In our first Thrill Of Suspense Blog we told you about how we’ve undertaken the publishing of a new blog series we’ve titled Behind The Book. And while it was inspired by the VH1 Behind the Music series that focused on the music industry the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect.
It isn’t about the author. It is about the book. For our second blog in the series we selected our single title New Adult Romance Life’s What Happens.
BEHIND THE BOOK #2:
Life’s What Happens
Life’s What Happens is a difficult book to slot into a genre. It is a contemporary story told in flash back about college age adults who lived through the anti-war movement in 1969 to 1970. Is is as new adult as any new adult that takes place today but the angst suffered is way over the top. A million people were impacted by what happened in Washington D.C. on December 1, 1969. The entire country learned of what that one night led to on May 4, 1970.
The story was inspired by Bob, who witnessed Kent State first hand, who asked the question would his life have been different had his draft lottery not been #98. For that matter would the over 1,000,000 men who had their birth date capsule pulled from the glass box been different with a different lottery number. The obvious answer unfortunately for several thousands of young men who were drafted and ended up in Nam and died. But there were hundreds of thousands more who made decisions regarding finishing college, going to college, dropping out and moving to Canada or even just changing their major so they had a chance to snare an occupational deferment to avoid the country’s most unpopular war ever. And oh yeah…the deferments that Nixon stopped.
Life’s What Happens is a love story about everyday college kids who were part of the largest incoming college class in history and who had planned for four years the next step in their life, often times with their first true love. How do you overlay everyday college angst, love, anti war demonstration and college shootings and military conscription into a single cohesive story? You write Life’s What Happens. True story on top of true story on top of true story.
Before we tell you about the story here’s a retro activity that pulls on what kids today call classic rock of the mid century. First, go to our author home page and on the lower left click on the Kent State flower child…and listen to the music that inspired the times. Click on http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com , find her picture on the lower left of the home page and her picture below will take you there.
And, assuming you buy the book be sure to listen to the recommended song at the start of every chapter. The play list includes –
“Try To Remember [The Kind Of September]” – The Sandpipers
“It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers
“Dizzy” – Tommy Roe
“I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher
“Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann
“Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots
“The Monkees Theme” – The Monkees
“Tired Of Waiting” – The Kinks
“Those Were The Days” – Mary Hopkin
“Catch The Wind” – Donovan
“My Way” – Frank Sinatra
“Come Together” – The Beatles
“Time of the Season” – The Zombies
“Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary
“Everybody’s Talkin’” – Nilsson
“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka
“Day Tripper” – The Beatles
“It Takes Two” – Kim Weston
“Bottle of Wine” – The Fireballs
“Bad Moon Rising” – Creedance Clearwater Revival
“Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams
“Jumping Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones
“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
“Always You” – The Sundowners
“Na Na Hey Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]” – Steam
“Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee
“1-2-3 . . .” – Len Barry
“The Cat In The Window [The Bird In The Sky]” Petula Clark
“We Got To Get Out Of This Place” – The Animals
“This Magic Moment” – Jay and the Americans
“You’ve Got Your Troubles” – The Fortunes
“P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles
“It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore
“Both Sides Now” – Judy Collins
“Yesterday’s Gone” – Chad & Jeremy
“Worst That Could Happen” – Brooklyn Bridge
“Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade
“The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies
“For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” – Buffalo Springfield
“Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys
“98.6” – Keith
“Up-Up And Away” – The 5th Dimension
“Easy Come, Easy Go” – Bobby Sherman
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys
“Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel
“Something’s Burning” – Kenny Rogers and the 1st Edition
“One Tin Soldier” – The Original Caste
“Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees
“The Beat Goes On” – Sonny & Cher
“When I Die” – Motherlode
“Things We Said Today” – The Beatles
“In My Life” – The Beatles
As side note, Steam’s song Kiss Him Goodbye was the original working title for the book.
Here’s the blurb for Life’s What Happens.
He is too young to drink (legally) but not too young to die. Don Williams is a senior at Kent State University and lives in an off-campus fraternity house. He and his girlfriend Lisa are making plans for their future after graduation when suddenly, it’s all taken away. His career, his freedom of choice and even his frat brothers who have become his family.
Life’s What Happens when you mix the hormone-fueled emotions of youth who have left home to experience the mind, mood and physical freedoms of college life with the cultural and political changes of the late 1960’s. For the brothers of Phi Psi Kappa fraternity their biggest worries should have been how to pass their classes with the least amount of studying and the greatest amount of partying and girls. Instead, they are faced with the life-and-death decision of whether they should face their fates head-on, change their plans or just run away.
It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.
There have been so many amazing awesome reviews but here’s a couple from readers who just got the book and the message.
Life’s What Happens does for Kent State students what Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake did for WWII pilots in 1939. A large cast of characters, often irreverent, teasing, hard-working and hard-playing, comes to life in the first part of the novel where students ponder what the future might bring, and threats of a draft lottery begin to loom large. The photographer, the dissector of dead cats, the poor rich guy and the newly successful poor friend, and more, live out their everyday lives against a backdrop of eateries, drink, tests and dreams. Girlfriends abound, and the relationships have that vivid teenage immediacy of indestructability and rebellion. But destruction looms large.
Life’s what happens encompasses the lives of a few students who were present during the Kent State University shooting in 1970. Set up on the backdrop of college campus in Ohio; the story moves further and retraces the ramifications of the Vietnam War and draft on the lives of 9 fraternity brothers and their families.
The book starts off with a prologue. Though it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention for a while, until the characters are introduced in the flashback; it sails once we get past the first few pages. Each character is so realistically portrayed by the author that it brings out life in the book. These fictional characters are in love, they joke, play ball, get angry, fight and most of all they make the readers feel that it’s all real, that they are real.
“The girls rarely lasted long in the games because the guys played for blood, and it took only a broken fingernail or a knock to the floor to discourage all but the most determined young woman.”
One of the laughable sentences giving an insight on author’s ability to create humour and entertain its readers.
“I don’t get how people wake up one day and all their feelings for someone are suddenly gone.”
A sentence I loved. Doesn’t every youngster at one point or the other goes through the same concern?
Hats off to the author for making the characters look as real as they can be in a fiction. Unlike other stories, this one starts off happily but becomes sad in the course of time; still a touching tale. The only issue being too many characters in the beginning makes it hard for the readers to catch up.
The book is a good reminder of a past tragedy which should never be forgotten. I would definitely want to see a movie adaption on it.
You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.
Here’s how to acquire your own copy of Life’s What Happens or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE.
When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’ve always been a storyteller. I was four years old when I wrote my first one. And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk. Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.
Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell. Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.
The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process. I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later). The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards. For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.
To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.
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