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BOOK CORNER: Author addresses bullying in novel

Born in Rundown City, Mississippi, during the 1940s, Diddley Squat was left to the care of his grandmother, Mother Squatt, the owner of Copp-A-Squatt Inn. As a child, Diddley was bullied because of his name and his home life situation, but he could care less.

He learned to lean on the nurturing lessons and mentoring of the various residents that pass through the inn to navigate through his early life.

That’s the basis for “The Legend of Diddley Squat – A Novella from a Brother Fella” by Compton native Duane Filer.

Inspiration for the book came from the life of one of Filler’s favorite comedians, Richard Pryor, whose grandmother ran a popular brothel.

Many of the characters in the book come from what Filer imagined musicians, actors, soldiers and others may have experienced while passing through the South between 1940 and the 60s and the limited hotel/motels they could access because they were black and could only stay at certain places.

Although set in the deep South, Diddley’s story is relevant in 2017 as daily news stories shed light on instances of bullying in schools, communities and on social media.

Filer hopes his book gives readers an opportunity to escape from reality. He also hopes his readers understand that although no one has control over who they are at birth, “it is left to each of us, once born and as we start to grow into ourselves, to ensure that we make the best of our lives.”

The author is working on more “Diddley Squat” stories, children’s books, music reviews and more. He lives in Carson. To learn more about Filer visit

“The Legend of Diddley Squat – A Novella from a Brother Fella” is available for $13.99 on, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and