OLD YELLER – The book that started it all for me.
As an author I’m often asked questions like, “Who’s your favorite
That isn’t as simple as it sounds for me, as I have many authors I
admire and as a voracious reader, I may give anyone a first read
just to see if I like them. I would have to say though that Kay
Hooper is probably my current favorite author. I was pulled in by
her Evil series. I loved the stories. Love the characters, and Ms.
Hooper has a knack for keeping you on the edge of your seat all
the way to the end of the book.
Another question often asked and much simpler for me to answer
is, “What book inspired you to write?”
That one is easy. Frederick Benjamin Gipson’s Old Yeller. A
timeless classic, that in my humble opinion, everyone should read
at least once in their lifetime.
Fourteen year old Travis is left in charge of looking after the farm,
his mother and little brother Arliss while his father is gone on a
cattle drive. The story is set in the late 1860’s in the hill country of
Texas. Hard times. Dangerous times as the family has to deal with
bears, wolves, rabid skunks and the ever-present threat of Indian
attacks. And if this isn’t enough, one day an old “yeller” dog
shows up on their doorstep. A dog Travis immediately hates, and
a dog Little Arliss immediately loves.
Gipson’s knack of allowing you to see the story through the eyes
of a fourteen year old boy, makes it come to life. The realness of
the times, the dangers, the love and the pain. Travis learns to
love the old yeller dog as it saves first Little Arliss’ life, and then
Gipson then takes you through one of life’s sad realities of the
times. Old Yeller contracts rabies and Travis is forced to shoot
So, that’s the book that started it all for me. Another author’s
ability to bring his characters to life. Make them real. Allow you to
see the world they live in through the character’s eyes. Allow you
to feel the frustration, love, hate, and pain of the main character.
Allow you for a moment to escape from the world you live in and
be someone else. Live in another time. Make you laugh. Make
you cry. That to me is the greatest gift authors can give to their
I think about Old Yeller every time I develop a new character. I
read every chapter of my own books over and over again looking
for that gift. I want my readers to have the very best I can give
them. One day I hope I read a blog, book review, or just have
someone say when asked the question, “What book inspired you
to write?” and someone answers, Linda S. Prather’s Jacody Ives
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Gerald and the Wee People
by Greta Burroughs (Goodreads Author)
4.50 • rating details • 6 ratings • 5 reviews
An Exciting Fantasy Novel That Takes You To Another World
Gerald and the Wee People is a novel intended for young adults but
readers of all ages will get carried away in the world of the Wee People.
Gerald and his best friend, Vernon literally fell into a new world when
responding to a plea for help. A few years prior to that, the boys had
discovered an unusual clearing in the woods where only Gerald had the
ability to watch the daily activities that took place in a miniature village.
When creatures started attacking the village, Gerald became more and
more concerned about the little inhabitants that he had become
attached to. Vernon humored his friend but became concerned when
Gerald mentioned one of the villagers coming to him and asking for
To prove him wrong, Vernon agreed to venture out to the clearing late
one night and show Gerald it was all in his imagination. Instead, Vernon
was drawn into the enchanted vision and both boys charged off to the
While in the wee people village, Gerald and Vernon try to fulfill a
prophecy overcoming many dangers and obstacles. The boys help the
villagers in their fight against the misshapen ones while also trying to
defeat a powerful being intent on destroying all life.
The characters in the book come to life and will make you laugh, cry
and root for the underdog. Gerald and the Wee People is an action
packed fantasy adventure that will keep you spellbound until the last
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