Author Dawn Byrne is a member of the South Jersey Writers' Group and also has a beautiful story included in our anthology. So let me proudly introduce this amazing woman right now!!
Story: Footprints That Don't Match
Tell us a little about yourself.
A married mother of four living in and loving South Jersey, I write full-time and prize babysitting my grandchild. Reading classical literature and letter writing occupy my downtime. I also teach Sunday School. A member of three local writer's groups, I lead monthly critique sessions.
What got you interested in writing and when did you start?
Well crafted stories that resonate caught my fancy as a quiet kid. I loved that someone could say something and have others listen without either speaking. It's the ultimate communication. In eighth grade my teacher wanted to submit a story I wrote to a contest, but then my family moved. I still have that story with my teacher's comments written in purple marker.
What type of stories do you enjoy writing?
Slices of life from my childhood are top favorites. My stories usually include children's situations and family relationships. Spiritual non-fiction is also a pleasure to write.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
My grandmother is optimum inspiration because she was a larger that life person. Her poverty and physical disability were small issues to her and did not compromise her voracity for life. Also my brother, who is differently challenged, inspires my writing. He must have inherited Grandma's unique hunger for life as it comes to him.
Why did you pick this particular story for our anthology?
My best writing yet has Grandma as the central character. I wanted to add her to this collection because she will enjoy hob-nobbing with the characters in the other stories included in the anthology.
What advice can you give to our readers who are interested in writing and getting published?
Be honest and bold. Have fun and always strive to improve your work's quality to show reverence for the writing craft. Writing may not be lucrative, but like Grandma, you can live well perpetuating life empowering strength to those you touch.
Is it important for new writers to join a writer's group and why?
Through my experience: a Grandma size yes. The groups I am a member of are vital for me to produce. Being part of a writing community makes being a writer real, especially if you are not published. I need the regular pressure shots of adrenaline, creativity and goal setting I get from serious writers. Just being in their presence assures me I am creative and spiritual; that I am not a bizarre person whose enlarged ego assumes others want to hear what I say.