Thank you Connie Claire Szarke for sharing your insight and expertise with us!
National League of American Pen Women’s April 2019 meeting. By Karen Molosky
As a new member of NLAPW, I have not only enjoyed the opportunity of meeting new artistic sisters, but in addition, to attend artistic and author presentations. I was especially thrilled to hear Connie Claire Szarke was to speak at our April 18 meeting, about her trilogy, Delicate Armor, A Stone for Amer and most recently, Lady in the Moon.
Connie talked about writing semi- autobiographical fiction (true stories layered in fiction). Making sure each story has a theme (lessons, truth’ s experiences), a beginning, middle and end. The importance of focus on structure, characters and plot, having an arc. How to incorporate the five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell and sound), sensory imagery, to bring life to inanimate objects (rocks, trees, a river, a lake, the sky). How to turn loose ideas into cohesive stories, and letting verbs do the hard work (avoiding the use of adverbs and too many adjectives). How a back story and drawing on personal experience will help create characters. And not to forget to – Show, don’t tell!
An award winning author (see introduction in March newsletter), Connie draws on her
lifelong love of music and outdoor activities. Having handed out cheat sheets for Blue Velvet and Moon River, we joyfully sang along with her recorded tapes. And through her voice, we heard her character, Uncle Amer, sing a portion of Puccini’s aria, Mio Babbino Caro. Delightful!
To learn more, purchase books or hear interviews with her, visit her well designed and inclusive website: www.connieclaireszarke.com
Find instructions for her www.youTube.com author video interview and interviews on KFAI Writeon!
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“Connie Claire Szarke writes with compassion and artistry about a young girl coming of age. A keen-eyed observer of the challenges that confront her family, Callie takes us on a journey from joy to sorrow and back again. Delicate Armor is a compelling and deeply-absorbing read.
~Brent Spencer, author of Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son’s Search for His Father
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“Huckleberry, Scout…, Szarke’s Callie is one of these, a sun-browned, scratched-up, feisty and fearless girl, and it’s a rare pleasure to experience the world through her alert and inquisitive eyes. She’s a daddy’s girl, intense with enthusiasm for her father’s outdoor pursuits, and that father is worthy of her love for him. As an adult, despite experience that might have shattered her, Callie’s good health continues, often expressed by the love and understanding she brings to the men in her family, especially the father who had so much to do with her ongoing wholeness. Szarke is above the cheap shots that other writers may have taken at these men, and Callie remains true to the child she once was, a not-so-common feat in the literature of our time. This book was crafted ever so carefully over long years, and the reader will find the sensory detail that brims from its pages an ongoing delight.”
~ Joe Paddock, poet, oral historian, environmental writer, author of Keeper of the Wild
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“Set against a lovingly depicted backdrop of the natural world, Connie Claire Szarke’s penetrating coming-of-age novel captures the complexities and tensions of a rural American family. Inducted into the outdoors world by her father, Callie Lindstrom witnesses firsthand the jealousies, losses, and tenderness that have permeated her family’s history. Under Szarke’s clear eye and deft touch, the reader follows Callie’s growth from a cheeky tomboy to a self-possessed woman, cheering for her on every page.”
~ Pamela Carter Joern, author of The Floor of the Sky and The Plain Sense of Things
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“My affection for Callie, the feisty but tender-hearted narrator, grew with each chapter, as did my admiration for the author’s ability to tell a good story and her wonderful ear for language. Scene by scene, this carefully crafted story is a joy to read.”
~ Stephen Wilbers, syndicated newspaper columnist, author, and senior fellow at the University of Minnesota
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“An amazing book. Szarke tells an enthralling story with unforgettable characters. Poignant and funny, this novel will be widely read and cherished for its forthrightness and honesty.”
~ Carole Wendt, author, former producer/writer for The Today Show, NBC
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“Move over, Mattie Ross of ‘True Grit.’ Take a break, Huck Finn. Here comes Callie Lindstrom, as winsome a little mischief-maker as you’ll ever want to meet. She’s the star of Connie Claire Szarke’s first novel Delicate Armor and once you’ve met her you’re not likely to forget her.”
~ Robert Lacy, author of “The Natural Father”
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“A lovely look backward at a tender father/daughter relationship.”
~ Faith Sullivan, author of The Cape Ann
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“The story in Delicate Armor could have been mine. As a son, I was raised to think that some day when I became a father, I, too, would have a son to pass on my love of outdoor pursuits…Instead, my journey through fatherhood included two daughters who became my fishing partners, hunting companions, and morel mushroom stalkers…What really matters is the…journey through life so elegantly described by Connie Claire Szarke…daughters can do outdoors whatever boys can do…”
~ Ron Schara, host of Minnesota Bound television show
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“…la lecture de Delicate Armor, j’adore. J’ai toujours une nostalgie du Minnesota quand je le prends en main. Je trouve que c’est bien écrit et que la façon de raconter est pleine de fraîcheur. Un vrai plaisir!” ~ Martine, school principal, Strasbourg, France
Lady in the Moon, A Novel in Stories
“…Szarke’s Callie Lindstrom expresses remarkable empathy and insight in telling the stories of troubled others…beautifully detailed, soulful work…” — Joe Paddock
“Of all the writers I know, few possess more discipline and commitment to the craft than Connie Szarke…apparent in all of her writing but especially so in her delicately drawn characters…” — Stephen Wilbers
To order these novels, email: firstname.lastname@example.org