an eighth grade class at Seminole Middle School several years ago. The students greeted her with “Good Morning, mayor. What’s up?”
“Of course I answered enthusiastically with, ‘You are!’” she said.
Waters took the majority of the pictures that appear in the book, most of them taken in Seminole. The only picture not taken by her is credited to St. Petersburg College Seminole Provost Mark Strickland, who contributed a photo of his son and a friend launching a kayak at Waterfront Park.
The photos on the book’s front and back covers depicts the Seminole Kiwanis Breakfast Club’s annual Field of Honor, a display of American flags that stands in front of Seminole City Hall each November.
“Those red, white and blue flags waving in the wind on the cover of the book, wow it looks fantastic,” Waters said.
She worked closely with local editor Susan Funk on the book. Funk also served as editor and ghost writer of Seminole resident Joe Corbin’s memoir, “The President’s Escort.”
In addition to explaining how local governments work, “Good Morning Mayor, What’s Up?” also includes several op-eds written by Waters on various topics, including Home Rule.
The mayor is currently focused on promoting her debut book. But it’s “begging” for a follow-up book, she said.
“I can’t think about writing another book at the moment, though,” she said. “I need to take a break first.”