Hey there, friends. Welcome to the weekend! It’s a great day today, as I’m hosting my writer buddy Kelly Cain. Kelly’s debut novel, Altered, was published on February 2.
Altered is a multi-cultural, new adult romance set in large part at a Houston, Texas law school. As someone who has spent the majority of my non-writing career in the legal profession, I was intrigued with the chance to get a “behind the scenes” look at life of law school students.
Today, Kelly has graciously agreed to stop by and give us her take on the time she spent in law school and how it influenced Altered. So, take it away, Kelly!
Most of my novel is completely fiction however there are fictionalized accounts of actual people, places, or events. This especially relates to the setting: a law school in downtown Houston.
Many years ago, I attended South Texas College of Law for about a year and a half. I made quite a few friends and participated in a study group here and there – nothing like the group Liv has in Altered. I also met a young man, eighteen or nineteen, who had just graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in chemical engineering. Unlike Liv, I didn’t badger him to find out how he’d managed to earn his undergraduate degree at such a young age and then get into law school. We were friends at school, but didn’t spend any significant time together away from campus. He was an extremely nice person and I would imagine some of Nicholas’s sweetness was inspired by this exceptional student and friend.
I became closest to two women, one from the Dallas area and the other from Mississippi. We rarely studied together, but we did share notes occasionally and hung out quite a bit. When we finished our first semester finals, we went to a sandwich place with alcohol just like Liv and her crew do in Altered. It was a blast and a perfect environment to relax and let our collective hair down.
I frequented “The Park” which was called The Park back then, but not anymore. It’s a cool place to shop downtown and has a typical mall food court. It was cheap and more importantly, easy – which is essential for downtown commuters. Once you finally find a parking spot, you definitely don’t want to give it up.
During the months that weren’t too hot, instead of driving, I actually rode my bike to school – just like Nicholas usually does in Altered. I have Liv leasing the same townhouse I lived in while in both undergrad and law school, which is only a couple of miles from downtown. Nicholas lives near her so riding his bike each day isn’t at all odd.
When we first meet Liv and her study group, they’re getting something to eat in the cafeteria in school. Liv grabs a coffee and an oatmeal cookie. Oh my gosh, these oatmeal cookies were everything and I had to include them in the story. Yes, they were that good.
During the second semester of school, there is a moot appeal event where two students are paired to go against one another on a case in the school’s courtroom. This, more than anything else, stood out in my memories, and the preparation leading up to it is captured in Altered realistically. Of course, what happens during their moot court is completely fictional.
Nicholas had every intention of going through his three years of law school completely solo. Luckily for him, Liv changed that. Although he was entirely capable, everyone really should have someone to navigate a professional school with. I tried it Nicholas’s way and was not at all successful. Quite the opposite actually. I transferred some of my circumstances onto Liv, but I made sure her decision making was much better than mine. She goes through a difficult breakup, but she never loses sight of her end career goal. Nicholas helps some with that, but at times, even situations with him could have distracted her to the point of allowing failure to creep in.
Writing about my time in law school was freeing. I was able to provide a successful path for Liv that I could have had if I’d been more focused. I still have a love of the law, but now I’m happy to confine my passion to the pages of my books.
Too cool, Kelly. Thanks for that peek behind the curtain. I’ve read Altered and enjoyed it. If you want to check out my review, you can read it here: Review of Kelly Cain’s Altered
And here’s the blurb:
At first, I saw him as everyone else did.
But then, I saw him for who he really was.
Recognized the beauty beneath the pain.
Loved the quirks disguising the insecurity.
Embraced the man who hid behind the boy.
But there was so much more…
More I didn’t know.
And once I did, I couldn’t let
Of the boy.
…even if his past is threatening
Nothing will alter what we’ve built.
You can find Altered at the following booksellers.
Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/z46pxjt
iBooks – http://tinyurl.com/qd3ex49
Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/hgr3nsj
Kelly Cain is a multicultural new adult and contemporary romance novelist. After many years of being entrenched in business and data analysis, she began writing a couple of years ago and discovered it to be her passion. She loves reading most genres, but historical fiction and new adult are her favorites. She has two adult daughters, and is from Stockton, California, but now lives in a suburb of Houston, Texas.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, may every shot you take catch nothing but net!