Alchemy: The seemingly magical power or process of transmuting.
I haven't been writng much this summer. I've been spending time with family, focusing on other areas of my life that need some work, and have been working hard at getting a fix of social interaction that I deprived myself of for months while working on and submitting my manuscript. I've also been reading. A lot.
And so, you ask, if I want social interaction, why am I reading? Well, because reading provides me with social interaction in a different way. When I read, I get to know the characters in a story. I fall in love with them, laugh with them, hate them, cheer for them, and learn things from them. Reading provides me with a whole new world of wonderful experiences and adventures. When I read, I'm in the story, part of it, along for the ride, and if it's a great book, I become immersed in an alternate world and I love it. I get to live all these lives that I could never have had time to live, could never have imagined. I live all these different lives. So fun.
I've just finished reading a book called Alchemy by Mike Wood. I've had some interactions with Mike online through the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and then through a writer's critique group I joined. Mike is a very funny guy with a warped and twisted sense of humour similiar to mine, and it was because of his sense of humour, that I was brave enough to join the critique group in the first place. Wanting to support the other writers in the group, I bought copies of books from those who had either published or self-published. Mike's book is called Alchemy. Brave and determined guy that he is, he self-published. As I know it, and I'm sure he'll correct me in the comments section if I'm wrong, Mike didn't want to go through all the crazy stuff you have to endure in traditional publishing, and he had enough faith in himself to push forward in the self-publishing route. I'm glad he did. Alchemy is a great read. And the themes are so close to those in No One In Particular that I was blown away.
Alchemy is a story about Al, a teenage boy who is moving through a period of transition in his life. Exploring themes of love, loss, acceptance, the bigger picture of life, and what it means to be humane, it takes the reader back to their adolescence with all the angst, humiliation, hopes and dreams that give that time of our lives such vividness. I laughed as I read it. I cried. I re-experienced my adolescence and got to experience new adventures. There were sections I read, where I could only think that Mike is a genius in his approach to writing, capturing joy and sadness at the same time. I don't want to give anything about the book away, so you have to read it if you want to see for yourself what I mean. It's the kind of book you walk away from feeling better about life, being more amazed about the big picture, feeling happier. And, as a bonus, you get to learn more about Cape Cod, re-experience the thrill and panic of a first kiss, learn about Manatees. I would like my son to read this book as well, because I believe it provides wonderful lessons about acceptance and love, things that this generation we are raising need to learn.
I guess I could have interviewed Mike for this blog, but my summer laziness is influencing me. And I have a couple of promised interviews that are first in line. I may ask him to join me later at some point for an interview, cause he'd be great. In the meantime, if you want a great escape, like smart humour and want to be taken away, you can order Alchemy through Amazon at http://amzn.com/143925382X or Barnes and Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Alchemy/Mike-Wood/e/9781439253823/?itm=1&USRI=alchemy+mike+wood or through Create Space at https://www.createspace.com/1000252714
Alchemy. The power to transmute. To turn lead to gold. You did it Mike. Congrats!!!
Happy summer Lazing! Lisa