Hi, I’m Evelyn, author of the award-winning Beyond the Rapids and soon-to-be novelist.
On this blog, I’m sharing about writing and how to use literature to impact the culture we live in.
But first, a little about me
I entered the world around the time of the unveiling of the microchip, the introduction of Japanese cars to the US, and postage stamps that cost four cents. My Saturday morning friends were Mighty Mouse, Dudley Do-Right and the Jetsons. Growing up, school was merely an interruption of my exploration of the worlds of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Louisa May Alcott and, later, JRR Tolkien.
While I loved to read, writing was another story. I almost have to say I hated it. So much that when it was time to think about choosing a college, I turned down an offer of a full scholarship, if I agreed to be a writing major.
I know, not the smartest move.
Instead, I stayed in Pittsburgh where I grew up and did four years at the University of Pittsburgh. Then, I started moving west when I went to graduate school at The Ohio State University. My career in health care administration took me to Detroit, and then to St Louis. My plan was to return to Pittsburgh as soon as I could.
Instead, after ten years in the Midwest, I headed east to serve as a missionary in Russia. Yes, somewhere along the line, in spite of my parents’ best efforts to make a Unitarian of me, I embraced faith in Jesus Christ. In Russia I learned to love borscht, dress for the cold, and treasure liberty.
While in Russia, I travelled to Ukraine, where I met an amazing family whose story of perseverance and triumph in the face of intense persecution for their faith encouraged and inspired me in my own struggles. After my return to the US, I wrote of their experiences. After Beyond the Rapids won a Reader’s Favorite award, I began to think of using my love of books to fuel a new career, and start writing the kind of books I would love to read.
But I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Answers come from unlikely sources, and I found mine in this quote by Vladimir Nabokov:
“There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three – storyteller, teacher, enchanter, but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer.”
All my life I’ve loved stories. From Alice falling down the rabbit hole, to Nancy Drew and beyond, I’ve spent some of my happiest moments lost in another world. Reading stories, telling stories, these provide entertainment, an escape from the trials of life, some laughs or thrills or both. First I want to write stories that people enjoy.
Other stories that help people. Stories that share life lessons, demonstrate values or convey truth. These stories teach and illuminate. Stories that explore complex moral dilemmas or hold a mirror up to give us a new perspective on our lives and world views.
Second, I want to write stories that help people, coming from my own worldview as a Christian, infusing my work with Christian values. I explore this idea a little more in this post.
Then there comes the magic. Enter the enchanter, who with just a few well-chosen words sweeps the reader into another realm, fascinating and engaging.
So as I create my fiction, my goal is to combine the three roles: the storyteller, the teacher and the enchanter. I’ll be using this blog to share what I’ve learned about these three sides of a writer and how to use them in works of fiction. I’ll also share books that have entertained, educated, and maybe even enchanted me, and why I think they’ve done so.
I hope you want to join me on my journey to ever-improve my writing and to discover fiction worth reading.
And I’ll be on the lookout for great examples of great fiction, both new and old, that explore complicated moral dilemmas. I’ll share the best ones I find.
By the way, I did finally get married after I returned from Russia, inheriting three stepdaughters, two step-grandsons, and a cat. My husband and I now live in northeast Wisconsin, where (as long as the Steelers aren’t playing) I gladly cheer for the Green Bay Packers.
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Comments are welcome! I’d love to know what you think about any of my posts.
PS And just so you know, from time to time when I review books I include links to Amazon.com. These links are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy the book. You pay the same exact price. Doesn’t make me a lot of money, but it helps to cover the costs of this blog.