My First Book

My first book, Facets, is a collection of nine short stories. None of these stories was written with publication in mind, nor were they meant to be my first book. Originally, I intended to publish a novel I’ve been working on for quite some time. My yet to be published novel is fictional, but is drawn from many of my own personal experiences, which, of course, is where most writers get their ideas; however, I am hoping that readers will find it unique and maybe even surprising. But that tale, I will leave for another day.

I wrote these nine stories during periods of writer’s block. While writing my novel, I’d find myself (all too frequently) buried in that tar pit of inertia that prevents writers from moving forward. During one of these (rather prolonged) periods of inertia, a good friend and colleague suggested that I unstick myself and find some new energy by writing something completely different. I sat down before my computer, gave myself four hours during which time I had to begin, develop and conclude an entire story, without going back to edit or re-write or even spell check. It worked! And thus, the short story “Dear Diary” was the first born out of this exercise. I was able to return to my novel with renewed vigor. And, so began what I have named my “Pile O’ Stories.”

Pile O’ Stories

Fortunately, I found myself visiting that old tar pit fairly often. And with each visit, a new story came to life. My Pile O’ Stories soon grew in stature and volume, until it could no longer be ignored. I began to read the stories now and again and share them with friends. I’d tweak them bit by bit and slowly my interest grew, until I finally decided that they needed a home in a book of their own. The problem was, they were like a zoo of animals-their only common aspect was that they were all stories, but they didn’t all fit nicely into a particular genre. Some were dark and scary, like those in the reptile house. Others were light and whimsical, like those in the petting garden. In other words, my tales were as diverse as the metaphors in this post. I was forced to name the book Facets because it was the only term I could think of that could unite my diverse assortment of tales.

Book photo from Jane

Each story takes the reader on a journey: across the desolate plains of the Midwest; to a small village in the South of France; beside a pond in the English countryside; along the paths in a park in Chicago; atop a remote mountain by a river; and, inside a lonely bus stop in the backwoods of Louisiana.

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A Few Quotes

And, each story holds truth. Sometimes it’s a phrase that holds the truth: “Is there enough forgiveness in this world?” – or, in the words of G. Abbott, “Life is what we do between tragedies.” Sometimes it’s expressed in a feeling: “I’m assaulted by both kindness and by anger and I’m ill-equipped too often to tell the difference.” Sometimes it is described in an image: “Her face would light up, her eyes would sparkle and she’d flash a brilliant smile revealing her crooked teeth, stained by age and framed by lips painted on her old mouth with pink lipstick.”

I folded these truths into my tales to reflect the many facets of life and I hope they are entertaining and I invite you, the reader, to follow the journeys of the characters as they encounter different perspectives, about the facets of experience.



Suspenseful and Touching Stories
This book is full of diverse short stories that really touched me in their messages and captivated me with their plots. They are organized in such a way as to build suspense and then come to an ending with very sweet and romantic stories. I think it would be fun to re-read the stories, as I know I must have missed some of the details of the characters and their actions. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
– MB in LA

A Varied Landscape of Emotions and Dramas
Allen is remarkable in the way she can lead her reader through a varied landscape of emotions and dramas with such a different voice: Sometimes it is soft and gentle, at others edged with a gritty realism, and then again with humor. Whatever voice she chooses, truth rings through each time.
– C. Griffiths, Journalist

Something for Everyone
These stories speak to me with authenticity and a welcome lightness and levity and occasional darkness.
– Paul W. Bates

Short Stories by Inspiring Author
This collection of interesting short stories covers quite a range from sweet and charming to dark and scary. They are set in three different counties and even in different eras. This is the debut work of a very inspiring author.
– Margo Lestz

Facets is a Gem of a Book.
Charming and delightful.
– Daryl K