Thursday, March 3, 2016

Life got in the way, and I neglected my blog for more than a year.  It's time for me to get serious again.  I think any followers I may acquire need to have a handle on my brand, so here goes:

I write fiction—short stories, novels, and children’s books and stories—as well as poetry and non-fiction.  When publishing my fiction, I use the pen name, Alicia Tycho.  Otherwise, I publish under my business name, Alice H. Dunn or occasionally Alice Henderson Dunn.
My short stories are usually slice-of-life with a lesson or moral.  For example, “A Piano for Margot” is the story of a child whose parents reluctantly realized that their daughter had natural talent and a strong desire to use it but needed her own piano to develop skill.

My children’s books teach about animals through the eyes of children.  Lennis is the protagonist in all of them, first as a four-year-old who helps his mother control the snail population in their yard and learns about them in the process.  I illustrated that book myself using my elementary school art skills in water color.  The results looked pretty good to me.  In Summer Visitors, Lennis, at eleven, discovers owls nesting in the fireplace clean-out and becomes their caregiver. He makes a detailed study of owls while becoming their friends.  I’m reworking a book that fits between in which Lennis learns about bats, and I’m still researching for his second grade study of dinosaurs.
My novels, Il Prato and Wheeling a Suitcase Coast-to-Coast, are literary and adventure, respectively.  The themes of Il Prato are honoring a pioneer ancestor, living a life that supports family and community, and building international relationships.  The themes of Wheeling a Suitcase Coast-to-Coast are completing a coast-to-coast trek, discovering faith, and finding a spouse.
Poetry is my way of honing word skills while expressing my deepest feelings as succinctly as I can.  I have won prizes for my humorous poems, imagine that!  And I have published a chapbook of some of my poems.

Non-fiction rewards me in dollars.  I get out and interview people, tell their stories in the most literary way I can, and wonder why readers choose to read them in preference to my more imaginative work.  Some of my articles are family history, and I have published two full-length family history books.  I'm also wont to write about things I do, such as growing a garden or traveling.

I can’t remember when I didn’t invent stories and poems, and I began writing them down as early as second grade.  I began to be really motivated to write seriously when I was asked to direct short vignettes.  Scripts had to be written before they could be produced, and I was elected.  It was a thrill when I won my first prize for something I wrote, but perhaps that first check for a published article was my biggest thrill so far.  Imagine my joy at the publication of one of my books!  I’m excited when anyone reads what I write, especially if they appear to enjoy it.

I hope my readers will learn something from what I write, find cause to think (after all, teaching was my first profession) and also be entertained—even though I have to dig deep to write humor.

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