There are a few perks that come with being an Author. The work itself is the most rewarding as those of us who’ve chosen this field are well aware there is nothing like bringing a story to life or as Inion & I like to call it the “Inbetween”. Those magical places that fill the pages set between the covers of a book. Or the rush that comes from writing/typing the last two words…The End.
Then there’s the readers who find their way to your books & connect with the characters, immerse themselves in the story. Is there anything that can match the feeling when you hear your characters being talked about, by your readers as they breathe life into them, making them all the more real? Seeing them not only in the light you intended but finding their own take on them as well.
Of course, we’d be lying if we didn’t include one of our favorite perks. That of having access to some incredible books written by the talented fellow authors that we probably would’ve never known about in the sea of millions had we not met them on this journey. Inion & I had never tried reading medical mysteries, suspense or thrillers, until we picked up a copy of Carrie Rubins, THE SENECA SCOURGE.
If you haven’t read the book, run, don’t walk and treat yourself to an early Christmas Gift. It is the perfect read between wrapping presents & trimming the tree. Her story has made fans in us of the genre. Thank you Carrie Rubin for expanding our minds & for a phenomenal story!!
Or the Zombie book we found by way of recommendation from FB friend Johney Brown, who encouraged us to pick up a copy of, J. Cornell Michel’s, JORDON’S BRAINS. Which by the way, I’ve still yet to have my turn as Inion is on her read of the book savoring every page.
Or my next book scheduled to read & review by the wonderful Coleen Patrick. COME BACK TO ME (Can’t wait for this one!)
So many wonderful artists whose stories will make for a long-lasting impression & forever kept in your heart.
Yet we still have another perk we would like to mention. And that is, finding the readers who are not just readers but who are aspiring writers. Dedicated teenagers who devour every book they can get their hands on while writing stories that show wisdom beyond their years and invoke passion into their characters & stories. Such is the case for Inion & I this Friday the 13th, when we arrived at Enca Middle School for a speaking engagement, after being invited by Ms. Beth Lane the Language Arts Teacher, to speak to all of her classes.
One hundred and fifteen, absolutely brilliant & passionate young writers who are committed to honing their crafts.
The last event Inion & I attended was so small & informal compared to this one, that it felt much like a slumber party at a friends house. (Which is nice.) But we we’re truly worried that the ole nerves would get the better of us. Instead, we’ve never felt more at home & more impressed by a teachers passion to teach & mold young writers & by the students committed to finding their voice in the literary world.
Of course, we must & will now thank, Rachel Harrell for making all of this possible. A beautiful & brilliant 14 year old Writer who loved our book & main character Renni Trenton from Nightwalkers: The Secret of Jessup & who made all of this possible, reaching out by way of her mother (Leslie Harrell, thank you Leslie) As she talked about the book in her class, her teacher overheard & bam! We have an invitation. So, thank you Rachel for being such an incredible supporter of our book. But more than that, for opening your heart to us and letting us speak with you about your writing & your dreams.
Ms. Lane of course was kind enough to send us a website link weeks before we arrived so we could read the children’s stories. This website displaying oodles of vastly original memoirs written by her students. All of them amazing & uniquely told in their own way. These are but a few: A Haunted Farm Visit, by: Cianna Rector. A camping trip that went coyote ugly, by: Wyatt Carter, Coyote Attack. The Night I Saw Her, is a touching tale of a little girls love for her dog & the guardian angel Shasha became watching over her loving master, by Christina Hampton. A young man’s recollection of an injury that read like the perfect horror story “Blood Bath” Nathan Brown. A young girls story as seen thru her eyes of a horrifying night when she endured a seizure. “Could be a Seizure” by: Sarah Lassiter. Or a trip to the hospital that was a long-lasting impression of a night never forgotten. The Seizure by: Samantha Griffin. A Hayride gone terribly wrong & leaving a young boy injured but a survivor none the less. The Time I Got Into An Accident By: Nathaniel Jon Zorawicki.
Lastly, a young girls story of becoming a big sister to a new baby-girl who was waiting to see her big sister & hear her lullaby sung just for her. By: Rachel Harrell. These are just a few.
We told Ms. Lane, from the get-go, that we didn’t want this to feel formal or stuffy. That we wanted to keep it a writers group where writers could just pick each others brains. And so she granted us our wish. As the kids sat on the floor in front of us, filling the library up, we sat at a table with our books displayed and a banter behind us made by the children to welcome us to their school. (We pause for an “awe to cute” moment). Soon, the teacher called out their adorable “get quiet call” Alligator she said. “Chomp, Chomp” they repeated as the room fell silent. For the first thirty minutes we discussed everything from what inpires us, our writing process, the Digital age of publishing. Traditional publishing, query letters. Platform. But then we tried to keep the focus on hooking readers early on, dialogue & editing, editing, editing as the teacher said she’d been trying to focus on these points since the beginning of school.
We shared who we we’re currently reading. The three names above coming up immediately. (Carrie Rubin, J. Cornell Michel & Coleen Patrick) as well as a museum we just visited with our poetry group that honors a local writer close to us in Georgia who was nominated for the Pulitzer, by the name of Byron Herbert Reece, telling them how important it is to know the local artists who contributed to the arts and area. And they told us who they we’re reading. The titles, perfect choices for young writers to pull from. We heard names such as, J.K. Rowling, Edgar Allan Poe, Kristen & PC Cast, Suzanne Collins & the Divergent trilogy, Veronica Roth.
We talked to them about their stories that we had read. Which ones hooked us early on. Which ones stood out in detail. And as we talked, we noticed more than a dozen taking notes. Such hungry artists eager for instruction & more than comfortable in their own skin to take constructive criticism. It was amazing. We gave them blog sites that we feel are a pool of knowledge for young writers & established writers alike: Jane Friedmans/ Writing, Reading & Publishing in the Digital Age, Kristen Lambs/ We Are Not Alone, Roz Morris/ Nail Your Novel, Patrick Ross/The Artists Road & Ollin Morales/Courage 2 Create.
We did a name drawing and gave away books to those who we’re fortunate enough to have their name pulled out of the basket and are only sorry we couldn’t afford to give each one a book.
We complimented the teacher on allowing the students to express themselves freely, using writing as a venting tool to get thru tough times in their lives or to express what it’s like to be 13 in today’s society and a writer.
To say that we left them with a good message, would only be a half truth. For we learned more than we taught. We took more than we gave & we left filled with a new hope for the future and the thousands of books waiting to be filled by a truly magnificent lot of artists.
We’re sorry to say that we did more talking than snapping away but will tell you that pictures wouldn’t have done the event justice. (least not ours! Boy we needed you Cindy Knoke!) But during Rachel’s interview we will be posting some of these pictures. And we would like all of you to take the time to swing by the website and meet this amazing teacher Beth Lane whose dedicated her life to molding writers. While there, please treat yourselves and read some of these incredible stories told by our future writers.
We would also like to inform you, that Rachel Harrell, the young lady who made all this possible, will be a guest of ours on Two Voices One Thought, after the New Year when we will be discussing her book she’s almost finished with. Yep!! You heard us. She’s almost done with her first book at the age of 14. Some of you have already heard us mention Rachel on Facebook and what an amazing young artist she truly is. We’ve already been bragging on all of you, our networking community and dear friends, and how we know you guys will welcome these young artists with open arms.
As for us, we’ve been given a new outlook on life. To see such passion in ones so young; such a love for the craft of writing….well, it leaves one optimistic for the future & what the future holds for us as readers!!
Thank you Ms. Lane for letting us speak to your students & thank you Rachel for believing in a dream of ours and for sharing yours!!
Thanks to: Enca Middle School
Librarian: Terri Crawford
Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!