Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, October 22, 2018

... a lot more than she bargained for... If She Were Blind (The After Twelve, #1) by Laney Wylde

"What a great book! This book had me hooked from the start to the end. The author jumps right into the story and I love that. Right away I was involved. [...] Read this! I promise you will love it as much as me. " Mary, Goodreads


Release Date: October 22nd, 2018

Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her “legal” service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed.

For a price.

Thanks to her powerful underground network, Estlyn’s success rate is stellar, and her inbox stays filled with inquires from the desperate and vengeful. But when one of those names is a ghost from her past seeking vengeance against her, she’s shaken to her core. Off balance and scared to be alone, she makes an impulsive move for a guy. He’s a complication she doesn’t have time for, but it turns out he may also be an unlikely—if unwitting—asset.

Treading the rapidly thinning line between personal and professional, Estlyn pursues her target while outrunning the one on her own back—only to find she may be running into a lot more than she bargained for.

IF SHE WERE BLIND is the first book in the engaging New Adult series AFTER TWELVE by author Laney Wylde. Perfect for fans of the television shows REVENGE, SCANDAL, and VERONICA MARS, the AFTER TWELVE Series is a gritty social-issue drama that delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and the most bittersweet revenge plots. Estlyn’s determination to right every wrong is sure to quench your thirst for justice, yet leave you wanting more.

Write What You Can’t Know” 

It is an indisputable fact that Ernest Hemingway is among America’s sexiest writers, surpassed in allure only by E. E. Cummings and, of course, John Steinbeck (photos in order) 

But did you know that, besides being a stone cold fox, Hemingway was famous for his advice to fellow writers? Some of his words of wisdom that I rely on are: 

“The first draft of anything is shit.”
“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.”
“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

One of his frequently repeated and most controversial pieces of advice is to “write what you know.” But, what Hemingway actually said was, “I decided that I would write one story about each thing that I knew about.” These stories were about, among other things, bull fighting, war, and fishing. Oh, and drinking. Hemingway was a practiced-to-perfection drinker.

So how did his advice get construed into, “write only what you know?” I’m not sure. As evidenced by that previous sentence, I’m a firm believer in writing about what I don’t know. As evidenced by my books, I write from perspectives I’ll never fully understand or have outright disagreed with. In fact, I’m as quick to write about topics I have no right to as Hemingway was to throw back a drink.

This is called “boldness” or “stupidity.” Depends who you ask.

Why do I do this? Because writing what I don’t understand challenges me to learn something new. It forces me to ask questions of people I may not have engaged otherwise. Most importantly, it gives me empathy.


A quality I lack more often than I possess. A quality I have disregarded in the name of clinging to my values. But, surprise, surprise, writing what I don’t know has shown me that empathy and conviction aren’t at odds at all. And fiction is where they get along best.

What does empathic conviction look like for me as a writer?

It means I can hold my biblical view of sexuality and adore the gay character in my book. Because I understand having desires that I can’t explain or dismiss, desires that are unpopular to embrace. I understand wanting someone. I understand the longing to be accepted.

It means I can value the life of the unborn and sympathize with my character who wants to abort her child conceived in rape. Because I’ve run from pain. I’ve hidden reminders of trauma. I’ve felt unwarranted shame.

It means I can respect the daily danger a police officer faces and weep for the black character who lost everything to that officer. Because I’ve grieved. I’ve been powerless. I’ve felt fear.

Now, some may say that this empathy is still hateful if my values don’t adjust to match the beliefs of those I disagree with. Others will say this empathy is treacherous, a threat to my convictions.

I must respectfully disagree with both. Values that can’t stand testing aren’t worthy of my defense. And empathy without grounding in conviction loses its strength, for how can I be enraged on behalf of those who have been wronged if I don’t have a moral compass myself?

Empathy. It’s why I write what I don’t know. It’s why you should to.

Pick an issue and write a story from the perspective of a person on the opposite side of it from you. Use first person. Write “I…”

“I saw…”
“I heard…”
“I felt…”
“I hurt…”
“I broke…”

Because Hemingway also said, “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”
And, let’s remember, Hemingway was smokin’ hot

About the author:
Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California--the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it's the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.
When Laney isn't writing, she's singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she's eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.

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1 comment:

Laney said...

Thanks for the post! I hope you love the book.