When retired teacher and Greenville native Beverly Hughes set out to write her first book, she had her grandchildren, and kids like them, in mind.
In her first collection of short stories called Glimm: A Glimpse of Light Found, published in 2017, Hughes set out to remind children of the light that’s inside them.
“There are six stories, dedicated to six of my grandchildren,” Hughes said. “I made up the word glimm because my first book was all about different types of light, and so I wanted to play on the words glimpse and glimmer, so that kids would think of the light that’s inside themselves.”
Within her first book, she incorporated animals as a way to relate to children and teach them practical problem solving skills.
Hughes said due to her traditional values, it’s important to her that kids have the skills to solve problems with themselves, and the people that are around them.
“It has do with the kiddos getting themselves into some trouble and finding ways out of it,” she said. “Sometimes it’s with the adults that are around them. In most cases, the adults that are around them are strong and are going to help them. In a couple of the stories, the kids have divorced families or they have a parent that’s missing, so it’s realistic in what kids might face today.”
In her second book, published this year, Glimm, Too: A Gallop in Time, Hughes tied together both books and completed all of the stories she set out to write for her 13 grandchildren.
“I didn’t use the light theme here [in second book], but I wanted it to go with the first book because it’s for all of my grandchildren,” she said. “I used too, instead of two because I wanted them to know that these stories are the same as these stories. They’re all a glimpse of what’s inside of yourself.”
Hughes incorporated food into some of the stories in Glimm, Too: A Gallop in Time, with the recipes for some of the dishes in the back of the book so kids can recreate them. Additionally, some of the stories have lessons included, for parents or teachers to keep children engaged with the stories.
Hughes collaborated on the books with her granddaughter Quinci Wooddall, 17, of Brookville, who illustrated all of the images in both books. Wooddall started the illustrations for the first book at the age of 12 and the artwork for the second book at 16.
Hughes said it was great to work with her granddaughter on books that she wrote for her family.
“It’s been a real nice collaboration,” she said. “She’s my oldest granddaughter and lived in Oregon for a while so I took several trips out there. It was really nice to collaborate with her.”
For Hughes, writing for children is natural. She said she pulled from her past experiences as a substitute teacher and a former homeschool teacher to write the books.
“I’ve written parenting curriculum and I’ve reared six children so I understand children and their need for acceptance and love,” she said. “I want to show that in a book. Where kids feel like they know these characters, they know these adults, and they feel some sense of safety and a launching pad.”
In the future, Hughes plans to publish a chapbook of poetry, as well as create a parenting course based off of past parenting curriculum she’s written.
To purchase the Glimm: A Glimpse of Light Found, go to amazon.com and to purchase Glimm, Too: A Gallop in Time go to braughlerbooks.com. Additionally, Hughes and Wooddall will be at The Bread of Life Bookstore, at 533 S. Broadway St., for Mainstreet Greenville’s First Friday event on Friday, Oct. 1 selling both books.