Quote of the Day: If it weren’t for theater, I wouldn’t be here today. Allen Eskens, author of The Life We Bury and five more novels, and counting, who spoke at our library author event, June 4, 2018. Allen was a terrible student all through his growing up years. He was a daydreamer and a slacker (his words, and the words of his teachers). He didn’t care much for learning…UNTIL an intuitive teacher encouraged him to audition for the school play. He was in the 5th grade. He wasn’t technically old enough, but his teacher saw something in him that he didn’t even know was there. Later, when he was in high school he participated in theater and found his voice and his passion. Although a career in performing arts wasn’t where he ended up, it was the path to success in school, college, law school, and writing novels. 

Author Allen Eskins reading at Brainerd Public Library, June 4, 2018

Author Allen Eskens at Brainerd Public Library, June 4, 2018

His first novel, The Life We Bury, has had international success, being translated into multiple languages, and is now in production as a major motion picture. The narrator for the audible book for The Life We Bury won an award for his performance. I can honestly say it is one of the best audio books I’ve ever listened to. 

Hearing Allen’s description of his educational struggles and his journey towards becoming a published author was inspirational. His message is for all of us Insecure Writers out there. Keep working and trying until you discover your true voice and passion.

IWSG June 2018 and Allen EskensIt’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. You can also visit the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for more info and links.

The question for this month: What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Character names. Titles are easy. In fact, I start with a title. I think I’m good at titles. Editors rarely change them when I write magazine articles. Naming characters is much harder. I think about what fits them, the meaning of their name, does it fit with the time period or place, gender, race, etc. I try to have a variety of sounds, like starting with different letters, not all ending in -ary or -ie, that kind of thing.

I hope you all find inspiration as you pursue your dreams!

Hearing Allen talk about his positive experience in theater affirmed what I do – conduct Youth Theater Workshops in the Brainerd, MN area. It gives students a chance to create something together, to use their imaginations and talents, and it gives them a sense of belonging.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What did you dream of doing when you were younger?