Tuesday, 04 October 2022

G Guest Editorials

Celebrate Lit: Rebuilding Hearts

By Carolyn Miller

labor of love cover

For my new release, Rebuilding Hearts, I loved including a librarian in my story. Sparrow might be the smallest of the (fictional) Independence Islands, but a legacy from a wealthy resident means it hosts its own tiny library, which is where my heroine, bookworm Bella Dwyer, has taken on a new job.

I have to admit being a librarian might well have been one of my dream jobs when I was growing up. Who doesn’t love the idea of being surrounded by books all day? Many a Saturday was spent visiting my local library, checking out books filled with adventure, mystery, romance, and real life stories, allowing this girl to dream big dreams and imagine worlds far different to what I experienced in small-town Australia. And to be one of those people who knew so much about all kinds of books, and could steer people to the dim corners where magic awaited within the pages seemed quite wonderful.

Of course, now I write books, I’m even more invested in helping people gain a greater love for the written word, and to explore the worlds trapped within black and white type. So it made it extra fun to imagine what might be involved for Bella as she takes on this role in Rebuilding Hearts. Part of her job involves engaging children through story-time, which soon leads to another job opportunity. I’ve always appreciated those who can bring a story to life through special voices and dramatic expression – too often I seem to stumble over my words!

It’s a gift to be able to connect with people, to assess what kinds of books they might appreciate, and then to remember what books might work as a recommendation. I think to work in a library means being a person of patience, as some people use libraries as one of their chief means for social interaction, and it’s not always about the books.

I think we can often underestimate the importance of libraries in many people’s lives. This proves especially true for those who don’t have a lot of spare cash to splash (who of us do?), and libraries serve that important conduit where readers can be blessed by books they don’t have to pay for (unless they get returned late and there’s a fine). What some people don’t realize is that libraries can also be ways in which readers can bless authors, through asking libraries to purchase their favorite authors’ books, and then borrowing their books. Many library systems around the world will pay a small sum for each time a book is borrowed, thus ensuring authors get a tiny percentage of the royalty they might otherwise receive when a book is bought outright. So if enough books are borrowed, over time this adds up and can make a nice contribution to the author who has spent months crafting that book you finished in a few days. 

Libraries are great places to visit, and bless us in many ways, which proved fun to showcase in Rebuilding Hearts. Happy reading!


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Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. She loves reading, music, films, gardens, art, travel and international food, and really enjoy creating worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.

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