Always a Reader First
by Beth Hammond
I’m a writer but I’m always a reader first. Why? Because I’m a firm believer that you must love reading to write well. Does this mean I love all books? Absolutely not. Does this mean that all of the books that I don’t like are not well written? Unequivocally no.
Writing is art. Do we all go into an art gallery and love the same paintings? Do we
listen to music and decide the same song is our favorite? Nope. And quite frankly life
would be boring if we all produced the same art, loved the same things.
I liken choice of books to appetite. Color or flavor palate both work well for this illustration.
I’m in the mood for the blue hues of sadness, or the savory flavor of a lamenting tale.
Throw in some tones of yellow, sweet hints of honey and a dash of green tart apple.
Lively orange banter leaves a tangy burst, my mind refreshed and ready for the deep lavender, robust, and perhaps a bit bitter tragedy.
Please do include a smidgen or more of the polka-dot pastel, fruit and spice humor. Or make it smart humor with bold tartan stripes and perhaps nutmeg undertones.
Silly humor can be served as pink lemonade, a bit too colorful and a tad too sugary.
Tone that down with a silver and white interlude crisp with mint, a poignant moment of revelation. I’m left standing in a winter drift. The mint still clings to my tongue as the snow falls around me.
But then I feel it, the warm glow of fire bringing with it the smell of brewed spiced tea. The ending, it warps me in its arms and all of the colors and flavors coalesce into an experience that was unique. It was mine. And it was fulfilling.
It was paper with splotches of ink. The ink held shapes. The shapes were words. But it was more. It was a new world. I was somewhere else, someone else. I could see it, hear it, taste it…feel it.
What is the key to unlock the door, the elusive blockade that keeps us from writing a story that will bring a reader to their knees?
About Beth Hammond
Beth Hammond is an author/illustrator who writes anything from YA fantasy to children's picture books. She is a wife, mother, and lover of life. Her early years were spent serving in the military, middle years spent raising babies, and figuring out her place in the world. Her later years are yet to come, and filled with hopes and endless dreams. She spends her days creating worlds through words and illustration. “Don’t write what you think will sell. Write what you want to read.” – Beth Hammond
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The Sound of Stones
If you want perfection, I’m not your girl. If you want a sappy love story, move along and I wish you well. But if you’re looking for a fantasy that tells a tale reminiscent of classics like “The Never Ending Story” then we might be twins. Wait, what color shirt are you wearing?
Oh, and one more thing, if ridiculous humor thrown in at the most awkward moments makes you roll your eyes, don’t read this book. You’re welcome.
The ancient book about the past holds the future. Frankie is the key.
She doesn’t remember stopping at the used bookstore, but there she stands as if drawn by an unseen force. Anticipation wraps around her like a cocoon. When she opens the door, the wind nudges her through, and expectancy turns to purpose. The man inside, and the book he offers, changes everything. Unusual things happen when she begins to read:
In a time long forgotten, people are held captive by half human creatures. Ashra holds a secret close to her heart, and must discover the purpose of her gift before the oppressed human race is destroyed. An unlikely ally comes to her aid. Strangers bring her a message from a far off land. Ashra and her band of misfits set off in search of answers. Together, they find love, uncover mysteries from the past, face ever present danger, and hone powers they never knew they had.
Frankie and Ashra are separated by millennia, by fiction and reality, but in the end the barrier shatters.
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