If your reading list includes favorites such as…
Flesh and Blood
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Sarah Berry-O’Cain rated a book really liked it
i got some distance and six months later went back to reread the latest book i wrote. TROUBLE’99. i read the first half on friday and the second half on sunday. i don’t think i would have changed much. i was really happy about the first half. the character development and the plot and the struggle and the setting were all crystal clear. dialogue was good. no typos or obvious grammatical issues. in the second half you saw an intensification of the problems my characters faced, both internal and external pressures mounting: socioeconomic hardships leading to sacrifice of values, addiction, conflict, suffering. a reader hoping for them to see a way out of their dilemma will be disappointed. they struggled to make enough money busking and selling weed to get off the streets. for them this was a great success. Kay freed herself from an unhealthy relationship with Aden. the hardships they all faced together clearly strengthened their friendships.
yes i allowed for a little light to enter the story, but mostly they marinate in their problems. i admit as a stand alone TROUBLE’99 fails. this book is intended to be the first in a series, so there will be a sequel.
my point in writing these somewhat dark tales of hard reality these past several years is to highlight very real social injustices. to give names and faces and make these people real. it’s so easy to walk down any city street in America and ignore a large segment of our population. to recoil and turn away from those faced with addiction and homelessness and great depths of mental illness and trauma. i know many readers read books to escape reality and go somewhere that fills the heart with joy. my books may not always offer that kind of escape. they may take you somewhere you never wanted to go. but if you are looking for an adventure of a different kind, if you are hoping to have your heart stirred with understanding if not compassion for the downtrodden and alienated among us, my work may interest you after all. #katyamills
The Luzhin Defenseby Vladimir Nabokov, Michael Scammell (Translator)
Katya Mills‘s reviewOct 27, 2020 · edit
It took me 9 months to finish this book but that’s not terribly unusual. Anything written by a master like Nabokov can be taken up like a special chocolate your traveling cousin brought you from overseas, kept in the freezer and partaken once in a while for an instant of exceptional flavor. I would only read 5 pages at a sitting and I had other books and magazines vying for attention. Nabokov’s writing style will never disappoint a careful reader, unless perhaps the translation is weak (and you’re not likely to come across that problem if you live in an English, German, or Russian-speaking land, for he lived in many countries and translated his own work). The story revolves around a boy who takes up chess and becomes obsessed by the game, easily chosen over a community of peers who have little to offer and mostly pick on him for his appearance and demeanor. There is an obvious antagonist in Valentinov who takes Luzhin around to coffeehouses in great cities around the world, setting up matches, promoting him widely and checking him into hotels and pulling him by the collar without any heart for how he may feel about his insular life as a budding chess master. Valentinov reminded me of Elvis infamous ‘doctor’ always in recess with his bag full of ‘medication’. Luzhin naturally decompensates under the rigors of traveling and the hyper focused spotlight of competition, performance, and obsession with the game. You could call his nervous breakdown the Luzhin ‘Defense’ as it ultimately acts as a defense mechanism to protect his ego from being swallowed whole in this world. The remainder of the novel is reminiscent of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot (another book I am reading very slowly lol) as both protagonists are half-baked moving about with watchful eyes of worried loved ones. Line by line I certainly wasn’t feeling drawn into the ‘suspense’. This was a character driven book. Clearly not one of Nabokov’s most popular. It is a touching study of what it must feel like to exist inside the mind and heart of a man who was fated to play the part of a pawn on the chess board of life.
are too painful. i dispel
them with ice cream
life has come together in the last decade. to be honest it’s been a long journey. i struggled for years with identity, mental illness, addiction. never stopped writing. working on my 6th book of fiction. my author page is here: https://www.amazon.com/Katya-Mills/e/B00F5DWHGC
Date of publication: May 3, 2020.
Trouble’99 by Katya Mills
available now on amazon.com @
Set in Chicago in 1999, four friends carry their broken hearts into the new century. Busking, drinking to keep warm, couch surfing…amidst a landscape of dot-com era corporate growth and nihilism. Walk alongside them in this cool and captivating story of love and music, heartache, misfortune, and redemption. An honest portrayal of a disaffected generation coming of age, from the mind of Katya Mills, author of Grand Theft Life, Maze, and Girl Without Borders.
Ebook available now.
Paperback coming soon!
imperial pints to touch
shared visions of our future
long stretches behind typewriters
open facing books
fingerprints dusted in
ink backs up against
a kitchen sink
worked into a
if there was snow
there were snowballs
you hit me with one
started a battle
blew into a hundred thousand particles
each little packed explosion tasting
touched by love
winter when i remember
bookstores and books
we bought dropping the change
into hands holding cups like a prayer
soon there would be