Review by Jessica Dearborn
Tolucan Times / Canyon Crier - California
"The Storyteller, Volume I" by Martha Whittington
AuthorHouse, Paperback, 514 Pages, $24
When inspiration hits, it is usually followed closely by desire. A willingness to do whatever it takes to explain your inspiration, to create a picture. For a writer, her tool is her pen. Storytelling in and of itself can be quite a challenge. For example, what are you going to talk about? What story are you going to tell? You must have a beginning that truly grabs, a keeper climax in the middle, and a bring-it-all-back-together-again, ending. And, the dialogue? you constantly find yourself asking, "Do people really talk like that?" At that point you will either cringe, cry, laugh, or simply allow yourself a few moments of madness as you do all of the above mentioned, plus tear your only copy to mere scattered pieces of what used to be.Foreboding as it may be, writing can also be individually and socially rewarding.
That is, if you should decide to tread through your insecurities and walk the uncertain path to the publishing world. Many fear this path and will therefore, never walk it. On the other hand, there are writers who are not afraid and not only do they walk it, at times they skip. And this is due to having a few good stories to tell. Besides, that's all a writer needs, anyway? a good story.Martha Whittington has earned the right to tell her stories. She trekked around the world in her early twenties, no doubt having her own adventures, making me wonder where she has been and what she's seen during her travels. And with her memories, experiences, and creativity, she has brought to the reader a colorful novel filled with mystery and encourages every reader, with the turn of each page, to utilize all of their imagination.
The author shares some of her tales in "The Storyteller, Volume I." It contains six short stories titled: "The Fennigan Case," "A Unique Team," "The Hidden Knowledge," "A Gifted Child," "The Witch," and "Sand." Although there is an obvious lack of editing, and the language and grammar are careless, the stories are compelling and are worth delving into. In "The Fennigan Case," two rookie reporters are sent out on a last minute assignment that takes them through a walking nightmare, and then they disappear. "A Unique Team" is centered on the consequences of a man's choices. Within the pages of "The Hidden Knowledge," there is a teenaged boy who discovers he has a special gift that changes his entire existence. In "A Gifted Child," a child is born with the kind of soul that when combined with his discovered powers, he becomes less and less likely to be voted as Mr. Popularity. "The Witch" is a tale of a malicious woman that terrorizes a small town. And finally, "Sand" rejoices two brothers bond, and the perils they endure throughout their travels. Whittington's storytelling ability is magical.
All the stories are luring, some nail biting, and there are moments that are a little hair-raising. It captures the readers' senses; inevitably questioning that in which you thought you knew. Once you regain your composure, it's interesting to reflect on the story and the characters that you've met. To assume you know where the story will take you is naïve. Martha Whittington is a naturally gifted writer and storyteller, and her work deserves to be read and acknowledged. As for her courage of facing the unknown world and the other world of publishing, she is fearless and inspiring.