Warner Robins author discusses documentary

A Warner Robins native and bestselling author is bringing her story to the big screen at the Macon Film Festival tomorrow.

The documentary "Raised in the South of Normal" is based on Lauretta Hannon's personal memoir.

She grew up right by the train tracks in a little cinder block house on Georgia Avenue, a neighborhood she acknowledges was not the best. Now, it's overgrown and blighted.

"You're just a kid living there, " she says. "Then you wait 24 years before you step foot on that ground again, and you have the adult perspective of all those years"

Her past is revisited in the documentary documentary selected by the Macon Film Festival, where she discusses a challenging childhood and goes back to where it all took place.

"It's the story of how you go through and confront your pain and always try to move through it and move forward," Hannon says.

The film is based on her book "The Cracker Queen."

"A cracker queen is any human that has gone through some hard stuff and has vowed to get through it and move forward, while always maintaining a great sense of humor," she explains.

She had to witness her family go through a lot of "hard stuff."

"From abuse and neglect and hardcore drug abuse. I mean, there was attempted murder, lots of violence."

"You would just think 'Oh my gosh. That's so horrible," And she's laughing about it!" says filmmaker Daniel Espeut.

Her positive attitude attracted the attention of Espeut. However, she did not immediately agree to the proposal of a documentary a few years ago.

Last year, she decided she was ready. Espeut believe her honest and real story was a good balance of incorporating Southern charm, but not portraying a stereotype.

"It's not a faith based thing. It's not a color thing. It's not even a gender thing. Cracker Queen is a way of life," he says.

Hannon admits film was a different challenge from putting pen to paper.

"It was a whole different level of putting myself out there and vulnerability," she says.

She says it was worth it, though, for the following of fellow "cracker queens" her work has attracted.

"I have been thrilled by the community that has developed around my story."

Hannon wants the big take away to be that people should own their past but forge a new future.

"I'm hoping my story and my truth will help others recognize and accept theirs."

The screening takes place tomorrow at 1:45 pm at the Douglass Theater.

A toast will be held at noon at Grant's Lounge, where a parade of cracker queens will march, tiaras and all, to the premiere.

Anyone is invited to join.

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