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Self-help books are popular, and I guess it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Life is complicated. It’s also short. People want to know how to create the life they want for themselves without wasting too much time. When left to our own devices, we take detours in life that may turn out to be dead ends. We spend time worrying about the wrong things. We change our minds about what we want out of life, sometimes because our previous dreams weren’t all we thought they would be. Humans have messy lives, and we want to minimize stress. We think we’ll be happier overall if we have some kind of direction from someone who knows more than we do. We look to charismatic experts to give us easy answers.
When I sat down to write the Self-Help 101 series, I asked myself what qualified these self-help book authors to offer advice in the first place. How many of them would we actually consider to be experts in the area they claim to be an expert in? After all, if you’re a skilled writer or speaker, and you exude the right amount of confidence, you can convince people that you know more than you do. There are certainly people out there who take advantage of this fact and try to make a quick buck off of unwitting people.
When Dani sets out to write a self-help book at the beginning of Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family, she wants to make money. Though she doesn’t have any experience in world domination, she isn’t going to let that little detail stop her. However, does she have any other motivations other than the money?
Writing is an interesting process. Writers often learn about their world and their place within it through writing about it. We struggle with ideas and events when we write about them. Dani may not actually be making all that much money with her endeavors, but she keeps writing because she loves doing it. Her life is changing rapidly. She’s fallen in love. When Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury starts, she’s finished high school. She’s trying to come to grips with how her relationship with her parents has shifted since she’s now a legal adult. She’s both apprehensive and excited about starting college and all the changes that new adventure will bring. Writing is one way she uses to make sense of the changes in her life.
Will Dani’s self-help books be useful to anyone else? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing is clear. These self-help books do help her. Writing them is therapeutic. Not only does she get a chance to vent about the things that plague her, she also gets the chance to highlight the humor in her daily life. Who wouldn’t benefit from that?
Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury
Author: L.G. Keltner
Length: 25,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Book 2 in the Self-Help 101 series
Dani Finklemeier has self-published her guide to taking over the world, but she still isn’t rich. Now she’s eighteen, still babysitting for money, and looking forward to starting college in the fall.
Of course, she has to survive a 4th of July outing with her family first. That’s a challenging prospect considering she has to be in close proximity with a group of cousins known as The Fallible Four. As if that weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the fallout of her parents learning more about her relationship with her boyfriend Seth than she ever wanted them to know.
The good news is that, if she survives this holiday, she’ll have plenty of material for another self-help book.
L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband. Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six. Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.
Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.
You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.
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