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Beyond the Pen
April 25, 2023

The Power of Storytelling: Discover a Wide Range of Literary Topics with Beyond the Pen's Three-Part Series at the HEPL Local Authors Book Fair 2023 Transcript

The Power of Storytelling: Discover a Wide Range of Literary Topics with Beyond the Pen's Three-Part Series at the HEPL Local Authors Book Fair 2023 Transcript

Speaker 0 (00:00:00) - Hey, everybody, welcome to be on the Pin live at the Hamilton East Public Library Book Fair. We are here with our first guest, Mr. David Marsh. Yes, David, thank you for being on the show. We appreciate

Speaker 1 (00:00:13) - My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 0 (00:00:14) - Hey, no problem. Thank you. Sincerely. So, today we're gonna be talking about your journey into obviously creating this, this great book right here. What is it called again? The

Speaker 1 (00:00:25) - Confessions of Adam.

Speaker 0 (00:00:26) - The Confessions of Adam With Oren and Susa. Yeah. Nice. Okay. So when I was going over the synopsis and trying to figure out how I can create some wonderful questions for you guys. Some of the things I always look at is the basic, you know, your plot setting, stuff like that. And Adam's story reveals a great burden of guilt and regrets. Yes. Um, how do the themes of forgiveness, of forgiveness and redemption unfold throughout the novel? And what lessons can modern people take away from the story of mankind's origin?

Speaker 1 (00:01:04) - Yeah. Yeah. So the story, the narrative of Adam and Eve, ancient Hebrew narrative is incredibly relevant for today because this couple dealt with; obviously they had a very unique situation right. In, in a unique origin, but they dealt with a lot of the same things that the rest of us deal with today. Right. Difficult, difficult, uh, parenting. Right, for sure. Very difficult. Yeah. But then guilt, certainly carrying that guilt and finding forgiveness in each other. I won't give too much of the story away. Course, I've, I've, I've, you know, I've, I've done, I've seen very close to the Hebrew narrative, but I have also taken a little bit of liberty, but finding forgiveness, uh, in each other. And then Oren described that he hires to write his memoir as Oren of Susa. Mm-hmm. And he and Oren have a friendship and a relationship and really together find a way forward, uh, beyond their pa their share, their pasts, and they find things that, that they share in their past actually, and they work together on that mm-hmm. And so it's more than just a relationship of Warren writing down Adam's story. It's finding a story and a future for, for themselves in that as well.

Speaker 0 (00:02:11) - Well, that's something that definitely a lot of people can really connect with today. Um, we were talking about the confessions of Adam, and it takes place in various locations such as, uh, SSA and the Seaside Home and everything. How does the vividness of these settings play a crucial role in the storytelling process?

Speaker 1 (00:02:31) - Well, certainly Adam's origin in the Garden of Eden, right. Um, so Adam is always close to the land, and he is close to the land for the rest of his life. And so place is a very important to him. And so, placing him, I want to place him in a couple of various locations, right? Mm-hmm.  throughout the novel besides Eden, of course. And so I felt that a seaside would be an interesting location to place him where there would be, you know, he could invite Warren to come there. It's kind of the, the sea, the water. It, it's, it's a meditative place, right? Mm-hmm. , it's a place where we, we often quiet and, and think beside water. Yeah. And so that was why, one that, you know, bringing that into the story mm-hmm. , it was relatively organic, but it, I felt that it really worked for the relationship, Adam and or were going to experience

Speaker 0 (00:03:18) - Here. Yeah. Cuz you know, there's always these different points of view when it comes to being a storyteller, because with these, without these points of view of telling us what people are thinking, what people are feeling, um, you've, you presented it uniquely within the story of Adam and Eve through the lens of Adam's members and Oren's transcripts. How does this, uh, dual perspective, uh, help bring the insights famil to familiar, uh, tales and what challenges did you face in maintaining this?

Speaker 1 (00:03:54) - Well, uh, I, the initial drafts of the novel were sort of the first person by Adam. Yes. And I felt the reader needed a way into this story. I felt that was too, uh, abrupt or too, so I, so Oren became then a way for the reader. So I believe the reader can follow Oren into the story Uhhuh . And it's a way to, for the reader and to allow the reader in, because it's always about reader experience. Yes. Right. And so, uh, that's what I think Oren allows is someone who's not in the biblical narrative, who can, who whom the reader can follow into the

Speaker 0 (00:04:29) - Stories. And I think that's something that a lot of people really need to know, is that, you know, that person that's really driving the story itself. And final question real quick, because you, before we started recording, one of the things you said is this was your thesis,

Speaker 1 (00:04:46) - Right? Right. Yeah.

Speaker 0 (00:04:48) - So one of the things I always ask is, what is your writing kryptonite? But because of the fact that you wrote this in college, what was your writing kryptonite back then? Oh, compared to, to now.

Speaker 1 (00:05:01) - Oh. Um, my greatest weakness is being between projects. I do well when I'm next deep in a project. Yeah. But when I, uh, am between projects, I'm lost, I am lost. I, I, and, and it take, I just submitted my second novel manuscript. It'll be released this fall. That's with the publisher in editing right now. Over the last six weeks I've been doing meta writing, trying to find that next project. I think I landed on it this week. And the relief is unexplainable.

Speaker 0 (00:05:32) - Well, David, thank you for taking some time and everything. We appreciate it. Thank you. And we will be right back after this.

Speaker 1 (00:05:39) - Thank you. So

Speaker 0 (00:05:53) - We are back and I, I don't even know, I don't have words on how I can really express Mr. Duchenne

Speaker 3 (00:06:03) - Dene. Yes, sir.

Speaker 0 (00:06:03) - Mr. Duchenne reads, because their book, him and his family's book, lucky Are Those Born Black? Is this is an ex exclusive laser gentlemen

Speaker 3 (00:06:14) - Exclusive. Yes, it is. This is an exclusive.

Speaker 0 (00:06:16) - This is amazing. I love it. I'm gonna show off some of the artwork on this because it looks beautiful. I mean, the story in itself is amazing too. Tell us where the inspiration came

Speaker 3 (00:06:28) - From. Well, in 1972, my oldest brother in his senior year wrote a poem called Lucky. Are Those Born Black while Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Oh. This book got, um, local and state and national accolades. My brother left to go to the Armed Forces. Our, the, the poem got lost for approximately 40 something years. My brother gets back, my mom had passed away. We went through my mom's keepsake, uh, keepsakes and found this poem like seven years ago. Mm-hmm. . And I asked my brother, it was so inspiring to me. I asked my brother, can I utilize the title of his poem and move into a different arena to address our next generation? So that led to our children's book called Luckier, those Born Black.

Speaker 0 (00:07:18) - I mean, I'm looking at this and this, one of the things he said earlier too is, is like free poster included, which is literally the cover itself. People can take it off there and they can have it like this. I mean, I'm sorry, this thing is beautiful looking. The story itself is amazing. So let me ask you this. What, what was one of the hardest things about writing this book?

Speaker 3 (00:07:44) - The, one of the hardest things is that the social labels that we have placed on race, placed on, uh, body image placed on disability and age makes it very hard because you don't wanna find yourself in this thing called cancel culture, because that be because of the way you're, um, writing a book. So we wanted our books to have a, a, a model called Pie. We wanted all of our books to, and they Art, including this book, is we wanted it to have a positive message. We want this book, uh, to, um, have to be inspirational and inclusive. And the last thing is we want it to be education and value. So trying to couple all that into a, uh, into a Lucky are those Born black, uh, book to really talk about, um, the beauty of various hues. Yep. It's, it's, it's, and it's touchy subjects Yes. That you have to tread lightly, but you have to have courage at the same time to tread on those. Because our next generation that we have, we want them to embrace each other like brothers and

Speaker 0 (00:08:53) - Sisters. Yes. Because again, this is so amazing. It has so many things, like, I'll read a little bit, but my rhythm and movement originated from the beats of my ancestral drums. I can hear music of any style and extract those cultural hums. I mean, that's amazing to just tell kids themselves that yes, they have all these things from their ancestors. Sure. So let me ask you this, what was it like to actually have that conversation with your brother about this poem? Because like you said, this is a 50 year

Speaker 3 (00:09:24) - Old poem. Yes, it is. Yes it is. Well, my brother, he used very few words to try to inspire a community. And I don't know if you know much about Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then, you know, 19, um, 21 Massacre and Tulsa has have not, um, moved really far beyond past that. So in 1972, you think about, it was less than a decade past the, um, the Civil Rights Act of 19 64, 19 72 Tulsa. He's trying to inspire a community. He's trying to, uh, use what he has as an 18 year old young man to really push people's mindset, uh, towards an inclusive and appreciation of self. And he did it. He did what he, he had to do, not knowing that his poem was gonna be an inspiration for two generations later.

Speaker 0 (00:10:21) - And I think that's something that we all need to know is that when we're telling these stories, because I, one of the things I always say is everybody has a story. Everybody has a unique story. Absolutely. And it should be told don't know what. And I think that's wonderful what your family has created with this. Ladies and gentlemen, seriously, go out and go, lucky are we born Black? Go out. Get it. Where can they get this up?

Speaker 3 (00:10:44) - Luckyrethose.com again, lucky are those.com. Not don't, do not go to Luckyarethoseblack.com. Yeah, because this is a, a six book Children's Enrichment series a box set that has been established last year. And the next one is coming out in July of 2023. So lucky are those.com. You can, um, go there and you can go to bReed@drbconsulting.com, B as in boy, r e e d, all together@drrbconsulting.com. And, um, you can pick it up. We have the, we have soft backs, we have hardbacks. If you go to Amazon, you will only be able to purchase the Soft back, which is not this one here, it's a little smaller. But if you go to luckier those.com, you can get this, uh, hardback soft back apparel and a lot of other things that, that may be fitting for you as

Speaker 0 (00:11:31) - Well. And ladies, now we will have those links and everything not only on our website, beyond the pen podcast.com, cuz they'll have a profile on there as well. Absolutely. But we will also make sure that we have, um, uh, everywhere that you can find us. Thank you again so much. Thank you, lash. I appreciate it. We

Speaker 3 (00:11:46) - Appreciate it. No problem. Well, this book is not mine anymore. I want to give this book to you. Oh, thank you sir. Hinge, you can just bless somebody else with it in, in any way, shape or form. Read it to some kids and to inspire them, uh, to move forward and feel great about themselves.

Speaker 0 (00:12:00) - So good. Thank you. Appreciate it. We will be right back with another great author, just like the thank We Are Back. This time we have Mr. Jason Funk, a Funk World Hi comic book Universe of Jason Funk. And he is one of my favorite people so far because I am a father, I have children as you all know, and he is about the same age as my son, who is also on the spectrum as well. And you, my friend, are a legend in my eyes on this.

Speaker 4 (00:12:42) - Really. So that's so great to hear. Thank you.

Speaker 0 (00:12:46) - You're very welcome. So let's talk, let's talk about the misfortune. Was it, uh,

Speaker 4 (00:12:53) - Merchant of misfortune? Yes.

Speaker 0 (00:12:55) - Mis misfortune. I mean, this guy, the merchant of misfortune is so interesting to me because he is so you in a way, do you think? Yeah,

Speaker 4 (00:13:05) - I'd say so.

Speaker 0 (00:13:05) - Okay. So can you tell us about the inspiration for, for, uh, wacky Jim's character and snowball?

Speaker 4 (00:13:12) - Yeah. Well, whack Jim was inspired by old-timey wandering traders in Booky Bread. Wacky Jim is the one responsible for the inciting infant story, which is he the one giving the secret formula fertilizer to the farmer Snowball is, was inspired by his Simpsons. Ah,

Speaker 0 (00:13:30) - . I was wondering where that came from. Yeah. So let's, let's talk about the conflict in the story, because this is, it's one of those things that not everybody is going to really see come to life too much, but there's a little bit of a, of a conflict in the story that seems to drive the, that's driven by the, uh, farmer's grief and, uh, his misuse of the fertilizer, as you said. How does this reflect larger societal issues and what message do you hope readers can take away from

Speaker 4 (00:14:03) - This? Yeah. Well, the law, I wasn't really thinking about societal issues when I was writing the story, but mm-hmm. , as you said, like this larger issue is that greed leads to ruin mm-hmm. And you like, see it's all time in politics, corporate America, and even your neighbor next door, honestly. Well, I'd like, that's like the message I'd want to get out. My readers just like, you know, don't let your greed control you. Mm-hmm. , don't be greed. Do the right thing.

Speaker 0 (00:14:29) - And you know what, that's the best, best message I think anybody can do. So let me ask you just two more questions real quick and we'll let you get going because you've got a lot of things you've gotta be doing right now. Uh, the monsters in this story are, uh, very unique in themselves and ranging from walking corn stalks to a plant eating monster. Uh, how did you come up with these creatures and what challenges did you face in bringing them to life?

Speaker 4 (00:14:57) - Well, the corn monsters were the first thing I came up with in the whole story. Oh. And since we live in Indiana and there's law of corn, I talk Why not? Why not? Doesn't love a cord monster

Speaker 0 (00:15:10) - .

Speaker 4 (00:15:11) - Yes. Yeah. One of the challenges I faced was, well, putting 'em in realistic poses because, uh, because I'm not, they're not really exactly human. Another challenge was coming against their language. But once I did, so I think that Cornea, I am very fluent in Cornea, like zuki ble will blah.

Speaker 0 (00:15:32) - Well, it definitely makes sense. So let me ask you one more question. Okay. What is your writing kryptonite?

Speaker 4 (00:15:40) - My writing kryptonite? Yes. Ah, my writing kryptonite is Writer's block.

Speaker 0 (00:15:46) - Writer's block. You know what, I think that's one of the best answers. I'm gonna thank you, Jason, for having some time with us. I appreciate it. And we will be right back with another author right

Speaker 4 (00:15:57) - Now. Yeah. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 0 (00:16:11) - We are back with our next author. This one is a repeat. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Miss Ru Sparks. She wrote a book that is, uh, very near and dear to her hearts. Yeah. Um, let me, let me just go directly into the questions because it's one of the, one of your favorites that you've written in

Speaker 5 (00:16:33) - Everything Yeah.

Speaker 0 (00:16:34) - Um, in the secluded town of, and please help me if I'm saying this wrong, uh, Spastoke

Speaker 5 (00:16:42) - Spastoke

Speaker 0 (00:16:43) - Ska, whatever. Close enough. Close enough. Uh,

Speaker 5 (00:16:45) - It's written. Who cares?

Speaker 0 (00:16:46) - Exactly. Exactly. The protagonist is drawn to the mysterious trickster finch.

Speaker 5 (00:16:52) - Yes.

Speaker 0 (00:16:53) - How does the search for this elusive bird relate to the larger plot and the secrets that you will be willing to give so far to the protagonist uncovering about the town?

Speaker 5 (00:17:06) - So the trickster finch is kind of like, um, it's, uh, a bird that brings this community together. Um, it's something that they search out as like a rite of passage. Um, and this Wren the main character, um, is just particularly good at citing this bird. Um, and birds in general like it, there's a lot of bird, uh, metaphors, a lot of birds in the book, as you can tell, from the color. Um, and it's, it's really just a way to connect, um, run both to the town and to their Uncle Jethro or Jeff, not Jethro. Um, Jeremy, um, who passes away at the beginning of the book. Um, it was something that they, he passed on to them, um, as like a rite of passage and a way to connect to the town. And it, him losing him, they kind of claim to the bird as kind of what is left so

Speaker 0 (00:18:02) - Well here in the story. It it's set in a small southern town Yeah. And where the protagonist is non-binary identity Yes. And a brash behavior cause them to feel like the outsider, the causes them to feel like that. How does the setting of the, uh, protagonist contribute to the development of their character and their thoughts through the, throughout the natural?

Speaker 5 (00:18:27) - Um, so in the book, I actually don't deal with a lot of, um, transphobia as far as like, um, the scenes. It's mostly that, that had gone in the past and now they've kind of established themselves in the town mm-hmm. . And that's simply reflective of, as someone who's nonbinary, I get enough of it in real life. I just wanna see stories where the people are who they are, and it's not the conflict. Um, they're just day to day. Um, but there is like a little bit of, um, Jeremy, their uncle and flashbacks trying to understand where Ren is coming from. Okay. Um, so Ren is fairly, uh, like solid in their identity, um, but it's their connection to the town and the people around them that just gets shattered when their uncle passes away. And then there's the mystery surrounding look, death of the family friend now.

Speaker 0 (00:19:24) - So final question from the point of view of the protagonist who is passionate about bird watching. Yeah. Like you said, there's a lot of birds in this film. Uh, how does the narrative explore the themes of self-discovery and acceptance?

Speaker 5 (00:19:40) - Yeah. Um, so the biggest, um, theme I would say in this book is great. And as someone who is a young widow, um, and has experienced quite a bit a grief in my, the past five years, um, my struggle to reconnect with the world and learn who I am as an individual is reflected in the book. The loss is different mm-hmm. , but in a lot of ways, grief follows similar patterns. Right. Um, and when through the book, they have to come to terms with everyone in my life, no matter how much I love them is going to leave me or I will leave them. Yeah. And how do you continue moving forward, especially at such a young age, while holding that as truth, but not letting it vary you mm-hmm. Um, so that's really rent's struggle is coming to terms with that and with a whole bunch of, um, confetti on the top with like the magical realism. Jeremy comes to them in their dreams as a ghost and breeds them bedtime stories. Um, and then there's the bird. So there's a lot of, um, extraneous things, but at the core it's about Ren accepting, um, their loss, the

Speaker 0 (00:21:00) - Loss, you know? So there was a bird that just popped in through there too. So, I was like, Ren, timing it. Rent. Yeah. Really. All right. Final question real quick. Yeah. What is your current writing Kryptonite? What is your weakness?

Speaker 5 (00:21:14) - Uh, consistency.

Speaker 0 (00:21:16) - Oh, it's the same as last year, wasn't it? Oh, yeah.

Speaker 5 (00:21:19) - It, it, it was a little worse this year because I had a lot of health issues that came to a head. Um, and it gets very difficult being someone who's disabled to write consistently. And even before then, I was very much like a burst of creativity person. Um, a work that I started a couple years ago, the dragon warden, um, I had originally planned on like posting it once a month mm-hmm. Um, and I just paid petered off. I got burned out. So I actually am re-releasing it in the fall, but this time I'm just gonna do it in like, regular batches of the book. So I, it's at some point have to accept if it's been 20 years of me dealing with this issue, I have to work with it, not try to fix it. Exactly.

Speaker 0 (00:22:02) - So, well, thank you again where we appreciate you being

Speaker 5 (00:22:06) - Done. Yeah. It was so good to see you again.

Speaker 0 (00:22:08) - You too. And ladies, gentlemen, we will be back after this.

Speaker 2 (00:22:25) - All

Speaker 0 (00:22:25) - Right. And we are back with another great, uh, author. This is B.A. Williamson, aka Brent, is Right. Okay. And he has written a book called Gwendolyn or the, excuse me, the Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray. And I was looking at this as like, oh my gosh, this is a beauty of a cover, ladies and gentlemen, but we're just going, we're gonna get into the nitty gritty. Sure. Let's go. All right. So in, if you can, in 10 words or less, what is your book about?

Speaker 6 (00:23:03) - What if you could create anything with your imagination and what if you couldn't

Speaker 0 (00:23:08) - Control it? Ooh, I like that. Yeah, I like that. I mean, I think that's one of the things I really liked about it. So let, let's get, so the character, let's talk about character development. Sure. Because she's got a lot of it in, in this. So throughout the series, Gwenlynn faces new challenges and internal struggles from, uh, harnessing her powers to dealing with her anxiety and depression. How does her growth as a character reflect the overall, uh, arc of the themes, uh, of the series? And what do you hope the readers will take away from

Speaker 6 (00:23:44) - This? Uh, in it, I think it's different from book to book. The first one is very much about learning how to be yourself and how to step up and take what are seen as weaknesses in her case, uh, her, her mental health, her bipolar disorder mm-hmm. , and see that as a strength and something that she can utilize. Uh, whereas then in the second book, it's how do you then take that to help others and help your community? So, and then the third book, how do you really strike out on your own and individuate from that community?

Speaker 0 (00:24:15) - Yeah. And I think that's something that a lot of people are, are dealing with today, especially with obviously the anxiety, depression, and bipolarism. I've got a friend of mine who's dealing with it right now.

Speaker 6 (00:24:26) - I try to make sure that everything she does in the book where she learns to deal with that is actual real life strategies where it's positive self-talk or meditation or yoga, except it's magic yoga. So of

Speaker 0 (00:24:38) - Course ask me. Right. So where did the thought process of bringing in all the anxiety, all these little things that we deal with today, uh, comes from what inspired you to

Speaker 6 (00:24:48) - Do that? Part of it's just write what you know, you know, I'm bipolar myself. Uh, but also as I was writing it and I wanted to stay true to realistic characters, she was going through a lot. She's like, there's monsters trying to kill her. There's pirates like kidnapping her and her friends. And it made me think that not everybody just goes to Narnia and fights a war and comes back fine, and I'm just 12. Yay. It's like, no, like that's trauma. That stuff would get to you and would build up over time. And so that's what really leads into the second book into her struggles with depression, is just everything she's been through as a character. And I think that's, that's where she seems very real and well developed because she has these very honest reactions to larger than life circumstances.

Speaker 0 (00:25:31) - And I think that's something that a lot of fantasy people try to stay away from. Mm-hmm.  is that they don't want to bring the reality of trauma and involved in Yeah. Because it's an, it is supposed to be an escape, but in your case it's a little bit of both in, in a way. And it, it brings up a lot of the, the conflict styles that you've, uh, created within the book itself. Um, the faceless gentleman serves as a consistent menace throughout the series, threatening to erase Gwendolyn and her creations in order to preserve order, preserve order. Ladies and gentlemen, how does the, this conflict between the order and examination, or excuse me, the imagination shape Gwen, and the way that she looks at the world,

Speaker 6 (00:26:18) - She's always felt very stifled by the rules of this society where it's all rules and it's all unquestioned. Everything is the way it's always been. And that's a reason enough for doing it. And it's something I've chafed under where people are like, well, that's just the way we do it. Mm-hmm. And so that has made her very lonely, but in that loneliness and isolation, she spent all this time developing such a rich inner life in her imagination that that's what gives her her power. Um, once she starts learning how to bring her daydreams to life, another character's like, oh, so I can do that too. And she's like, well, maybe if you spent a decade isolated in school with nothing but your imaginary friends for company.

Speaker 0 (00:26:58) - Yeah. Makes sense. Makes sense. So final question, what is your writing kryptonite? What is your weakness?

Speaker 6 (00:27:06) - Uh, it's the first draft. It's like, I do still struggle with self-esteem on the first draft where I will write a paragraph and just be like, I don't know if that's any good. It's garbage. Well, it's just, you just force yourself to keep going. Whereas I love the editing process. I can, like all the puzzle pieces are on the table and you can play with it and tinker with it and find the right picture.

Speaker 0 (00:27:30) - Thank you so much for being on here. You really, anytime. Appreciate it. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. B.A. Williamson, go out and get your copy of Gwen, the, excuse me, the marvelous adventures of Gwendolyn Gray. And, uh, we will be right back with our next author.