The power of the written word to stir the emotions and intellect outlives any author. Yet often the writer is forgotten as the words take on a life of their own. Long before I had written any books, I admired what writers did. I would pore over books of all kinds: nonfiction that would help me understand how the world worked and fiction that would weave stories that kept me up reading late into the night. I was mesmerized by the music of carefully crafted language. Books were my friends and my refuge. I could lose myself in someone else’s words for hours on end. More than anything, I wanted to be able to create that sort of magic for others. Though I’ve met very few of the authors whose works I treasure, I pay homage however I can and I encourage others to do the same.
When my boys were small, we spent a great deal of time reading. I worked from my home, allowing me to take frequent breaks whenever a little voice would interrupt with a plea to “read with me.” Whenever we would read, whatever we would read, we always started with the title of the book followed immediately by the author’s name, as in “Charlotte’s Web” (print or video) by E.B. White or The Velveteen Rabbit (digital) by Margery Williams. I wanted to instill a respect for the author right from the start. The words on a page are a gift that we don’t often get the opportunity to thank the giver for, especially if the writer has already passed on. It seems the least we can do is give writers the courtesy of recognizing their contributions when we read, even when reading to our children.
My boys learned to sit through the credits in movies as a way to pay homage to the hundreds of individuals required to put the magic on the screen. The actors who have the most screen time usually receive the accolades for a good film, but without the writer, there would be no story to portray.
To this day, my boys, now young men on their own, always say the author’s name when talking about a specific book. It’s a habit and I think it’s a good one. Celebrate the authors you love . . . share their stories and their names with others. They may never know that you’re doing it, but you’ll feel better for having recognized their efforts to entertain, enlighten, and inspire you.
– Lisa Brochu