I was incredibly lucky enough to have had some amazing English & foreign language teachers (I took French, Russian, and Latin!) when I was growing up. They instilled in me an early love for words - their spelling, meaning, sound, and origin - that has stayed with me ever since.
A few months ago, I came across a word I had never heard before:
Zither (n) zith·er ˈzi-t͟hər -thər - a stringed instrument having usually 30 to 40 strings over a shallow horizontal soundboard and played with pick and fingers (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Have you heard of a zither? I asked this same question to my newsletter readers, and I challenged myself to find a way to work a zither into one of my books. Imagine my thrill when a reader in Germany wrote back almost immediately to share that she was indeed familiar with the word! We exchanged a few friendly emails, and I’m so excited to share that this reader helped inspire a character and story line for book 3 in The Summer Breeze series! A huge thank you to Marie-Luise! Be on the lookout for a new zither-playing character named after her!