Mitzi Perdue spent much of her marriage to chicken magnate Frank Perdue scribbling notes.
At social gatherings, dinners and countless other occasions, the man who through TV commercials became the country's only famous chicken producer would talk and his wife would jot it down. For years Mitzi Perdue, who has worked as a syndicated columnist and written several books, transcribed the notes from scraps of paper to diaries, and then much of the material from diaries to computer files.
How could she not? she said.
"If you're a writer and you hear someone say something quotable, the temptation to write it down was irresistible," Perdue said in an interview in...