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Monday, June 14, 2010

Taste Testing: A Forum for Fiction Authors

by Brenda Layman

I don’t write a lot of fiction, but I enjoy it immensely. Fiction lifts us out of our daily life and transports us to any place or time that an author can imagine and create. My writing is usually short, direct, and if I have done my research well, useful. The kind of writing I am usually paid to do is like the ham sandwich in the lunch bag. Fiction is the cream-filled cupcake.

A good ham sandwich is a valuable thing. It’s filling, and it provides the protein and carbohydrates that enable us to tackle an afternoon’s activities. A good cupcake isn’t strictly necessary, but it sure does make lunch more enjoyable. That, I think, is the role of fiction. It makes intellectual life more enjoyable.

That said, it is clear that I admire the pastry chefs of writing, those cupcake bakers, the writers of fiction. I love their mysteries, their comedies, and even their tales of terror and woe. They create new worlds of wonder; they entertain; they entice; they enthrall. They deserve our admiration and our support. Theirs is often a lonely existence, as they sit before their keyboards, deep in the narratives they wrest from their imaginations and render, characters still wriggling, into print for readers to enjoy.

The purpose of Fiction Writers’ Platform is to give writers another place to communicate. It is a place to share, and to elicit comments and suggestions for improvement. It is a place where those cupcakes, so delicious and still warm from the oven, are offered for tasting. Is the crumb delicate, the filling rich and satisfying, the frosting smooth and appealing? Is the recipe right, or does it need a bit more or less of some ingredient? FWP is a safe, free place to try out literary concoctions. I love to sample them, and I thank the authors for sharing them.

About Brenda:

Brenda Layman is a free lance outdoor writer who lives in Ohio with her husband and photographer, Mark. She is the Feature Writer for Hunting & Fishing at online magazine Suite101, and is a regular contributor to Ohio Valley Outdoors and Pickerington Community magazines. Brenda is a member of The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance, and she edits the organization’s newsletter. She is a member of The Outdoor Writers of Ohio and The Ohio Writers Guild. She published several articles over the years, but began writing in earnest after the death of her daughter, Carol. As a writer, her response to the tragic event was to put her emotional struggle into words. Her journal became a book, Song of Joy, a Guide to Recovery from Sorrow (AuthorHouse, 2006). The book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can also be purchased as an e-book. Writing and publishing her book led Brenda to join The Ohio Writers Guild, where colleagues encouraged her to pursue writing about her passion for the outdoors. This led to her present career as an outdoor writer. Brenda is also an experienced public speaker.

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