Title: Feels Like the First Time
Author: Shawn Inmon
Publisher: Pertime Publishing
Date Published: 9/5/12
We are lucky enough to have Shawn Inmon here with us today, author of the newly published Feels Like the First Time. I am going to turn the reins over to him for a bit and let him tell us some more about how he came to write Feels Like the First Time. Shawn?...
Every Life is a Story
I met Dawn, the love of my life, when she moved into the house next door the year I turned fifteen. She was three years behind me in school, so it took some time to realize that I loved her. For us, friendship came first. We spent hundreds of hours, sitting in the grass between our two houses, laughing, teasing and supporting each other through the trials of being teenagers in small-town America in the 1970s. By the end of my junior year in high school, I knew I loved her, but it took until mid-way through my senior year before I let her in on the secret.
One short year later, we had made a lifetime commitment to each other, but had also been banned from seeing each other by her parents. I said good-bye to Dawn, I thought forever, on Valentine’s Day 1979. Although I never stopped loving her, I didn’t see her again until December 1st, 2006. When I did run into her again, completely by accident, it shook my world to its foundations.
After these events transpired, I began to realize that it was a story, and I wrote my book Feels Like the First Time. Now, after writing and publishing my own story, I have talked to dozens of people who said they related to our story of first love and lost love. Through these conversations, I have realized that every life is a story. Some are romances, some are action-adventure stories, and at least a few are comedies, but every life has a story arc.
With the changes in publishing over the last decade, telling that story has never been easier. When I first started writing Feels Like the First Time in 2006, I was intent on going to traditional publishing route – looking for an agent and trying to “sell” my story to a publishing house. By the time I finished it, I decided not to send out even a single query letter. The idea of being my own publisher had become too appealing to think of turning my own life story over to a stranger.
It was a steep learning curve for me, but I enjoyed every step in learning about editing, proofreading, cover design and interior book layout. It’s possible to do these things yourself, or you can hire professionals to do it for you. Before you get to that step though, you’ve got to write. And then write some more, and still more. Because I was an inexperienced writer, I wrote over two dozen drafts of Feels Like the First Time before I was ready to hire an editor to look at it.
I also recommend a thick skin. When I turned in the first draft of my story, it was over 100,000 words. When I hit “publish” five months later, it was 66,000 words. And that was after I’d already done dozens of revision on my own. Through the editing process, I kept a single mantra in the forefront of my brain: Whatever makes the book better. When you’re writing about your own life, it’s tough, but it’s good to get as much ego out of the way as you can.
Until you’ve done it the first time, the idea of sitting down and writing a book can be intimidating. That’s why I don’t recommend that. Instead, try just recreating various memories from your life, and telling them as stories. Write about your first kiss, or your first car, or when you lost someone close to you. Eventually, you may see a pattern emerging in those stories and a book might be in there, begging to be let out. Feels Like the First Time started as a series of emails between my oldest sister and I. It wasn’t until we had been exchanging those emails for two years that either of us realized it was a book.
Everyone has a story to tell, and it’s never been easier to share your story with the rest of the world.
Sounds like something we can all relate to, doesn't it? Thanks so much for your time Shawn and sharing your story with us! Now here is a little more on Shawn...
Shawn Inmon is originally from Mossyrock Washington, where his first book Feels Like the First Time is set. He has been a real estate broker in Enumclaw Washington for the last twenty years. Prior to that, he worked as a short-order cook, traveling T-shirt salesman, radio DJ, Cutco Cutlery sales rep, department store buyer, video store manager, crab fisherman, Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman, business consultant, public speaker and even and member of KISS II, The Original KISS Tribute band. He is married to his high school sweetheart Dawn and has five daughters, five grandchildren and two chocolate labs named Hershey and Sadie.
I have been lucky enough to read Shawn's book, Feels Like the First Time and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
My Review: 5 Stars, 1 Flame
I am all for the concept of Soul mates. Really I am. It's just that most of the time, I find they only exist in the books I so love to read. Feels Like the First Time would be one of those books, except for one thing...it is a true story. This love story puts some of the fictional ones to shame too. You sure would not know that Shawn is a debuting writer - the characters are that good. I wanted to laugh when they did and cry when they did and could not wait to see what happened. Fact: I love this book!
The Good: I love that Shawn and Dawn met and fell in love in the 70s, making us contemporaries. As the story tells, for many reasons, forces beyond their control caused them to end up apart and the readers wondering where our happy ending was. Shawn does a tremendous job of retelling the events without them seeming forced or rehearsed. It was easy for me to be in love with their love.
The Bad: The trips down memory lane were good but sometimes a bit too long for my taste. They were in keeping with the storyline though so not terribly out of place. I loved growing up in the '70s and '80s but I have little need to relive them...they were just a weird time in history. Heartbreak aside (you know how I hate it;), really no complaints.
The Snuggly: This is a sweet and snuggly romance. Nothing you would be embarrassed about your teen picking up...or even your Mom.;)
Final Thoughts: This book was engrossing...once I started, I did not want to put it down and that is always a good thing to me. The author shares their story in a very intimate, personal manner, making you feel like a fly on the wall or mouse in their pocket. It almost makes you feel like you are reading their personal journal entries. I think some of that was because it was a man telling the love story instead of a woman, like I usually would read. It helped to make it genuine and I was sold on it 100%. This book is good for the soul, proving that second chances can and do happen and that true love can conquer all! Well done Shawn and best of everything to both you and Dawn!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased personal opinions . The opinions I have expressed are strictly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."