A trip to the movies or a flip through television channels reveal a level of violence that has become so acceptable that we usually don’t bat an eye to it. Although violence in entertainment is nothing new, what one writer in California is doing in fiction is. D.G. Flamand has created an entire line of non-violent literature that has found an audience from children to adults and is growing every day. Flamand travels from city to city introducing his books to one reader at a time, many of them who have found a connection to the priceless moral lessons the author plants like seeds within the pages of his stories. These seeds are like magic beans growing into a giant beanstalk striving to push mankind to greater heights where we all become giants of a more kind nature.
Instead of violent acts like fist fighting, car crashes or waged wars, Flamand delivers landscapes filled with characters of compassion, integrity and purpose. His books demonstrate that we don’t need the threat of some great evil ready to do us in. Having worthwhile goals, helping others and being a better person are much better motivations for any protagonist to have. This is an entirely new approach to storytelling because stories are no longer about barely making it past some dangerous threat so we can etch out our survival. No, now the story becomes about how to achieve a better world from where we currently stand, the only real threats coming from our own lack of knowledge or uncertainty of character. It is a unique way to tell a story and one of those simple ideas that we wonder why no one had thought of it before. Thankfully D.G. Flamand put his finger on an idea that may just change everything.
We have all witnessed the power of a good story. We know the strength of word of mouth and how movements can spring up so quickly they take the world by storm. It is totally feasible that non-violent literature will not only begin to catch wind and turn into a wildfire of an idea but it may already have done so. D.G. Flamand not only writes dozens of non-violent books but also hosts a violence-free writing contest twice a year. It is producing a new crop of writers of non-violent literature who are already producing works and affecting each of their own respective communities.
Flamand is becoming a Johnny Appleseed kind of figure. He is the father of a movement that is producing results. Children are learning valuable life lessons and their parents are becoming just as enlightened. New titles continue to pour out from the author and the horizon is nothing but bright. It would not be surprising to someday see his name mentioned alongside Lewis Carroll, Aesop, The Grimm Brothers and C.S. Lewis because D.G. Flamand has given the world something just as, if not more, valuable. There are no wicked witches, big bad wolves or mad queens in his stories, but there are imaginative worlds with relatable characters. They will surprise you because instead of running away from someone, they are usually running towards them; trying to help, demonstrating the greatness that is in everyone. An exceptional author can change something inside of us. D.G. Flamand is exceptional.
For more information please visit www.dgflamandbooks.com
Catherine Weaver grew up in Northern California and decided to use the inspiration of the Golden State's landscape to create an entirely new universe for readers. It has its own alternate history of California filled with griffins, amazons, magicians, and leprechauns. Weaver manages to connect this alternate universe to our own in the pages of her book "Gold Dust" which successfully gives middle readers a tale packed with imaginative and magical themes. Her writing has managed to weave together one of the most original stories to come around in quite a long time and although written for a younger audience, readers of all ages will find something to take away from this adventurous world sprung from the mind of a California dreamer.
Weaver's family ties to California stretch back five generations and many members of her family were or are writers, poets and artists. From a young age she discovered works like "The Lord of the Rings," "Stranger in a Strange Land," "1,001 Arabian Nights" and others which set her on a creative path. She received professional training in music, theater and dance which resulted in her ability to play the trumpet, sing in choir, perform Shakespeare, dance in any style and is also a professionally trained mime. Through it all she recognized her skill to tell a story and added writing to her long list of artistic credentials. One day while marveling at the beauty of her native California she realized there was a lack of stories which took place in the culturally and story rich state. Catherine Weaver saw a hole and she immediately set out to fill it and lucky for us she planted a story as equally rich in flavor as the landscape which inspired it.
"Gold Dust" is the story of Alex Lee, a young girl with her attention on homework, boys and her recently changed mother. Alex's mom is completely lifeless when she comes home from work and her normal cheerful self when she calls home from work. Alex is clueless as to the cause and one day meets a leprachaun named Martin that injects a bit of magic into her life that leads to her discovery of an entirely different version of California that is somehow tied to her mother. Transporting herself to another world and mastering the use of magic through exercising her imagination and helping others along the way, all lead to Alex's empowerment and the betterment of two worlds because of it. The book reminds you of "Alice in Wonderland" or "The Chronicles of Narnia" in its use of transporting the main character from one world into another, yet the way it is done and all that follow are very unique. Weaver is able to make a world of griffins, leprechauns and magic seem utterly acceptable and completely appropriate to the story. She has you believing that gold does contain magical properties and that some trees have beautiful spirits living within that can carry you to a more magical version of the world you're living in.
This story is important because it offers readers the idea that the world does not have to be lifeless and dull, that instead it is filled with wonderful, magical beauty and adventure. It sparks the imagination, encourages us to be better and not only make our world better but be on the look out for other worlds. Catherine Weaver has constructed an entire fantasy world and built a bridge to it that, although newly erected, will continue to carry adventurous dreamers across for many years to come. "Gold Dust" is the first in a series of books starring Alex Lee and I am sure this gifted author will give us more magic, more imagination and through a little more gold dust, she just might start another Gold Rush in California.
For more information on Catherine Weaver:
Her Blog: http://islandofcalifornia.blogspot.com
Michelangelo once said, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” At Artists Run This Planet we see Earth as our marble and we hold a chisel and hammer up to it every day. This beautiful canvas of a planet waits for us to paint it daily. Gone are the days of suppressing art, of pursuits less noble than creating. We have the technology available to create in any medium, and faster than ever before. As artists we are the creators of every new innovation and idea that takes shape. We are mankind’s continual hope and driving force — “Artists Run This Planet." - David Carus, Art Planet CEO & Founder