Local Authors Pen A Wide Array of Titles

Award-winning Classic Rolls Into Town
October 25, 2011
Thursday: Party, Party, Party
November 2, 2011

The Cloud Roads is the most recent book by Martha Wells, published by Night Shade Books, $14.95.

From a pictorial book that chronicles the history of College Station to a science fiction novel following the hardships of a shape-shifter hiding in a river valley, Brazos Valley is home to successful authors who have created texts that appeal to an array of reading tastes.

Bryan resident Martha Wells has penned 10 successful fantasy novels with publishers Tor Books and HarperCollins. Her newest novel, The Cloud Roads, is published by Night Shade Books. Wells, who says her life goal has always been to be a successful writer, is “really happy and grateful to be doing this. It’s not an easy profession to get into, so I’m very fortunate being where I am.”

As expected, writing a novel is not simple or easy. “For a novel, it takes me about a year, start to finish, more or less, to complete it,” says Wells. “As a writer, you have to be persistent and have to come back to your work every day. You have to go back and keep working on it even if you get discouraged.”

Aspiring novelists would do well to heed Wells’ advice. Her most recent novel received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: “Wells…merrily ignores genre conventions as she spins an exciting adventure around an alien hero who anyone can identify with.”

Wells, who graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology, uses her education to fuel the creativity and authenticity in her far-flung words. “It helps me in the fact that I write fantasy,” she says. “I make up different worlds and settings, which isn’t an easy thing to do for everyone. You can’t really do that without knowing how real cities and places and cultures work.” Many of her works, including a number of short stories and nonfiction articles, have been published in eight languages and enjoy a world-wide following.  

The Cloud Roads is the most recent book by Martha Wells, published by Night Shade Books, $14.95.

From a pictorial book that chronicles the history of College Station to a science fiction novel following the hardships of a shape-shifter hiding in a river valley, Brazos Valley is home to successful authors who have created texts that appeal to an array of reading tastes.

Bryan resident Martha Wells has penned 10 successful fantasy novels with publishers Tor Books and HarperCollins. Her newest novel, The Cloud Roads, is published by Night Shade Books. Wells, who says her life goal has always been to be a successful writer, is “really happy and grateful to be doing this. It’s not an easy profession to get into, so I’m very fortunate being where I am.”

As expected, writing a novel is not simple or easy. “For a novel, it takes me about a year, start to finish, more or less, to complete it,” says Wells. “As a writer, you have to be persistent and have to come back to your work every day. You have to go back and keep working on it even if you get discouraged.”

Aspiring novelists would do well to heed Wells’ advice. Her most recent novel received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: “Wells…merrily ignores genre conventions as she spins an exciting adventure around an alien hero who anyone can identify with.”

Wells, who graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology, uses her education to fuel the creativity and authenticity in her far-flung words. “It helps me in the fact that I write fantasy,” she says. “I make up different worlds and settings, which isn’t an easy thing to do for everyone. You can’t really do that without knowing how real cities and places and cultures work.” Many of her works, including a number of short stories and nonfiction articles, have been published in eight languages and enjoy a world-wide following.                                                                                                   

“I usually do a lot of nonfiction reading to get inspiration for characters,” Wells says. “For settings, there is a website called the Atlas Obscura. They have pictures of different places, strange monuments and odd landscapes. I usually go there to look at the pictures and gain inspiration for my settings.” Reviews of her novels often mention that characters are not only believable but also are relatable. “I think you have to be a good observer. You have to pay attention to other people and why they do things, what they say, how they act. You also have to know yourself.

“Usually, I like to focus on loneliness and feeling as an outsider. My stories tend to focus on trying to find your place in a world where you don’t normally fit,” she says. “The Cloud Roads is a story about just that.”

Let the Children Come to Me

Bible Stories for Children

by Sharon Burton

 $8.99

Bryan resident Sharon Burton is the recently published author of “Let the Children Come to Me,” which retells many much-loved Bible stories in simpler and easier to understand ways. In order to explain the stories of the Bible better to younger readers, Burton uses familiar language and practical illustrations. The history of events, people enacting them and the meaning behind each story are clarified and emphasized so that readers of all ages find them accessible.

 

Be Still … and Know That I am God

by Charles L. Mashburn

$24.95

“Be Still…and Know That I am God” by Charles L. Mashburn was written to share a life with God through the eyes of a common man. Inspired by his mother, whose picture adorns the cover of his book, Mashburn writes encouraging words to share with others each day of the year in this book of devotions. The book encourages readers to trust God on a day-to-day basis. “My intent is to encourage the reader to seek God and the path He would have them travel, emphasizing that each of us has a part in God’s greater scheme.”

 

College Station, Images of America

by Glenn D. Davis

Arcadia Publishing, $21.99

College Station is a pictorial by Glenn D. Davis chronicles the vibrant history of College Station and Texas A&M University. Davis, who was born in Bryan, uses archived, historical photos and extended captions in his book to paint a fresh look at local history through his own, unique lens. The book introduces first settlers like Harvey Mitchell and traces the development of Texas’ first land-grant college.

 

November 12, award-winning local author Kathi Appelt will present, “What Makes Your Characters Tick?” at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Brazos Valley conference. The conference, “Connections & Craft 2011,” will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at A&M United Methodist Church, 417 University Dr., in College Station.

Two editors from New York publishing houses, Martha Mihalick of Greenwillow Books and Claudia Gabel of Katherine Tegan Books, are also part of the conference faculty, along with author-illustrator Brian Floca and authors Doris Fisher and Molly Blaisdell.

Conference fees are $135 for SCBWI members and $155 for non-members. A downloadable registration form is available at http://tinyurl.com/scbwi-bv. For more information contact Regional Advisor Liz Mertz atlizBmertz@gmail.com

Books sales at the conference will include titles by the faculty, their recommendations, and works by SCBWI members attending the conference.

College Station resident Appelt is the author of more than 30 books for children and young adults. Her picture book, Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America (HarperCollins, 2005) was given the “Growing Good Kids Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature.” Reviewers have described her first novel, The Underneath, a haunting story of love and survival in the pine forests of East Texas, as a classic. It was named a National Book Award Finalist, a Newbery Honor Book, and most recently awarded the PEN USA Literature for Children Award. Her newest book is Keeper, published by Atheneum, 2010.–Megan Roiz