Stories that Matter
Stories that matter are stories that make me feel, stories that invigorate me or serve as a call to action for me. Stories that matter are stories that awaken my spirit to issues, be it spiritual, emotional, moral, social or a combination. Stories that matter are stories that are more than just feel-good plots, instead they are stories that call all my emotions into play: sadness, anger, grief, happiness, desire, joy, etc. Stories that make me think. Stories that provide me with indulgences like romance but that, at their core, have something important to say—whether I agree with the outcome or not. Some stories are written with the intent of providing the reader with an escape from real life; stories that matter, however, are written with the intent of making the reader more aware of reality; to provoke compassion and empathy, love and hate, anger and grief. This is because stories that matter are made up not of fairy tales but of real life.
It’s a lofty dream, indeed, then, that I have of my writings being “stories that matter.” Truthfully, though, they are written to be just that. All of the books start out with a question or a subject matter that is dear to my heart. Most of mine revolve around childhood trauma and the children who must overcome it. “Mountains of Hope” is about the Holocaust. I write about such emotional issues not because I enjoy making readers cry but rather because I want them to think. I want them to care, and I know that words are powerful enough to make that happen.
Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men — Confucius said this, and he was so right. Lord Byron hit the nail on the head, though, when he penned “Words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Words wound but words also heal: they are like the wings of an angel, delicate yet strong enough to fly. Ultimately, what makes words powerful, though, is the meaning they bring to spirits. I was not even born when Martin Luther King, Jr gave his speech but his words, spoken with such conviction, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin” has moved me coutless times in my life. There have been books I’ve read that shook me to my core and challenged everything I knew or held dear—and I came through the challenge grateful for having been challenged. On the other end of the spectrum, Adolf Hitler was able to brain-wash an entire country not because he was intelligent but because he knew how to write, and how to deliver, words to accomplish his ambitions. Words are powerful.
Ultimately, however, they are only powerful if they have meaning. A book about video games probably wouldn’t interest me, because I don’t have a deep enough investment or interest in them. But to someone who takes great joy from playing the games, a book about the most successful video game on the market would be highly enjoyable. Words must have meaning to have power. To write “stories that matter” then, I’d first need to choose a topic that would have relevance to the readers’ lives. Childhood trauma fits that priority because, even for those without children of their own, children are indeed the future generation of our lives and our country: to become engaged in a story that circles around them will draw even the most grown-up of adult in. Historical events are important too, so that we are able to remember the past and not repeat the mistakes our ancestors did. Writers who believe passionately in their subject matter are more likely to produce a piece of writing that displays that passion—and that displayed passion can invoke a strong emotion within the reader, thus becoming a “story that matters”.
I think this is where the strength of these books displayed on this site, along with the others I write, comes in. I truly, gut-wrenchingly believe in both of these topics: childhood trauma and the historical value of the Holocaust. Only the reader can say whether the words are revelant enough to be powerful. Only the reader can decide what kind of author I am. Whether the books are liked or not, however, isn’t even the point for me anymore: the point is that they are stories that have impacted my life, sometimes for a short while, others for years. They are stories whose theme I invested time and emotion into fleshing out. They are, simply, stories that matter.
Enjoy reading the synopsis of each, along with the “Sneak Peak.” Joi me on an adventure in reading that will encompass your whole heart: more than just a book, these are books with meaning, words with meaning–these are stories that matter.
I was once asked why I write. Below was my response:
It’s like an addiction: I really do *have* to write. For me, it’s like breathing. I was very, very young when I started writing (I wrote my first story when I was 8). Like it is for others, it has always been my way of escaping. I lived a very nomadic, isolated and often volatile childhood and so writing gave me everything I didn’t have: stability, friends, etc.
I write because it’s a passion I was given. I write because I believe in how powerful words are, and I love them. I write because I leave a bit of myself in each of my novels, somewhere, and thus, it is a legacy I can leave for my children. I really don’t think about readers or recognition when I write and I honestly don’t care about selling a single novel. When I sold my first book, I was excited, but I was more excited about the idea of someone reading my work than I was getting paid for it. I write because I long to be understood.
I write about things that matter to me. I write about issues that I care about. I write because I’d like to wake people up, to dare them to act rather than just accept or delegate responsibility. I write because, in so doing, I make peace with and come to understand things that may have scarred me.
I write….because…well, I just have to.
Or, in short answer, I write because I believe in stories that matter.