I Don’t Just Write Books: A Guest Ramble by Allie Burke

Today I’d like to welcome author Allie Burke to The Evolution of Nikki. Allie is the author of three-part series The Enchanters, which includes Violet Midnight, Emerald Destiny and Amber Passion.

You can find out more about The Enchanters series and Allie via her official website. If you’d like to connect with her, you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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I’m a writer.

An… indie… writer.

What’s the difference? If you write, you write. Right?

Um. I think the writers in us like to think so.

But, I don’t just write books. I… write… on Twitter. I write on my blog. On other’s blogs. On Facebook. I write e-mails to writers who I think are amazing. I did that today, now that I’m thinking about it. Actually, all of this I did today.

I haven’t written in a while. In about a week. I mean, I’ve written a little bit here and there, but, for me, sitting down to accomplish anything less than a couple thousand words is kind of… bleh.

A week? A week can’t be that bad, right? Some writers don’t write for months at a time.

True. But, I don’t… I don’t do that. I write every day. In two years I’ve written two books, half of another one, and am about halfway through my latest project. Is that a lot? I really have no idea. I don’t really force myself to write or have some strict goal that says I must write every day. I just… well, I love it. I love writing. I love books. I love what I do. It’s a passion, really.

So, how, as I praise this love of mine, can I say that I haven’t written lately? Writers block? A lack of inspiration? A blank mind void of ideas? Um. No. Not really.

The truth is… I don’t have time. I know. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry.

The moment that I sit down at my computer I open Facebook. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. I don’t know. But, I need to know what’s going on in my community. Guest blogs. Interviews. Giveaways. Releases. Excerpts. Short Stories. What are my nerds doing?!

Twitter is next. It’s important to me that peeps are following those who they should be following.

Goodreads. Books that need to be added to my list. Then, my own reviews. My sales. My blog. My promises of “go buy Violet Midnight and I’ll love you forever”.

There’s more. I follow a lot of blogs. Some deeply inspire me. Every single day I type in their URL, in the back of my mind figuratively crossing my fingers with hopes that there will be a new post to read.

And, between the reposts, the comments, the blogging, the tweeting, the… reading, by the time I’m ready to shut it all down and write, its midnight, four hours before I have to get up for work, and I realize I forgot to eat again.

Yes. I get up at 4 A.M. And yes. I work full time.

I work as a Case Manager at… are you ready for this? Go ahead, take a deep breath. I’ll wait.

I work as a Case Manager at… a call center. Yeah. This writer who speaks of love, of love for rock music, books, art and the rain, of other worlds and imaginary friends, spends eight hours of every day hidden inside a cubicle that exists in the deepest level of Corporate America.

Customer Service. I’ve learned it. I’ve managed it. For seven years I’ve dedicated myself to it. Some people say Customer Service is the hardest job in the world. I like to say that I’m pretty good at it. Most days.

It’s not bad. I like my job. In my line of work, where I get to speak to people all over the world, all day long—it’s interesting. Fun, at times.

But it is not fulfilling. What did I say? I’m a writer. Call center? That’s not writerish.

I’m a writer. A writer who hasn’t written anything. Lately.

But, what I do now, I cannot stop. The day I believe my journey REALLY started, months after my first book was released and after my second book was ready to release, the day I was inspired by one amazing writer, a writer who, today, I am proud to call my Epic friend, I blogged about what had touched my heart. The title of my blog that day was simple.

Love. Support. Read. Write. Repeat.

I love my friends. My WRITER friends (not to say I don’t love my friends that aren’t writers, or anything… I love you guys, too!). I read all books. Indie published or not, YA, paranormal, romance, suspense, mystery, fiction… you name it. I. Read. Everything. I write books that could be considered as members of many different genres. And…

I support. SUPPORT. Why? Because people need… someone. That someone does not necessarily need to be me, but… why not? I’m here. Why not me?

Late one night last week, as I stared at my computer screen, trying to remember the last time I ate something, I saw a tweet that broke my heart.

I wish I had the confidence that all of these other amazing aspiring authors have. Seriously. #AmJealous #MustFixThis

I don’t know how or why other writers are so confident. I only know why I am. First of all. That writer I spoke of? Who inspired me? This writer, a couple more writers, and a group of nerds known as the #BNFF’s (BestNerdFriendsForever), instilled it in me. They invited me to join them. As they read what I’d written, they said “Wow”. They said, “You are a very gifted writer”. They said that, with my words, I have inspired. Me. An inspiration. What. Are. You. Talking. About.

What else gives me confidence? Supporters of me. People that LOVE to not only write, but love those that are like them. A five star review. Yeah. Those help, too.

So, the tweet. I couldn’t answer her question, because I didn’t know about everyone else. But, she’s a writer. She knows that. She loves what she does. I know that. ‘Cause if she didn’t, she wouldn’t do it. People get discouraged. It happens. I was discouraged this morning, until one of my #BNFF’s stepped in and made me laugh. Then, I wasn’t.

How could I let something like that go unanswered?

There’s no reason you shouldn’t. Keep your head up. Do what you do. <3

This is what I wrote back. I couldn’t tell you why. Where it came from. At that moment my heart bled through my fingertips like it often does.

The moment that I received the next tweet would be the moment that the most fulfilling smile would reflect in my expression. I would fall asleep that night with that smile pasted on my face.

thank you! <3 i’m working on it! 🙂

I really don’t know if, in the days or weeks or months that would follow, if this aspiring writer would, as her own heart bled through her fingertips, feel confidence. If I helped at all. But, as I think of it now, I still smile. I smile, because, it feels like I did… something… to help. Anything is better than nothing, I think.

As a writer, I obviously have some time issues I need to work out. I should… not… forget to eat. That’s probably bad. I should set a more… structured… writing goal. Maybe I shouldn’t drink so much coffee. What that has to do with anything, I really don’t know. While I’m throwing stuff out there. Just saying.

But, I believe writing is many things. Supporting your fellows, reading their books, blogging about them, blogging about you, for hours disappearing within that wild imagination of yours…

Writing. It’s quite unlike anything else in the world. Only writers… know writing. Honestly. The other day I attempted to explain writing to someone… who is not a writer. It did not go well.

I, personally, as a writer, would love your support. Your love. Supporting you, all of you, it’s the right thing to do. Deeply, I feel it. I know it. I embrace it.

I don’t just write books. I write… indie. How about you?

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If you’re interested in writing a guest blog post for my site, please contact me at nicole@nicoleireland.com for more info. I look forward to hearing from you.

My Son, the Storyteller

One of my greatest pleasures in life is it to watch my children flex their creative muscle. I’m a very creative person, as is my dad, so when we see my son and daughter drawing or writing/telling a story, we’re beyond thrilled.

Today, my very precocious three-year-old decided to share one of his tall tales with his Bampi, aka my father. And I thought I’d share it with all of you because it’s just too cute not to.

My son Blake told my father that he lost a tooth on Thursday night while at a train station. He was then given gifts by Hot Honey. (I don’t know who Hot Honey is, but my dad says she sounds like a stripper. And I must concur.) Of course, none of this happened. Blake was home with us all night long.

This is actually the second story Blake’s told us this week. His first one involved him being carried away by a moose down a path to Cabellas. The moose eventually returned him home to his bedroom. What happened in between being abducted and returned home is a mystery to me, but I’m sure in his mind, it was an adventure.

As you can see, Blake has a very wild imagination. It reminds me of his sister when she was that age and talking about her invisible friend Blue Kitty.

If you’re the parent of creative child, please feel free to leave a comment about some of their tallest tales. I love the way little minds work.

 

Sacrifice Update

If you’ve taken the time to look around my site over the past week, or are on my friends list on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen the cover for Sacrifice. (If not, it’s to the left.) I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out, and I think Jenny did a great job putting it together.

I’m also proud of how the story itself turned out. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve sat down to write a story like this. It wasn’t easy for me to write because I had to push myself beyond my comfort zone, but I think the end result is exactly what I was hoping for. Sure, the ending will leave readers with some unanswered questions, but it was intentional on my part. I didn’t want a clear cut ending. I wanted to leave it open to the readers’ interpretation.

If my editor’s reaction to Sacrifice is anything to go by, I think the story will do well. She told me it’s creepy and has a vibe similar to The Entity. And no, when I first started this story, I had never seen that movie. I did finally watch it about four or five months, and I enjoyed its creepiness factor, so to have my editor say that to me was a compliment. When you write  a story like this one, you want people to react that way. You don’t want to hear the same kind of compliments you’d get from a tearjerker. So score for me.

Aside from the new cover, I can also reveal that Sacrifice is nearly done. I sent it off to one of my readers last night. Hopefully she doesn’t hate it. And I plan on sending it to another one this morning.

As for the release, I’m hoping, if all goes well, it’ll be within the next week or two. I still need me editor to go through it one more time and make sure I addressed areas that needed some work. From there it still needs to be formatted and then uploaded. So cross your fingers for me that all goes well.

An Interview With Author Will Entrekin

Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some truly amazing and talented authors who have taught me a lot and who have ultimately made me a better writer. I believe author Will Entrekin is another one that I’ll be adding to that list.

Will and I have been chatting a little bit over the past couple of weeks about his novels, Meets Girl and The Prodigal Hour. We’ve also discussed writing and certain methods we use when crafting a story.

During our messages back and forth I mentioned I would love to interview him if he was interested. He was. So I, in typical Nikki style, agonized over the questions to ask him. I finally put together a list of questions I liked and sent them off. His answers are below. Enjoy!

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Nikki: Will, for those who don’t know who you are, tell them a little about yourself. Where are you from?

Will: I’m from Jersey. I was born and raised in a small town about twenty minutes away from Philadelphia, and then I went to college in Jersey City, where I subsequently lived while I worked in Manhattan. So I basically lived in New Jersey until I was 28.

Nikki: Can you tell everyone a little bit about Meets Girl and your forthcoming novel The Prodigal Hour?

Will: Sure. Love to. They’re ludicrously different beasts that probably would have required a pen name were I with a corporation.

The Prodigal Hour is the book I completed first, at USC, where I worked on it as my thesis with the help of Irvin Kershner and Sid Stebel. It’s a big, mainstream time-travel adventure story that’s set (mostly) on October 31, 2001. It’s about a young guy named Chance Sowin, who moves back home after September 11, hoping to regroup, collect himself, get his head together (“Some damned thing,” as I think he puts it at one point), but whose father—who accidentally discovered a way to time travel—is murdered. So here’s this guy trying to cope with grief and tragedy on several different levels, who suddenly finds himself in possession of a time machine.

Meets Girl, on the other hand, is a smaller book. I wrote after I’d finished The Prodigal Hour, and it’s about a young unnamed narrator who lives and writes in Manhattan, and who falls in love with a girl who doesn’t love him in return. About midway through, he meets a guy named Angus Silver, and it basically becomes a contemporary retelling of Faust except way more meta. To me, I sort of think of it as The Colbert Report of debut literary novels.

Nikki: I have to say yet again that I’m psyched to read The Prodigal Hour, as I’m sure others are, too. For those who are interested, when will it be available for purchase? How will you be publishing it?

Will: In several ways. It’ll be live on Kindle on July 1st, and I’ll post the first chapter that day, and then the second on July 4th, with the basic hope of outright owning July 4th weekend—appropriate, I feel, for an independent author. I plan to continue to serialize the book through to the end of its second act—roughly thirty chapters.

Nikki: What comes next? Are you working on something new?

Will: Pretty much always. Personally, I’ve got several projects in process, one of which is related to The Prodigal Hour, because really, how does one accidentally discover a way to time travel? Also, some short stories and a non-fiction project. I’m hoping to publish fairly regularly until my next big novel.

Professionally, I’m opening the press I founded, Exciting Press, to other authors. I worked with a colleague to publish a short story collection over the holidays, and it came off really successfully. I’d like to work with other authors to continue that. I met a terrific editor at USC, and I’m about to finish my MBA in marketing, so it feels like a natural progression. I’m about to incorporate, because you sort of have to, legally and all, but we’re going to be more of a service, I hope. We’ll have author and reader centric practices in place, and we’re going to move away from this absolutely failing business model that has basically killed the corporate and retail bookselling industries in favor of one that makes sense.

Nikki: What would you say has been your most rewarding experience as an author? Is there one moment that stands out from the rest?

Will: Lately, I’ve been trying to be more grateful for the reward that comes from good work, and not worrying about arbitrary indicators that probably don’t even really correlate to success. Over the holidays, the short story collection I mentioned ran up the Amazon rankings, and it was great to become a bestselling author (and go higher than James Franco), but really, the best part of the experience was working with someone I respected to produce something we were both proud of.

Those two stories, in fact, were part of it. I wrote two—“Blues’n How to Play’em” and “Struck by the Light of the Son”—and both were among the best things I’d ever written. I was rarely successful with short stories, and I struggled with “Blues” for years, but I still think there was something in finishing those right that was more rewarding than anything else ever.

Same with The Prodigal Hour. I’m obviously hoping it does well, and has a successful launch, and all those things, but really, I wrote a book I’m damned proud of, and I think it’s awesome. Doing justice to a story was about as rewarding as life ever gets.

Nikki: What has been your biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?

Will: Still struggling with that idea of being grateful for the work and finding reward from writing well. For a long while, I became very bitter about the state of the publishing industry, but I’m working hard to put those feelings aside by putting my best stories forward.

Nikki: We all have our own writing process. I use to outline stories, but now I tend to shoot from the hip. What is yours? Do you outline or just start writing and see what unfolds?

Will: It tends to vary. There’s usually a lot of percolation. I tend to outline (even if only in my head) longer work. I remember I had a chapter outline of The Prodigal Hour when I was finishing its current draft. I worked closely with Sid Stebel on novels and Syd Field on screenwriting while I was at USC, and both men had somewhat similar ideas in terms of stories, dramatic structures, conflicts, beats, all those things that make stories more exciting. I took a lot from those classes. I find, for example, that I tend to think in either three-act or five-act structure for anything longer than 50k words (in fact, I think those are the only structures there are. Unless you don’t have structure, and in which case, well, there are probably bigger issues to worry about).

Anyway, I tend to have some sense of where things are going, either by instinct or outline, and then method write the scenes. One big thing is awareness of what characters want/need. Follow that, and you’re golden. Can’t go wrong.

Nikki: I always ask this during any interview that I do with a fellow author. What advice do you have for those looking to follow in your footsteps? What advice do you give to your students?

Will: I used to say my advice was to give up, because if you can, you should, and if you can’t, you need to find your own way, anyway.

For my students, though? A line from The Prodigal Hour: “You need to stop worrying about some grades on a transcript and start writing something you believe in.”

Nikki: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?

Will: Good question. Especially since I’m finishing that MBA and wondering myself. Likely independent. Hopefully a dozen or so books (novels, stories, poems) on Kindle. A great job.

Nikki: And last but not least, I was recently asked in an interview to provide five unique facts about myself. I thought it was fun, so I’m going to ask you the same thing. Please provide five unique facts about you.

Will: I seem to be just ahead of trends. I got two Japanese character tattoos in 2000, right before getting them became way more popular. I bought a Kmart fedora in 2005, right before everyone started wearing them again. Just recently, I started wearing bow ties. Which are, apparently, making a comeback. I know, right? Color me surprised.

My Eagle scout service project involved publishing.

I swam the individual medley in high school.

That’s three, but that first one was long, so maybe that counts? I don’t know. There are, what, 8 billion people here? Honestly, the only five unique things about me are the five books on my Amazon page.

Nikki: Thank you so much, Will, for stopping by The Evolution of Nikki. Before you go, please let everyone know where they can purchase your work and how they can find out more information about you.

Will: No problem! Thanks for having me!

The easiest spot is my site: willentrekin.com. That’s where I’ll be posting chapters, and it connects to my Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as my Amazon author page, so that’s pretty convenient.

That Amazon page is here: http://www.amazon.com/Will-Entrekin/e/B004JPDYBY

My Reaction to a Refunded Copy of A Second Chance

Up until the other day I didn’t realize readers could ask for a refund on eBooks they’ve purchased. I was quite surprised when I saw others mentioning it on the Kindle Boards. I then felt a sick sense of dread.

“Your day is coming,” my internal editor maliciously whispered in my ear.

I then told her to shut up. I wanted to believe when it happened to me, I would handle it well. HA! Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Today started out wonderfully. I managed to accomplish a lot, as well as spend some time with my brother, which is rare. When I got home I checked my stats on Amazon and found that another copy of A Second Chance had been purchased. YAY!A Second Chance cover

Then my eyes moved to the right and I saw Units Refunded – 1. And my head imploded. Well, not really. But it felt like it was going to. I felt like my entire body was about to collapse in on its self. My self-confidence was crushed.

And of course my bitchy ass internal editor couldn’t contain herself. She gleefully jumped up and started in on me because, you know, kicking someone while they’re down is just too much fun to pass up.

Her choice of words:

“You suck!”

“Give up while you’re ahead.”

“Keep your day job.”

“Did you honestly think you were any good?”

“What were you thinking? You shouldn’t be doing this.”

“Who are you trying to fool?”

“What made you think you’re talented enough to do something like this?”

“You’re a stupid bitch.”

And on.

And on.

And on.

Needless to say, she made me cry, which made me want to punch her in the face.

Let’s just hope next time I don’t get so worked up. I know there’s a strong possibility that someone bought it by mistake when they meant to sample it, but I can’t say for sure. And that’s what really bothers me…the not knowing. Did I do something wrong? Is it really bad and no one’s told me the truth? Is there issues with formatting? If at least knew the problem, I could try and fix it.

There’s nothing I can do now, though, other than find a way to deal with the next one that will inevitably pop up at some point.

A Review of Hull’s Landing by James Melzer

I’ve said before in previous reviews that I enjoy stories that make me feel something, whether it be anger, sadness, happiness, etc. James Melzer‘s novella Hull’s Landing is yet another book that’s produced very strong feelings in me, as well as an urge to protect my kids from the monsters in this world that would do them harm if given the opportunity.

To begin with, I was first introduced to Hull’s Landing back when James began podcasting it via his official website. My initial reaction to the opening scene was “This is frakked.” And I didn’t mean it in a “this author can’t write” way because he can. (I truly feel that James is a very talented author.) What I was referring to was the opening of Hull’s, which is definitely one of the disturbing I’ve ever read, to say the least.

The opening scene was one that grabbed my attention and pulled me in, making me want to castrate every single male in the opening scene. (And I’m sure it’s affected other women in the same way.)

Sure, Hull’s Landing is dark, scary and more than a bit depressing and gory at times, but that’s the way a book of this nature is supposed to be. It’s supposed to make you disgusted. It’s supposed to make your stomach roll and your skin crawl. It’s supposed to make you hate someone. The fact that James was able to accomplish all that and so much more speaks volumes about this story.

While Hull’s starts out very dark, the ending is filled with hope and the belief that darkness and evil can be overcome by goodness and light. And I don’t know about you, but I enjoy stories that end that way.

In closing, if author James Melzer can’t understand why he’s doing so well in the sales department, he needs to pack up his wife and come visit me in Maine so I can smack him. I’ve read several of his stories now, and I can clearly see why he’s selling as much as he is. HE CAN WRITE ONE HELL OF A STORY! (Keep up the good work, James. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.)

TOTAL STARS: Five

Amazon Description:

Nestled deep in the heart of Pennsylvania is the small borough of Hull’s Landing. While it may seem like just an ordinary place, The Landing holds a secret so dark, that there are those who will do anything to protect it.

For decades, young girls have been disappearing like clockwork. While some have their suspicions, the entire town lives in fear – and for good reason. When Rita Clemens, a former member of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, decides to make her new home in Hull’s, she begins to uncover what the locals have tried to keep hidden for so long.

As the race against time begins, Rita will have to do everything she can to protect herself, and to save a child’s life, before one of the world’s oldest evils can be unleashed.

Amazon Author Bio:

James Melzer is the award-winning author of ESCAPE (Simon & Schuster/Permuted Press – December 2011), the upcoming young adult zombie novel, TEENAGE WASTELAND (Permuted Press – 2012), and his short fiction has appeared in publications from Library of the Living Dead Press. Melzer currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, daughter, and husky.

The Cover for Sacrifice

Since releasing A Second Chance a couple of weeks back, I’ve been one busy lady. I’ve been promoting A Second Chance on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve also made several appearances on fellow author’s websites.

In addition to all the promotion, I’ve also been working on a short story called Sacrifice. I originally began writing in at the end of last May.It’s been a long journey. It’s very different from A Second Chance, which may disappoint some people. And I’m ready for that. As an author, I think it’s my duty to challenge myself at every turn, and I did with this story. And I’m proud of how it’s turned out. I can’t wait to see what all of you think.

As for when it will be available, I plan on releasing Sacrifice very soon, hopefully within the next two weeks. *fingers crossed*

Until then, here’s a look at the final cover. Enjoy!

The Soundtrack for A Second Chance

Most writers that I talk to have some sort of soundtrack for each story they write. I’m no exception. I always try and find songs that encompass the emotions within a story. By doing so, I help myself get into the right mindset for whatever story I’m working on. A Second Chance was no different. In fact, there are a ton of songs that would have worked well for this story, but there were several that I felt worked best — that I felt truly embodied all the feelings in A Second Chance. So here they are:

  1. “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Aaron Neville
  2. “Unbreakable” – Westlife
  3. “I Won’t Let Go” – Rascal Flatts
  4. “Stand” – Rascal Flatts
  5. “Unstoppable” – Rascal Flatts
  6. “Time for Miracles” – Adam Lambert
  7. “I Will Not Say Goodbye” – Danny Gokey
  8. “One More Day” – Diamond Rio
  9. “Annabelle” – Lee DeWyze
  10. “If This is the Last Kiss (Let’s Make it Last All Night)” – Meat Loaf
  11. “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” – Patty Loveless

Now that I’ve shared my soundtrack for A Second Chance with all of you, please feel free to leave your own.

 

This Video Breaks My Heart

Just a little while ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to the video below. If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a moment of your time and watch it.

So why did I choose to share this video with all of you? Well, it’s because I’ve been there. I was bullied in junior high and high school. And some of my experiences can be found in A Second Chance.

There are some people that would probably like to pretend it never happened to me, but I can’t pretend. I remember it all too well. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think back on those days and wonder what was so wrong with me that I deserved to be treated so poorly. Sure, I wasn’t perfect. I didn’t come from a well-off family. I wasn’t gorgeous, and I sure as hell wasn’t popular. But I don’t think of any of that was a good enough reason for the kind of treatment I experienced.

Because of all the bullying I dealt with, I made drastic decisions that forever altered the course of my life. Decisions that others didn’t agree with. But I did what I had to do to keep myself alive. And I don’t regret one decision I made.

Sure, I can say now that I’m a better person because of what I’ve experienced, but dammit, I shouldn’t have had to deal with any of that. I should have been able to enjoy my junior high and high school years. But I didn’t. The few good memories I have from that time period are overshadowed by the all the bad ones.

If you’re someone dealing with bullying right now, remember:

NO ONE has the right to make you feel like you’re not good enough.

NO ONE has the right to degrade you and call you names.

NO ONE has the right to make you feel like you’re better off dead.

And please, don’t ever feel like you’re alone and like no one understands because there are plenty of us that do.

For more information on the help that is available to you, please visit ItGetsBetter.org.

A Review of Meets Girl by Will Entrekin

Every so often a book comes along that makes me sit back, once finished, and ask myself “Where do I begin?” Meets Girl by Will Entrekin made me do just that.

I don’t want to give away any of the story, but at the same time, I want to provide enough insight into the book so that it encourages you to purchase a copy because it’s definitely worth a read.

Now let’s get to it. *rolls up sleeves*

To begin, I could certainly focus on a few errors that I noticed while reading the book, but I’m not going to because I don’t think they detract from the story in any way, at least not for me. I’m not going to dock Meets Girl any stars for spelling and punctuation issues when you see books on the bestseller list from the likes of Clive Cussler, Jodi Picoult, etc. that have contained minor errors, as well. It happens. No one’s perfect. I’m certainly not, and neither are the stories that I write.

Now, as for my likes/loves, there were many, so it’s hard to know where to start.

The beginning of Meets Girl transported me back to my own childhood and early teen years and the many hours I spent pining over a certain boy. (Unrequited love, you ask? Perhaps. I did like said boy for a long time, from second grade on, in fact. But he never liked me in return. Ah, such is life.)

I also loved how it felt like I was being directly spoken to in the story. Because of that, I was able to close my eyes and picture the entire story unfolding in front of me. I felt the excitement and sadness, the rejection. The author’s style of writing brought the book to life and made me feel connected to it, like I was a part of it. Although, I did feel like a bit of a voyeur during the sex scenes. (Mr. Entrekin is very adept at writing a love scene that can still make your heart race without getting too explicit. Nicely done!)

I also loved the writer’s internal struggle over what he wants in life when faced with the ultimatum of having to choose between the girl of his dreams or a successful writing career. It’s definitely a struggle I can relate to. I think it’s one we all face in some way at some point. That moment of having to choose one over the other. Which do you choose? And will you regret it for the rest of your life?

Since I’m a mom, it’s especially prevalent. For a long time I thought I’d never be able to follow my dreams. I honestly thought I’d forfeited all my hopes and dreams once I became responsible for another human being. But I realized over time that I can do both. I can became mommy, and I can be a writer. I don’t need to choose between the two, which is great because if push came to shove, I’d have to choose my children.

And while others may have expressed some disappointment in the way the book ended, I’m not one of them. I loved it! I didn’t see that ending coming, but I love that Will chose to end it that way. For me, it added a whole new layer to the story. What was real? What wasn’t? I believe it’s left up to the reader to decide, to interpret the way he or she wants to. I love when books do that. And I tried to do the same thing with A Second Chance. On the surface it seems very obvious what happened, but there are unanswered questions that I wanted my readers to answer themselves. Meets Girl allowed me that same liberty.

I also loved how Meets Girl made me ask questions of myself aside from “Where do I begin?”

  1. Why do I write? Do I do it solely to make my parents and brother proud? The answer is no. While their opinions are extremely important to me, I write because it’s as vital to me as eating, breathing and sleeping. I’m not me without it. And when I don’t write, I feel lost, like part of me is missing.
  2. What do I want from life? I want what everyone wants. I want to be happy and healthy. I want to know that someone loves me for me. I want to see my kids grow up and accomplish all of their hopes and dreams. I want to inspire others with my writing. I want to make a difference. I want to know that I have no regrets when it’s all said and done. I don’t want to look back on my life and ask myself “What if…?”
  3. Where do my ideas come from? I’ve addressed that very question in the past. There are times that my stories seem to come from somewhere else, from an outside source, like I’m the vessel hired to carry someone else’s story to the distant shore. Other times, they come from personal experience, both the good and the bad.
  4. Is life truly what you make it? Yes, it is. I firmly believe that we all can make our lives what we want them to be. Sure, it’s not an easy undertaking, but we all have that power within us. We just to have to be willing to work hard and not give up. And honestly, if you knew my entire story, you’d see it’s true. I’ve worked damn hard to get where I am today. Why? Because I knew that I had control over my life. I could let it pass me by. Or I could take the reins and lead it where I wanted it to go. And I’m glad I did.

So in conclusion, Meets Girl was beautifully written and has left a lasting impression on me. As for Will Entrekin, he has a brilliant, creative mind, and there’s no doubt he’s got a very bright future ahead of him. I can’t wait to read his next work of art. (Will, if you need a review, let me know.)

Total Stars: 5

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Amazon Description:

“Once upon a time, I fell in love with a girl who didn’t love me in return.”

New York City, circa 2006. A young man lucking into any temp job he can while following his dream to be a writer. A dream girl and a bad case of unrequited love (is there any other kind?).

If the story ended there, it wouldn’t be extraordinary. It would be just another tale from the big, bad, glorious city; just another romance that never was; just another friendship that never got the chance to be anything more.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Angus Silver won’t let it.

Angus Silver knows what people love and whom, and he offers that young writer who fell in love with that girl who didn’t love him in return a simple choice.

The choice is easy. Making it is not.

Making it will break someone’s heart.”