Having to write the dedication and foreword for my last two books, I find myself now reading them for every book I open. Most of us just want to get to the meat of the book we are reading and skip past the trimmings. I suggest reading all the extras included before and after, as sometimes information is given to understand the author or the content of the work.
I find the most delectable tidbits in the foreword of books related to food. In The Founding Foodies, food writer Dave DeWitt delves into the history of food in America and the influence from some the most famous colonial leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. In his introduction, he explains how the idea came about for the book and his choice for the playful title. In Wichcraft, filled with delicious sandwich recipes from Tom Colicchio (Top Chef), he collaborates with partner Sisha Ortuzar in an interview format at the start of the book, to divulge in the details of how the restaurant of the same name came about. With each recipe, he also gives a side note about the inspiration for the sandwiches they create.
Some authors may not even include a written introduction or foreword and instead opt for something unusual. Daniel Wilson often explores the robotic world in his books. Before the story begins in Amped, Wilson throws in a page of technical jargon that could be found in a user manual, linking the technology used in his tale of a superhuman culture. This gives the reader a visual perspective of the device and how it is used to enhance the body.
Creative Talents Unleashed author Sue Lobo, who has a few other books published, decided to have another author write her foreword for her latest poetry collection, Wild Whisperings.
Robert C. Frost once stated, “That behind every book there is a life, the quality of that life determines the validity and vitality of the message presented.” This man would have adored Sue Lobo, for the quality of her life is as rich and vibrant as any I have encountered. She is a woman with soul and spirit, immense compassion and empathy, at an early age Sue moved to Botswana then later South Africa with her parents and witnessed first-hand the horrid injustice of Apartheid. She understands what it means to be voiceless, hunted and endangered, and she has chosen not to sit silently. She is donating one hundred percent of the proceeds from “Wild Whisperings” to the “Save the Rhino International Fund.” Yes she cares, and although she no longer resides in the motherland, Africa is and will always be her mother, and she will always be the ever watchful and caring child. This book is not for the heartless, but the heart-full.
-Demitri Tyler, “Measuring for Balance”
Demitri Tyler gives an honest insight into Lobo’s purpose for the book, and such an introduction is meant to bring awareness to an international crisis not many would see on local media sites. His heartfelt remarks also prepare the reader what to expect from the author’s poems – words from the heart, filled with messages for preserving the life of those who cannot be heard.
So the next time you open a new book, don’t just skip to the first chapter. An introduction can influence your understanding of the contents within. You could also learn more about the author and the inspiration behind the making of the book. They are put there to inform.
What are some interesting or informative introductions you have read?
Written by: Donna J. Sanders
Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia – a poetry collection about the struggles we face, the state of the world and how to see beauty in the simplest things, and Cardboard Signs – poems to bring awareness about homelessness, mental illness, self-esteem and the injustices many face.
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Categories: Creative Talents Unleashed