Writing Community Unites to Write Anthology for Disaster Relief
Eastbourne author Sharon Maas is one of the writers whose work was chosen for Stories of Strength, an anthology of essays, fiction and poetry to raise money for disaster relief efforts.
Born in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this book shares stories by more than 100 writers from all over the world about what it takes to beat the odds, and features writing from Orson Scott Card, Wil Wheaton, and Robin Lee Hatcher. At times tear-jerking, at times humorous, it's guaranteed to inspire and remind readers that the human spirit knows no boundaries.
As they watched the coverage of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, writers who had gathered on the AbsoluteWrite.com message boards decided not to sit by helplessly any longer. Instead, headed by Jenna Glatzer, author of the acclaimed Celine Dion biography For Keeps, they set their pens and keyboards to work— writing uplifting essays, short fiction, and poetry on the theme of "strength."
The result is the 316-page anthology Stories of Strength, with 100 percent of the proceeds to go to disaster relief charities, including the Red Cross, Americares, and the Salvation Army.
"Many people have said they plan to order copies for everyone on their holiday list," says editor Jenna. "What a fantastic way to give a present that also helps people rebuild their lives."
Stories of Strength includes a story and an original hymn by award-winning science fiction novelist Orson Scott Card, an essay by famed actor Wil Wheaton (Star Trek, Stand By Me), and a short story from Christian romance author Robin Lee Hatcher. Several prominent editors and graphic designers gave graciously of their skills, making Stories of Strength a collaborative effort that will turn words into long-term contributions to disaster victims. In addition to the writers’ donations, publishing company Lulu (www.lulu.com) is generously donating its profits from the project.
The final product is a tribute to the human spirit: celebrating true stories of courage and endurance in challenging situations that range from the death of a child to living through natural disasters, to smaller-scale trials, like dealing with returning an overdue book to the local library.
Sharon's story is in the fiction section, and it's titled The Boy with The Golden Hands. It's an excerpt from her first novel, Of Marriageable Age, and tells the story of a leper woman rescued from a devastating flood in South India. This story was based on a true experience, says Sharon. "I was in Tamil Nadu a few years ago when just such a flood lay the entire countryside lame for weeks on end. I was so moved by the plight of these people, the poorest of the poor, that I just had to work that event into the novel I was writing at the time."
Earlier this year, soon after the tsunami struck in Asia, Sharon's own home country, Guyana, was also devastated by a flood. She longed to help, but there was little she could do from Eastbourne. "I tried to organise a fundraising event for musicians and writers, but it didn't work out."
When Katrina struck, there it was again: the dreaded flood waters. But this time, there was AbsoluteWrite and Jenna; this time, Sharon was given the chance to do something, and this story, written in memory of the flood victims in India, can help another set of flood victims, on the other side of the world. "I'm delighted and honoured to be apart of this project, says Sharon. "I hope it will be a great success."
The book will be available direct from Lulu on November 1, 2005, and available to order from bookstores world wide soon thereafter.
Stories of Strength
Editor/Publisher: Jenna Glatzer
Publishing services provided by Lulu