Y.M. Nelson (she/her) is based in Charlotte, NC and writes about love, women’s journeys, and amateur DIY. After she spent most of her writing "career" ghostwriting for companies and realized there were no passionate verbs in company instruction manuals, Y. M. decided to produce and share her own work with the public.
She joined the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), found some writing buddies, and created the Owen & Makayla romance short story series. She is working on several novels, including her debut romantic comedy The Accidental Swipe based on her #MyTinderSeries blog serial. In between bouts of writing, she creates and hosts the Nerdy Romantics Podcast. To support her writing “habit,” Y. M. is an English professor and has a day job.
Who are your favorite authors?
Anne Tyler, Jennifer Weiner, Toni Morrison. I have a special place in my heart for Bethanie F. DeVors and Sienna Snow. I just got introduced to Mary Kay Andrews--she's my "guilty pleasure" read. Um, yes, I realize there are no guys on here. I don't have anything to say about that.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My current 5 favorite books (in no particular order): "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller; "The Accidental Tourist" by Anne Tyler; "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy; all of the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling (can I count those as 1?); "The Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison. This changes somewhat depending on my mood and what I've read, but these have been favorites of mine for several years now.
"Catch-22" is the epitome of funny antics and political/societal commentary. It's entertaining, but at the same time makes a meaningful point that even rings true beyond the times in which it was written.
"The Accidental Tourist" taught me something about myself as a writer and a reader: I love flawed characters. I love people who are having real love relationships with real problems, but at the same time have real passion for life. I have a hard time liking a novel when characters are too perfect. The characters in "TAT" are some messed up people, but they are really living! Or trying to, anyway.
"The Road" was an exhausting read for me. And yes, that was a good thing. To know that a book can impact you not just mentally and emotionally, but also physically exhaust you--that's a real experience. That's a powerful piece of writing. It also scares the daylights out of me what a post-apocalyptic world could look like.
The Harry Potter series as a whole was magnificently written. I experienced reading these as an adult, and I found so many layers there that I wouldn't have if these had been around when I was a kid. Also, J.K. is a master of language: phonics and diction/figurative language. (Severus Snape? I mean, come on! Genius!) I haven't seen this level of artistry with language without it being poetry since Shakespeare.
"The Song of Solomon" does with description what I WISH I could do. I'm not good with description; I'm better with dialogue. Toni Morrison is a master of descriptive language, in my opinion. She's also a master of poetic prose, and I think this novel is her best version of that.
When college friends Owen and Makayla reconnect before their 15th reunion, they wonder why they stopped being friends in the first place. And when Owen is sequestered at Makayla’s house pending an arrest, they realize they may have more than friend feelings for each other.
But this is not Owen’s first arrest, and it’s no trivial matter. Devon, Owen’s former business partner is gunning for him. He wants to take Owen out any way he can to keep Owen quiet. Standing up to Devon is an easy choice for Owen. But when Makayla gets caught in the middle, he could risk not only his freedom, but Makayla’s life as well.
On the verge of going to trial, Owen stands up to plaintiff Devon’s threats and refuses to plead guilty; but when Makayla is put in danger, Owen must defeat Devon before he loses his best friend and new love.
What would you do if you found out today was your last day of freedom? Newly reunited best friends Owen and Makayla had planned to spend a normal day in the city. . .until Owen gets a call that he’s to remain where he is at Makayla’s house. In 24 hours, he will be picked up on a warrant and taken to jail over a business dispute that’s turned very ugly. How will the two spend Owen's last 24 hours?