Martha Engber is the author of five books: THE FALCON, THE WOLF AND THE HUMMINGBIRD, a historical novel; WINTER LIGHT, an IPPY Gold Medal Winner for YA; THE WIND THIEF BLISS ROAD, a memoir about her neurodiverse family; and GROWING GREAT CHARACTERS, a resource for writers. A workshop facilitator and speaker, she’s had a full-length play produced in Hollywood and poetry and fiction published in a variety of literary journals. She encourages readers to connect via her website, MarthaEngber.com.
The Falcon, the Wolf, and the Hummingbird
A consummate warrior and brilliant strategist, Pino is a young Native American woman who must fight against fierce invaders to save her tribe — and spirit — from annihilation in precolonial southern New England.
The strange tale of sisterhood begins on the stormy spring morning her tribe faces imminent attack by a contingent of the mighty Pagassett Nation, infamous for destroying small tribes in its quest for land and power. Pino knows this is the moment she’s been waiting for, a chance to save her people and maybe —maybe — redeem herself for failing to rescue her beloved sister, murdered ten summers ago.
Aided by her best warrior and forbidden love, Tow, and key tribal leaders who witness Pino’s gift for camouflage, she clandestinely influences strategy in the short, but wildly intense conflict. She soon discovers her real opposition is Meesha, a beautiful near-slave taken in by the invading tribe when just a girl. By learning how the other operates, the women form an intimate, almost magical sisterhood in their internal fight to free their inner demons.
BLISS ROAD tells the story of Martha Engber, who lived a charmed life in the suburbs with a husband and two kids where everything was fine, fine, fine until suddenly she was…Completely broken. She’s so used to lying to others and herself that she has no idea who she really is or how she feels about anything. What happened? Why is her life smooth driving one minute and totaled the next?
In this sometimes funny, often devastating memoir, Martha describes the arduous journey toward discovering the invisible roadblock that ran her life off course: her psychological distress as the result of being the neurotypical daughter of a dad with undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, one of a dozen neurodiverse conditions that affect an estimated 1 in 20 people worldwide, or 400 million!
Martha uses personal anecdotes and research about the emergence of ASD as a diagnosis to explain the psychological, emotional and social challenges she faced as a child, then as an adult and parent. Along the way, she shows the sometimes harrowing, but eminently rewarding, route others can follow to chase down the source of their family angst and so reach a more blissful future.
An IPPY Gold Medal winner, WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue of suburban Chicago, a kid on the cusp of failure during the brutal blizzard winter of 1978-79, the end of a hard luck, hard rock era sunk in the cynical aftermath of the Vietnam War.
The language of WINTER LIGHT is simple and stark as Mary’s internal landscape. Though a smart, beautiful kid, she’s a motherless girl raised by an uneducated, alcoholic father within an extended family of alcoholics and addicts. Aware that she’s sinking, she’s desperate to save herself and so reaches out to an unlikely source, Kathleen, a nice, normal kid from English class.
But when the real storm hits, the full force of a harsh adult world almost buries Mary. Only then does she learn that the only difference between life and death is knowing when to grasp an extended hand.
Growing Great Characters From the Ground Up
Non-Fiction, Writing Craft
As Growing Great Characters From the Ground Up states, character development is the most important facet of any character-based book, whether fiction or nonfiction, because "readers won't follow for long if they find the people you're writing about dull, one-dimensional or unbelievable."
After listing the three attributes of a great character, the 248-page book takes readers through a step-by-step process that shows them how to develop their characters from start to finish.
A graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism, Ms. Engber is the author of four other books: The Falcon, the Wolf and the Hummingbird, historical fiction; Bliss Road, a memoir; Winter Light, an IPPY Gold Medal Winner in YA; and The Wind Thief, a novel. Besides having a play produced in Hollywood and numerous short stories and poems published in literary journals, she’s also a speaker and workshop facilitator.
The Wind Thief
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.