Fantastic participation once again for our Monthly Author Challenge. This time we asked you to:
Give us your favorite literary quote, tell us who said it, and how it has inspired and influenced your writing.
We had some truly inspiring submissions. So let’s start with a couple of our judges’ favorites, who deserve honorable mentions:
- Chris Fotheringham
“I have attempted to capture the essence of my time.” – Robert Penn Warren
I did not initially realize it as I used this quote to write a remembrance editorial when Robert Penn Warren died on Sept. 15, 1989. In retrospect, Mr. Warren’s words propelled me from a “just-the-facts,-ma’am” daily journalist toward what he called “the freedom and excitement” of fiction writing.
In the ensuing years, these words have become my mantra. I have attempted to meld my journalistic experience with fictional freedom to write a contemporary, fact-based novel (self-published) about the perils of modern-day gold mining (Glory Hole). I like to categorize this book as “faction.” Throughout this enlightening process, I have learned that fiction is a powerful truth-telling tool.
Mr. Warren – a true “man of letters” – is probably best known for his novel, All the King’s Men, which I devoured as a high school reader. The book earned the Pulitzer Prize in 1947. Perhaps of greater importance, he left a legacy of profound literary depth with his poetry, critical essays, and teaching. I consider myself one of his devoted students and avidly give testament to what he described as “the discovery that you could really enjoy trying to write fiction. It is a new way of looking at things.”
- Suzanne Blanchard Schmidt
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
This simple quote always helps to remind me that it is through my writing that what is in me can have a voice regardless of any of life’s uncertainty.
But of course there can be only one winner. Our AuthorHouse October Author Challenge winner is Betty Russell, who reminds us all of our own courage in following our dreams and becoming self-published authors:
- Betty Russell
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”
L. Frank Baum The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
I was afraid to write my first book and even more afraid to share it with anyone. Then I heard this quote once again while watching The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with my grandchildren and decided what have I got to lose and purged on to write a couple of children’s books and submit them. The books have been received with great encouragement from all who have read them and an enthusiasm to publish them. I am no longer afraid to write and share the stories with others. Now I purge on with writing and illustrating or adding actual photographs in my books with a renewed determination to have the funds within the next 6 months to have the books published and be able to share them with children of all ages. Don’t ever be afraid to follow your dreams and save your money for your time of need.
Congratulations to Betty. We look forward to you joining our November Author Challenge. Just look out for the AuthorHouse Bookends Newsletter to find out what it is.