For seven years I’ve been consumed with writing my new novel, Paper Boats, a suspenseful, thrilling journey about two boys of different faiths, bound together trying to survive the evils of post World War II. Now that the book is final and released, I am consumed with the daily tasks of promoting my book. I am very lucky I have the very best in PR, social and digital behind me. But today I am tired. So I thought I’d put down my book and my promoting chores for a bit of rejuvenation. Today, I am reading something else. The book I have chosen to read is not a best seller or a work penned by the newest hipster author agents adore to crow about over tea in the Hampton’s.
The book I am reading is by Ann Day called, The Nature of Things. Ann is from Vermont and is a well-known reporter in the town where my parent’s live, which has been our home for nearly thirty years. I love this book because through Ann’s writings she teaches us to stop and look at the world around us. She’s more than a naturalist taking walks through the woods and describing her finds. She shares her adventures and puts them in perspective for us so we may apply her learning’s to our own lives. She is whimsical and joyful as she tries, and I think succeeds, at spelling the sounds of birds. She forms such wonderful and delightful words and it brings a smile to your face. The characters in her book are humble, innocent and calming.
As I read Ann’s book, I can’t help to think about Otto, the main character in my book. He has many of the same traits as Ann’s characters. Otto is caring, innocent and playful, even within the vicious atmosphere of war where he is cast. Otto always stops during his journey and looks at the world around him. He seeks the beauty and joy and shares it with the other characters. Nothing shakes his resolve. It’s one of the things I’ve written into Paper Boats: the idea to stop, find the beauty and share. If we all did that the world would be a much more peaceful place.
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