Sometimes you read a book – or two – and you know that the author has shared something very special with you – something unique – something beautiful – something that comes from deep within them.
These are the books that deeply move you – the books that are written with authenticity – the ones you don’t forget.
More than once I’ve blogged about how important it is to create these kind of books – how important it is to write for you – not for a publisher – not for a ‘target reader’ – write the story you need to tell.
So today I wanted to talk about two books I read recently that left me thinking about them long after I’d read the last page.
The Wishbird by Gabrielle Wang and Pureheart by Cassandra Golds are both published by Penguin.
They are both about a love that’s deep and true, a love so profound that it spurs the main characters onto actions that are greater than who they are.
The Wishbird by Gabrielle Wang
“Oriele’s beloved Wishbird is dying and she must leave the Forest to save him. But in the City of Soulless there is danger everywhere.”
The Wishbird has a legendary quality about it. It’s a timeless story that you can imagine becoming a classic. It was inspired by a book called Green Mansions, read by the author’s mother when she was twelve years old, and later passed onto Gabrielle.
The beauty of the prose is just one of the things that makes this book so compelling.
“In the ancient Banyan tree, the Wishbird lay still and silent. His breath was think, the thread between the King and himself growing ever weaker. Soon it would break, and when the time came, both would die, and so would the city, for it’s heart would be lost forever.”
It’s up to Oriole to save the Wishbird. It’s going to take all her inner strength, as well as the courage of Boy, who she meets on her journey. But along the way, Oriole discovers a terrible family secret that she must come to terms with.
Gabrielle Wang’s stunning illutrations help set the scene in this lyrical novel, and take the reader even deeper into Oriole’s world..
This is a book for older readers but it’s also a book with honesty and truth – and beautiful prose.
“Gal and Deirdre have forgotten something. Something really, really important.
When her grandmother dies, Deirdre is left alone in a crumbling block of flats. Looking out of the window one misty night, she sees a boy who seems familair. Together he and Deirdre must discover the secret of the old building, before it collapses and the secret is lost forever.”
“And as Gal and Deirdre looked on, there was a sudden glow of light around the action, around the giving of the baby into her arms, as if someone had lit a thousand lanterns. It was like looking at an icon surrounded by a bank of candles, or a scene lip up on a stage. It was as if they were seeing how beautiful the memory was to the one remembering it.”
No love is more pure than Gal and Deirdre’s love for each other and Cassandra Golds allows the reader to experience this with such clarity. She takes us into their world, draws us into the tension and intrigue, and makes the reader part of Gal and Deirdre’s story.
After reading Gabrielle and Cassandra’s books I sat down and thought about why these books were so compelling. Here are my tips.
TIPS FOR WRITING COMPELLING BOOKS
- Write from the heart.
- Allow your characters to tell their story – don’t restrict them by your own ideas of where their story should lead.
- Discover your characters as you take the journey with them. Think of them as real people and allow them to develop inside your head.
- Picture the scenes in your head and write not just about what you see, but what you feel.
- Surprise the reader – don’t make your story predictable.