It’s Complicated: Short Stories About Long Relationships

Today we’ve got something a little bit different. I’m handing over the reigns to my friend, Karen, who normally blogs at RunWright. She asked if she could guest post on my blog so she could tell you all about her new book. Karen is a wonderful, funny, inspiring lady who always has something positive to say about everyone. Obviously I said yes.

I’m so excited for her to get her book published. It’s called It’s Complicated: Short Stories About Long Relationships. It’s currently available for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise, if you’re in the US you can pick up either a Kindle Edition or a paperback copy if that’s your preference. If you’re in the UK you seem to be restricted to the Kindle Editions at the moment. I have a copy sitting on my Kindle right now (it’s waiting for me to finish The Gracekeepers so I can get to it).

So, without any further ado, here’s what Karen has to say:

The number one question I get asked at book signings? “Are the stories true?” to which I reply, “No, they’re fiction. Fictionalized versions of real situations.”

IC cover thumbnail

Later, I get follow-up text messages or phone calls from friends, “Such and such character, are you sure this isn’t a real person? He seems like someone I know.”

That’s the life of a writer. Constantly being asked about a character they’ve created. Constantly having to defend their version of the truth. Always being challenged about their fictional statements.

So what’s the truth? Indeed, the characters are real. They are a composite of many of the faces I’ve scanned in crowds and sat down next to on a couch. My characters’ words are similar to words I’ve spoken or heard, or quick-witted responses I wish I had thought up at the right time but that didn’t come to me until much later, lying in bed, wishing I could go back and win an argument instead of staring, slack-jawed, while the other person killed it.

The situations? Well, those are real. Of course they are. I write about relationships. We’ve all had them. We all want them. And they’re not very different from person to person. Most of us have a complicated relationship with one or both of our parents. Maybe one of them disappeared when you were young, or maybe they both stayed around but they were so terrible that you spent most of your childhood wishing you’d been adopted, or fighting the urge to run off and join the circus or stowaway in the backseat of anyone who came to visit.

Or maybe your parents did such a great job of raising you and making you feel loved that you spend your entire adulthood comparing every other potential of love to that relationship your parents have and finding it lacking. So maybe your parents have been married for 40 years and you struggle to commit to anything more long term than the next weekend because you just can’t find the perfect love you expected.

Maybe the people who were supposed to protect you only did a good job protecting themselves. Maybe you’ve been part of a love triangle, maybe you always find yourself part of a love triangle, but you haven’t yet figured out how to change the geometry and find the circle of love.

That’s why the stories seem familiar. That’s why I say they’re real. We’ve all experienced complex relationships.

But nothing in my stories has happened the way I described it. Except in my own mind and now in yours as you read the stories. But Juan, The Unwilling Vegetarian in the first story, is just a fictional character. I don’t know anyone who acts exactly like him but I’ve met a whole lot of people who pretend to be one thing for the world but are something completely different at home.

Life is complicated. Relationships are complicated. But without them, what would we have? Well, we wouldn’t have love songs, Shakespeare, art, movies, religion, babies, war, peace and anything in between. And I wouldn’t have written this book.

So it’s complicated but it’s exactly as it should be.

When faced with the alternative, I’ll take complicated any day.

You can also find Karen on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Please don’t imagine I’m promoting her work because I’m getting paid to do so or because I’m getting a free copy or anything like that. I’m promoting it because any time a friend of mine publishes a book you can be sure I’ll tell everyone. Especially if that friend is as cool as Karen. Hopefully I’ll put up my own review of it in the next few weeks. Watch this space!

Edit: Review Here!

5 thoughts on “It’s Complicated: Short Stories About Long Relationships

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