Bestsellers in the Heartland
By Meridith Murray
Well, they may not be bestsellers yet, but they will be bestsellers, once the word gets out! The Heartland Chapter is proud to claim two published authors among its membership: Cathy Seckman, from Calcutta, Ohio, and Laura Anne Ewald, from Murray, Kentucky, are both fiction writers who know how to spin a great tale. If you want to take a break from indexing or have something to read as you travel to San Antonio for the ASI Conference, you should definitely check these titles out.
Cathy Seckman has published thousands of newspaper articles, hundreds of magazine articles and indexes, a few short stories, and two novels. Cathy identifies herself as a “part-time writer, part-time indexer, and part-time dental hygienist.” That adds up to someone who definitely knows how to manage her time. . . . and time is what her young adult novel, Weirdo World, (CoolWell Press, 2011), is about. Weirdo World tells the story of a boy named Hunter from the present time who is accidentally transported back to the summer of 1963. For those of us who were kids in 1963, it’s a trip down memory lane. Remember Jello cake? Stay-at-home moms? Buying groceries for a dollar, and getting change? We’ve come a long way since then, but kids will always be kids. It takes a lot of ingenuity, plus a helpful adult, to figure out what to do. This is a fun book, regardless of whether you lived through the '60s or only read about it in history books.
Cathy’s second novel, Bad Moon Rising, was co-written with two members of her writers’ group, Darlene Torday and Debbie Schukert. The three became indie publishers in October 2012 when the book went live on Amazon.com. The vintage murder mystery takes the reader from Woodstock to the Kent State shootings through the eyes of a group of college friends.
Laura Ewald is a former librarian turned freelance indexer and writer and indexer. An eclectic scholar with degrees in classical studies, drama, library science, and organizational communication, she is committed to the concept of “Everyman Theater,” bringing life’s lessons to the world via good storytelling, whether it is in the form of novels, plays, or puppet theater.
After years of writing and publishing for academia and professional journals, Laura has decided fiction is a lot more fun to write and has now published some of her novels. Her tag line is, “It’s all about Romance!” However, she says that she recently learned that what she writes is actually women’s fiction and not romance (which is apparently both more salacious and formulaic—who knew?) But there’s still plenty of romance, whether she is writing science fiction or more traditional literature. Her science fiction series, The Commonwealth Chronicles (CreateSpace, 2012), is so far a series of two, but that is just a start. Book One, The Stars of Dreams, tells the story of a science fiction writer who learns that the world she has been writing about is not necessarily fictional. Book Two, The Stars of Home, is actually a prequel to Book One, supplying a fascinating backstory and answering many questions. Science fiction meets romance, and it’s love at first sight.
Laura’s latest book, A Chance for Life, published by Tate Publishing in 2012, is at its heart a pro-life story but is also a very sweet tale of faith and commitment and an all-around good read. The protagonist, Sam Merrin, herself once an abandoned baby, is given the chance to save another unwanted, unborn baby by agreeing to adopt it, if the cynical mother will change her mind about having an abortion. In the process of carrying out this quest, Sam learns the true meaning of family. Spoiler alert: there is romance here also.
These are all books that you can enjoy and then share. The stories draw the reader in, and the characters are sympathetic as well as interesting. Both authors have an amazing ability to capture the mood of time and place and convey it convincingly and with conviction, whether they are writing about the not-too-distant past or a galaxy light-years away. Cathy’s and Laura’s books are available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Support a fellow indexer, and give yourself a treat at the same time! For more information, visit their websites, LauraAnneEwald.com and cathyseckman.com.
© 2012 by Heartland Chapter of ASI. All rights reserved.