I'm pleased to host Beverly Stowe McClure once more to my blog. For those of you who haven't met her yet, here's a brief bio:
When Beverly was a child, she hated to read. Even though her eighth-grade teacher sent her poem “Stars” to a high school anthology, and it was published in Young America Sings, she hated to write. In spite of her rocky relationship with the printed word, she attended Midwestern University, read more books than she ever imagined, wrote tons of papers, and graduated with a teaching degree. Imagine that. As a teacher, she also read a lot. Reading Dr. Seuss and other great children’s books to her sons and to her students made her realize what she’d been missing: reading was fun. Now, she reads and she also writes. Her stories and articles have been published in leading children’s magazines. One article was reprinted in a Scott Foresman PreK-K Anthology. Her “Breakthrough” article appeared in the June 2007 issue of Writer Magazine. She has five novels for tweens and teens published with four more under contract, along with a picture book. Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, a YA historical fiction, is her latest release.
Here's Beverly's guest post. Read and enjoy!
FAIRY TALES AND RELUCTANT READERS
I often wonder why I hated to read when I was a child. Books were not a priority in our home. I don’t recall anyone ever reading to me, though my memory might be faulty there. I’m not using the lack of reading material as an excuse. My younger sister always had her nose in a book that she’d checked out from the school library. I was content to listen to the radio. (Yes, this was before TV.) Every Saturday morning I turned on the radio for my favorite show: “Let’s Pretend.”
“Let’s Pretend” was fairy tales. Cinderella. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Sleeping Beauty, and all of the classics. Actors and actresses read the parts, transporting me to worlds of castles, and handsome princes, and beautiful princesses. Oh, yes, for a morning I became the heroine who woke from her dreams when the prince kissed her. Cinderella’s glass slipper fit my foot perfectly. The boy and girl always lived happily ever after. It was magic. I never read the books, but the visions of the characters were etched in my mind. I knew exactly what each one looked like.
Today, I believe the fairy tales I listened to in my early years were the beginning of my writing career. Though I don’t write fantasy, except for a ghost or two here and there, the stories from so long ago remind me that my protagonist must have a problem or a goal. She must want something desperately, or her problem must seem impossible to solve. The antagonist is the bad guy who tries to stop her from accomplishing her goal, the person who keeps putting obstacles in her path.
So do not despair, if you or someone you know is a reluctant reader. There is hope. Everyone can change. I’m proof. Now, when I’m not perched in front of my computer, typing the thoughts pouring from my head, my nose is in a book, reading another author’s beautiful prose. My only regret is that I didn’t discover the magic of books many years earlier.
Happy reading and writing to all.
Here's a synopsis of Beverly's newest historical fictional book for young adult readers, "Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines:
In May of 1863, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford decides to enlist in the Confederate Army. Two incidents trigger her decision. First, for months General Ulyssus S. Grant and his Federal troops have been shelling Vicksburg, Mississippi. To control Vicksburg is to control the Mississippi River. Now, Vicksburg is under siege, cut off from the rest of the world.
Second, when a mortar shell strikes Lizzie’s bedroom, her mama, Susan, orders Lizzie and her younger brother, Nathan (Nat), to the cave that Lizzie’s papa, Dr. Charles Stamford, recently has had dug for their safety. Lizzie hates living underground. Her older brothers, Joseph and Willie, are with their regiment in Virginia, fighting for their cause in the Civil War. Can she do any less? So she makes her plans. Twelve-year-old Nat, however, keeps upsetting them.
Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of Lizzie Stamford and her family’s daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace and security.
Here's some links on where to find out more about Beverly and her books:
Here's some links on where to find out more about Beverly and her books:http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com