Y.M. Nelson is a rogue machine that's about to take over the world. Not really. Y. M. Nelson is a writer and a professor and is pretty good, too. She has been writing for fun since she was a middle school student. She’s written and edited various company newsletters while working in corporate America and written articles for The Mountain Island Monitor and The Charlotte Observer as a freelancer. She's currently creating and publishing a women's fiction series, the first novel due in 2017, and still writes for fun on two blogs: "Weekend DIY Girl" and "Writing Through Career Transition."
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 here. 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 this novel is her best version of that.
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?