GREENVILLE — Greenville author B.A. Hughes said there is a lot of glimmer in children’s lives that can go unnoticed.
That was a driving force for her recently published book Glimm, A Glimpse of Light Found.
“I’d like people to share my book with the children in their lives,” Hughes said. “I really want children, especially young children, to find literature. It helps them find the glimmer of life, joy and truth inside themselves and in their environs; especially in nature.”
According to a review of the book from Hughes’ publisher Four Cats Publishing Company, Glimm, A Glimpse of Light Found, explores the adventures of tweens and early teens as they uncover everyday mysteries and connections.
“Middle school students might find kinship with a lonely cheetah, a talking stone or a persistent rabbit,” the review said. “When the emptiness of ennui and the drudgery of daily life are peeled away, unexpected encounters with nature lead to glimpses of truth. With wonder and beauty everywhere, often hidden in plain sight, darkness fades and light glimmers.”
Hughes is a mother of six children and a grandmother of 13. Her short stories were originally written for her grandchildren, aged 3-17, about three years ago. Six are published in the book, with seven more to come out in a second book, with a goal of a 2018 publish date. Hughes wrote each grandchild their own Christmas story. The book is illustrated by her granddaughter Quinci Woodall.
“I used the personality of each grandchild,” she said. “It is not a book about them, it is a story that I dedicated to them, because they have inspired me to build a character. Often the setting is a place that is familiar to them, such as their home or school. That gives me a lot of good fodder for writing the story – things they know personally about.”
Hughes read their stories to them during nap or bed time, she said. One memorable reading involved a reaction from her grandson, who calls Hughes “Mimi”.
“His eyes just got really big and he looked at me and said, ‘Mimi, that is awesome! Can we read another?’,” she said. “I am very excited that they like them. That kind of feedback for me is just what I need to keep me moving on.”
Hughes said one of her challenges in the writing process, was making the stories all suitable for her genre of middle school-aged readers that she calls tweens and teens, as her original stories were suited for each grandchild.
“I had to narrow my focus and I chose middle school, which is my favorite,” she said. “I want to write for that kind of language and that understanding of the world.”
Hughes said she has found encouragement early. She will have her first formal reading this Saturday, December 2, at The A & B Coffee & Cake Co., in Greenville; she will be featured at the Friends of the Greenville Public Library’s annual Holiday Open House Saturday, December 9; and a guest author at The Storybrooke Cafe, in Dayton, Saturday, December 16. Her books are available in several venues, such as the Greenville and Arcanum public libraries and Amazon. In addition, she signed her first bookstore contract, with Bread of Life Bookstore, in Greenville. Bread of Life Co-Owner and Manager Julie Strait said the store is interested in supporting local authors.
“We are excited about her new book,” Strait said. “The look of it is great, the writing is very good and creative, and we think it will capture the interest of her target group. We think she has done a great job, and are happy to have her book in our store.”
While Hughes has met with some public success, she said her satisfaction comes with much less fanfare.
“Some children have such a bitter and strained look at life already,” she said. “I want to write about things that they can get caught up in and connect with in everyday life; especially animals. That is where my heart is; to give young people things to read and think about, that go on as the seasons change and as life grows. There is beauty in life that I want them to look at, instead of the things that are right in their faces all of the time.”
This Saturday, Hughes will be at A&B Coffee and Cakes on E. Broadway Street, in Greenville, 9 a.m. to noon. Hughes invites middles school readers and their families to join her at the top of each hour for a story reading, Q & A and a book signing. For more information, visit facebook.com/glimpse-books
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