Monday, October 12, 2009

Guest: Kathleen Cunningham Guler

On Books, Worms, and Voices

Thank you for inviting me to write a guest post. I am honored!

Between my bookshelves hangs a framed print of “The Bookworm,” by German artist Carl Spitzweg. If I had the space, my house would look just like that scene of wall-to-wall books and I would be the one teetering on the ladder and perusing armloads of choices picked from the shelves.

Well...I may not have the space but I’m working at getting close to recreating this scene.

Books fill shelf after shelf in my office, living room, bedroom, spare room, not to mention the storage trailer that houses the overflow and the books left to me when my mother passed away. Hardcover, softcover, electronic books. Someday I will have time to catalogue them all. I’m sure I’ll be astonished at how many there are.

To say I love to read is an understatement. I love the written form of communication, the way words and phrases flow together to create an image in the mind, how changing a single word in a paragraph can shift the whole focus of the narrative. Each book is a not just a story but a voice, a heart and soul with something to say.

In younger days, I felt I wanted to say something, too. But how? And what? I had been the kid in school, who, if I didn’t like the book assigned, I’d make up my own story when I got home. Television’s aspiring writer John-boy Walton was a hero. I faithfully kept journals like he did, wrote short stories, poetry, plays, but with little direction.

Then came the novel that inspired me to write my own. The book was terrible. Not to sound snarky, but in a moment of massive egotism, I muttered: “Bet I could do at least as good as this…” After all, the book was published!

A novel? Write my own? All because I’d read a crummy book? Was I nuts? How many people say they want to write a novel? Some start, most never finish. I’d had some basic writing classes. Was that good enough?

Well...time, patience, and that love of the written word all worked together to show me how to find a voice of my own. My inherent stubbornness saw it through, not only to finish one book, but to get it published then follow up with three more. A drawer full of additional story ideas awaits pursuit.

AH, books everywhere. On shelves all around. Some of them are mine now, sitting among those of my favorite authors. I wonder what Carl Spitzweg’s bookworm is reading today.


  1. For more fun information on A Land Beyond Ravens and the other books in the Macsen's Treasure Series, please visit my blogs:

    Available from

  2. HAH! I'm pleased to know that I am not the only one who should move into a library, rather than have a house!!!
    I really SHOULD look at buying a new bookcase....

    Fantastic to see how you turned your passion for reading into a career in creating those books you adore so much.

    Lisa x

  3. Great news! A Land Beyond Ravens has been honored as a finalist in The National Best Books 2009 Awards (Historical Fiction category) sponsored by USA Book News!

  4. WONDERFUL news, Kathleen!! Congrats, and thank you so much for coming back to tell us!!

    Blessings and hugs,


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