Time to Write by Emily Winslow is an awesome author craft book written by someone who is an author and professor teaching writing. Over the years, Winslow taught many different classes and finally decided to put them all together into a book.
What I loved about this craft book is that it is less about what you must do and more about things you should keep in mind when writing. She doesn't say "Write your book this way," but instead suggests you think about things like the difference between plot and structure, consider what tense you are using and why, and figure out how to find your writing tribe. What's more, this book is perfect for beginners or for authors who've written several books already. Regardless of where you are, you'll get something from her lessons.
For me, the best lesson was on daydreaming. I've always hated to admit that I don't write every day. I feel so undisciplined. However, Winslow suggests that daydreaming is part of the writing process as you imagine characters, scenes, plot ideas, twists, and more. With this in mind, I do write every day - just not necessarily words on the page!
This is a must-read for anyone who writes or is considering it!
The Word Dancer by Stephanie Edwards is a story about Maribelle, a teacher from Nashville who decides to use her sign language skills in an extremely rural area of Appalachia. I connected with Stephanie because my third novel is also set in Appalachia, and despite the nearly 80 year difference in setting, little had changed when it came to accepting help from strangers.
Edwards did a great job incorporating sign language and characters with hearing impairment, as well as helping us see the prejudices against those who communicate differently than the average population. Without a doubt, I was routing for Maribelle to get through to the parents of these children - as well as to others in the community.
Then, just to make things a bit more interesting, she gave us a love interest - or two, a granny woman, and an overbearing mother. What more could you ask for in a story?
The Bravest Soldiers by Elaine Schroller was an amazing historical fiction with a dash of romance. It is set in WWII in Australia and has been winning awards - as it should!
For those who know Schroller's work, we meet Sophie in book one of The Immense Sky Saga. She was a nurse in WWI in France but when the war ended, she emigrated to Australia with her new husband, adopted son, and step-son. The Bravest Soldiers is what happens to Sophie as a mom during WWII.
Sophie is one of those "do it all" ladies who sees a need and fills it. But what happens when the needs are those you cannot fill and the fear of loss is almost too immense? Schroller helps us see that bravery doesn't just happen on the front line of a war. In fact, the bravest soldiers are often the women who are left behind to keep things running despite the stress and worry.
This is a must-read, and I can't wait to get my hands on Book #1 - Dare Not to Tell - as well as the next novel in this series!
Teri M Brown, author of An Enemy Like Me and Sunflowers Beneath the Snow connects readers with characters they'd love to invite to lunch.
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