Friday, December 18, 2009

"The Wind Thief" Garners 5-Star "original and highly recommended" Rating

by Martha Engber

Bay Area author Martha Engber’s literary novel, The Wind Thief, was just awarded a 5-star rating from the Midwest Book Review:

“The Wind Thief” is an original and entertaining novel, highly recommended.

—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review

A tale of obsession and redemption, The Wind Thief is the story of two souls who are swept from land to land, one in search of a home, the other in search of a war and both ever a step behind the peace they seek.

Ajay, a young thief from India, is on his way to a better life when he is forced to flee Algiers and subsequently gets lost in the Sahara Desert. He is saved by a strange young woman who believes she can talk to the winds, a gift that will save mankind from an imminent apocalypse only she can stop. Ajay has no choice but to follow her out of the barren wasteland, intending to abandon her once they reach Morocco. Yet when he gets the chance to escape her, he realizes he no longer can. He follows, and continues to follow, even when serious dangers loom.

Martha, who will teach Grow A Great Character, Grow A Great Plot! from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat., Jan. 16, at Book Passage in Corte Madera, used combined her journalism background, love of great literature involving exotic locales and a passion for wind when writing of The Wind Thief, which took 11 years to develop. She researched almost a hundred sources, from maps and ocean currents, to weather, wind folklore and first-person interviews. She even learned to play the tabla, the instrument played by Ajay.

“The inspiration came from one particular spring windstorm that literally broke my wind chimes and shook my house and I couldn’t get over the fury of it! The chaos and force were unreal, and this wasn’t even a hurricane,” Martha said. “That’s when I began to think, what if wind isn’t just a wind, but rather many winds? What if these winds were sentient? What if some of them wanted to tear down humanity?”

Martha is also the author of Growing Great Characters From the Ground Up: A Thorough Primer for Writers of Fiction and Nonfiction (Central Avenue Press 2007).

A graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism, Martha has written for the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Inside Karate Magazine and other national publications. Martha has interviewed former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos, Apollo 13 astronaut James Lovell, actress Marlo Thomas and other celebrities. She’s had a full-length play produced in Hollywood. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Watchword, Iconoclast, Bookpress, the Berkeley Fiction Review and other literary journals. She’s also a member of the Women’s National Book Association.

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