Friday, March 7, 2014

My sister, the published author

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I was learning to read at the time, but not quite there yet, so I think I must have been around six years old when I brought my father my sister's diary and asked him to read it to me. Mom and my sister, Brittany, were out at the time, and I had managed to successfully locate the diary in my sister's room. I don't remember how, but I got it unlocked too. I remember it well: a white plastic journal with a gumball machine on the cover, a lock, and sections of different colored paper that gave the edge a rainbow effect when closed. Oh yes, I remember that diary in all of its 1980s glory.

With my perfectly "innocent" younger-sibling technique, I casually approached my dad as he was reading the newspaper at the dining room table. "Dad?" I had his attention immediately, as my sister and I always did. "Will you read this to me?" I handed him the open book, it was turned to a page that had writing on it that looked especially juicy.

I remember thinking, this probably won't work. I could get into big trouble. But it was worth it for me to get a peek into the personal life of my cool older sister. My poor father, thrown under the bus by a six-year-old, as he actually read me a good page and a half. He was not really thinking about what he was reading, his mind maybe still on the newspaper, when he finally paused...noted the lock on the book...and said, "I don't think I'm supposed to be reading this."

Of course, it was the writing of a nine-(or so)-year-old, most likely regarding her feelings toward classmates, enemies, and crushes. True to my bratty little sister style, I rubbed it in her face when she came home, "Dad read me your diary!"

Poor dad. My unwitting accomplice. He still gets grief for that.

I tell this story today as proof that I am officially the first fan of my sister's work--having "read" her writing before I could even read. I have to get that claim out there, because as of today, my sister is a professionally published author.

Also, it's a funny story.

My sister and I are completely different in a lot of ways, and just one of them is that my sister has always been a natural reader/writer, she was never pushed to read. Just like my father reads constantly, so does his older daughter. Me? I have always been a very bad reader.

While my sister spent many an afternoon in her room reading classics--because she liked to--I was outside playing with Barbies and riding my bike and wondering why my sister liked reading and what was wrong with her. Of course, we played and were close in a lot of ways, but she spent a good chunk of her childhood with her nose buried in books.

She also wrote, like, constantly. She filled journals to the last pages with poetry and whatnot {and she also got better at hiding her journals as we got older}. While I tried to fill journals to be like my cool, pensive big sister, I usually made it a couple pages in, then gave up. Barbies were calling to me, and I had to practice my Olympic ice dancing routine on the roller blades.

I hated reading in school--so boring--until my parents relented and started buying me Archie comic books in the grocery store and used Goosebumps from The Book Rack. Suddenly I realized I liked reading. It was junk reading, but I think my parents were just glad I was reading. Meanwhile, Brittany was tossing a new book into the have-read pile every few days.

When I started high school, I applied to be in the AP English classes at the encouragement of my sister. I got into those classes, and then I finished almost none of the books we had to study in those four years of high school. {I finished To Kill a Mockingbird, The Scarlet Letter, and Lord of the Flies--apparently those ones weren't too boring for me.} I got by being a pretty good Cliffs Notes studier and a decent essay writer. Meanwhile, my sister was at Colorado State University working on an English degree, coming home on weekends to modestly tell us how the literature professors praised her work. {That did not surprise us, her English teachers were always in awe of Brittany. I think she was one of those students they felt proud to have taught. But we were proud too.}

As for me, I still enjoy reading, but I'm bad at it. I read books for pleasure, fun reads that can hold my spastic attention. I've been known to take weeks or months to finish a 500 page novel. I enjoy reading, but it's certainly low on my priority list. You know, behind painting furniture and thrifting. I spend my time in other ways.

Today, my sister's work is for sale on Amazon. I always knew it would be, one of these days.

So now you know, I have grown up marveling--and maybe a little confused--at my sister's ability to soak up literature like a sponge that has no limit in capacity, as well as her remarkable ability--no, her passion--when it comes to putting pen to paper. It's just how God made her, it's in her blood.

And here's a tip: don't ever get into a debate with Britt, she's too witty and good with words, that even if you're right {which I always am}, she will win.

As her first fan reader, I've also been honored to read some of her less-private work. Two of the novels she has been working on for years, still unpublished, and now her first professionally published short story. All of her books have been so different, and I love seeing how her voice changes with the story she is telling. This novella is set in Wyoming, a sort of frontier fantasy. It's very unique and creative, definitely dark and creepy at times, and the ending made me go WOW. I loved the ending the most, and the messages about love. It's a short story, easily read within a few hours--but the story she tells is, in my opinion, epic.

Stone and Spring by Brittany Tuttle is available from Shebooks on Amazon. 

Also, I ship Stone and Thomas. #stonemas #4ever

Expect more in the future from my sister as she is working toward publishing more, but remember--I was her first fan...well, me and dad.

Cheers,
Heather

P.S. It kills me that I cannot, under Amazon's guidelines, review her book personally. So if you chose to read Stone and Spring, do me a favor and leave an honest review. Since I review for Amazon professionally, it goes against my integrity to leave an anonymous review, but I'm also literally not allowed to leave a review for a family member's product. Boo.

P.S. Britt, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much did this post embarrass you?

2 comments:

  1. Oh Heather! This post made me laugh out loud! Yes, anything for my youngest daughter. What? Read to you your sister's diary? Whatever Baby wants..... But you're not bad at writing yourself , your blog is wonderful! You're a person of many talents and a daughter who has blessed me with love. If happiness is far away, I need only to think of you.

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