speaking up for late bloomers

When I get a bad review of one of my novels, I’m obviously disappointed, but I have never, nor will I ever attack the reviewer. People are entitled to their own opinions and I long ago accepted that not everyone will like my books and, in fact, some people might hate them.  I am not under some false belief that every person who writes me a bad review is a troll. Critics come with the territory of putting your art out there publicly.

Part of my motivation for writing How Do You Know? was to argue the misconception that there is an age by which women “grow up” or figure themselves out. And while the story was one hundred percent fictional, I have experienced many of the same doubts as my character Maggie, especially as I approached forty, and I know I am not alone in this. So when I receive a negative review based solely on the fact that my character is “too old” to be having her doubts – doubts acceptable to woman at a younger age, I’m offended personally—not as the author but as a woman and a late bloomer.

For people who are so simpleminded to attach a deadline to emotional growth, I say lucky for you! How fortunate to have experienced such a healthy, functional upbringing that you can’t possibly compute the reality of the many people who weren’t so lucky. I also say that taking the time to ask questions and make less popular choices is not self-absorbed—it’s brave.

Finally, I suggest you get out more. You’d be surprised how many amazing people you could meet if you took down your judgmental walls. And how much you’d learn—even after 40.

Excerpt to “Blogger Girl” sequel and Introducing Felicia Harrison

This time last year, I put out a challenge to the “blogosphere” to set me up with a man – not just any man but an appealing and available man I actually liked. In return, I vowed to name a character of my next book (the sequel to Blogger Girl) after anyone whose matchmaking led to an actual date. You can read the post here:

Well, it’s a good thing I have my own ways of getting dates because you guys FAILED miserably. Seriously. Thanks for nothing people…

One person did, however, stand out among all others. My interactions with this woman were very limited at the time, but she really made it her mission to set me up. She, also, failed. But her efforts have earned her the prize as well as a true friend who adores her.

After much discussion, she has chosen to remain anonymous so rather than use her real name, I have named a character after her alter ego, aka the fake name she gave to men when she was single and not interested.

I’d like to introduce you all to Felicia Harrison. The below excerpt is subject to change since I’m still in editing.

I spotted Felicia immediately. She was sitting on a black upholstered couch scribbling in a leather-bound journal. As I approached, she looked up and smiled. Standing up, she said, “Kim?”

I returned her smile and nodded. My throat was dry and I swallowed hard, praying my voice wouldn’t crack. “Hi.”

Motioning toward the couch, she said, “Is this okay? I got here early and snagged the only open spots. I’m glad you got here before I had to fight someone for the space.” She laughed.

I scanned the crowded lounge and smiled timidly. “It’s fine. I hope I’m not late.”

“You’re right on time. Do you want a drink?”

The answer to her question was an unequivocal “yes” but I didn’t know the proper protocol. Was it a trick question? 

As if reading my mind, Felicia said, “Having met with many new authors in my fifteen years as a literary agent, I find a drink calms their nerves and they almost never make drunk fools of themselves.”

I bit my lip. Almost?

Felicia laughed. “I’m making an executive decision and getting us both glasses of Champagne. You sit and protect our space.”

I chuckled. “Okay. Thanks.”

Even though I had seen pictures of Felicia during various stages of agent-stalking, I discreetly checked her out as she ordered our drinks at the bar. With fifteen years’ experience, she was probably about forty, although she could easily pass for thirty-five. She was tall (at least compared to me) and thin with killer legs and warm brown eyes. Her chestnut brown hair was styled all one length except for bangs. She was pretty and so far, seemed as kind as her appearance suggested. 

Returning from the bar, Felicia handed me a glass of Champagne before sitting down next to me. Then she clinked her glass against mine. “Better?”

I took a small sip, determined to pace myself. “Much better,” I confessed. The Champagne took the edge off my nerves, but I was far from tranquil. I had conversed with many agents in my blogger capacity, but this was my first face-to-face as an author and I didn’t want to blow it. 

Felicia smiled. “Good. Thanks for meeting me today.”

“Thanks for asking me! And for reading A Blogger’s Life.” I felt a pulsing in my throat in anticipation of the conversation about to take place.

Felicia put her glass down on the table in front of us. “It was my pleasure. It’s a great story, Kim. You should be proud.”

Lifting my chin, I said, “Thank you.” So far so good.

“Although the market is flooded with bloggers turned authors, a fictional novel from the perspective of a book blogger is fresh.” Tipping her head to the side, she queried, “It is fiction, right?”

“Yes. I mean, I relied on my own experiences as a book blogger for authenticity, but the story itself as well as the characters are completely fictitious.”

Felicia nodded. “You’ve got talent Kim and I think the novel has a wide appeal for younger readers of chick lit, romantic comedy, and humorous women’s fiction. But…”

But what??? Nope. You’ll have to wait until the book is released to read what comes next.

For those of you who didn’t win, it could have been your name up there. Aren’t you jealous?

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-june-2015/

I’m letting my books speak for themselves!

My last post was extremely personal and raw. The multitude of comments and shares suggests that it touched many readers who were able to relate. I’m glad about that, but being so open and honest is draining and I couldn’t do it two weeks in a row. So, as a change, I’m focusing this week’s […]

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Dwelling

I was planning to write about part two of my vacation from real life—when I returned to New York City after my trip to Barbados just in time to greet my fellow authors from faraway lands who were in town for the Book Expo America Conference. I had such a fantastic, if not exhausting, time […]

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my vacation from real life Part 1

how's that for a view?

I’m blessed with a great day-job as a trademark paralegal. I work with wonderful people, have kind and respectful clients, and make a lucrative salary. But let’s be real—I love being on vacation!  I haven’t worked since Wednesday, May 20th and it’s been awesome. On Thursday, May 21st, I left for a six-day trip to […]

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Find Your Next Chick Lit Read / #ChickLitMay Giveaway!

May is International Chick Lit Month. Let’s be honest—it’s the best month of the year! Every year, chick lit readers and writers get together to celebrate, share, discuss and gush about their favorite book genre. Not familiar with chick lit or Chick Lit Month? Visit internationalchicklitmonth.com for more information. This year marks the fifth anniversary […]

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Introducing French Twist by Glynis Astie

FrenchFryBanner

For something new, I am handing off my blog to introduce the release of a new book, French Fry, by my author friend Glynis Astie. This is the third and final book in a romantic comedy series based on the author’s own life! Check it out! And scroll for a chance to win all three […]

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What’s on Page 45 – International Chick Lit Week – Blogger Girl

What'sonPage45

Welcome to the Fifth Annual International Chick Lit Month. This month, we celebrate all things chick lit. Today, I join my fellow chick lit authors to share What’s on Page 45 of one of our novels. I’ve chosen my novel Blogger Girl. For one, it was hailed “chick lit at its finest” by many readers […]

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How PMS screwed with my laundry

I suffer from PMS almost every month. Along with the physical symptoms—bloating, swollen breasts, an occasional pimple—the “condition” affects me emotionally. The go-to symptom is “bitchiness” but this isn’t typically my issue. Instead, I become sad, needy, and paranoid, and maintaining emotional health is a challenge. Thankfully, I am usually able to talk myself off […]

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how I spent my weekend

newtv

This post will be heavy on pictures and light on text because, gosh darn it, I have a cold. It’s almost May, but Mother Nature had to throw one last winter cold at me with her crazy change of weather. Boo! Until Friday night, my ancient television set belied my love of watching television. I […]

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