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A Colorful Life: An Emotional Journey to Love, Life & India (Sweet Stand-Alones Book 1) by [Melissa Storm]
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A Colorful Life: An Emotional Journey to Love, Life & India (Sweet Stand-Alones Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 117 ratings
Book 1 of 4: Sweet Stand-Alones

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A COLORFUL LIFE is as promised, a colorful read--providing a rich, nuanced portrait of the changing environment and perspective that comes with the territory of falling in love."  from IndieReader

"This book will make you laugh and cry and everything in between." ★★★★★ from Kec200

"Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you feel, that pulls at your heart, and leaves you thinking. And often those books also come along with the question, why did the author just crush me that way? This is one of those books. In a oh so good way." ★★★★★ from Becca

"Melissa Storm writes from the heart and with such wonderful descriptions that I felt I was right there... I could hear the sounds, see the lights, smell the scents of another country. When you close A COLORFUL LIFE after the last page, you will feel like you are walking away from a friend." ★★★★★ from M Knits

"This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I had to find out what was coming next and what would happen next. I loved everything she had to go through to become who she is. This story was amazing and heart wrenching." ★★★★★ from Starwarslover

"What a wonderful book about friendship, adventure, love, family complications, and tragedy... I am so glad I found Melissa Storm's books." ★★★★★ from redfoxy

"If you're looking for your next great read, I highly recommend picking up a copy of A COLORFUL LIFE. Just make sure you have some tissues on hand." ★★★★★ from Jasmine B

"Wow what a story. It is one of love, tragedy, and also hope and new beginnings." ★★★★★ from G Smith

"I honestly can't say enough good things about this book." ★★★★★ from Reading Renee

From the Author

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

Q:  Setting is very important in A Colorful Life. Why did you choose to set part of the book in India? How does the setting of Oxford, Michigan, reflect New Delhi?

A:  Our setting often defines us. Do we belong where we live, or are we hopeless outsiders? Daly and Laine never quite fit into Oxford, yet they call it home. The small community stifles both women. Daly is unable to pursue her dreams, and Laine chooses to settle for good enough as a way of numbing her loss. New Delhi offers a stark contrast. Where Oxford is bland and colorless, Delhi is alive and vibrant. These two cities represent me personally as well. Oxford is where I grew up, but New Delhi is where I truly found myself.

Q:  A Colorful Life features a great deal of symmetry (i.e. Oxford vs. New Delhi, Laine and Daly's relationship at the beginning and end, the missing painting in Daly's room at the beginning and the new painting at the end). What other devices did you use to relay the sense of symmetry? Why did you include so many of them in the novel?

A:  The human experience is fundamentally mundane. Individual lives form patterns and separate lives flow in parallel. The characters in A Colorful Life believe themselves to be quite isolated, yet they have many unacknowledged shared experiences. Daly and Laine have difficulty bridging the gap in their relationship despite their overwhelming similarities. It is their similarities that keep them apart. Plus, life has a way of repeating lessons until they are, at last, learned.

Q:  In traditional fiction, the East, or the unknown, is often represented by the feminine. In this case, the genders are reversed--Daly travels to the east as the civilized Westerner venturing into the unknown. If women represent chaos, what does Daly's position as a Western woman say about the U.S. in A Colorful Life?

A:  Daly has a chaotic soul; we can see it in her when she paints. However, a life of continual disappointment has prompted her to seek comfort in the rigidity of ordinary life. The extreme differences presented by her travel to India allow Daly to acknowledge the core of who she is and effectively release her from this confined normality.

Q:  Who was your favorite character to write in A Colorful Life? Why? Did you base this character off anyone?

A:  I guess most people would expect me to answer Kashi, and then explain how I based him on my (then) husband. He was a joy to write, but Meghann was a surprising favorite as well. In fact, I set out to present a character with unexpected strength. To an outsider, Meghann is the epitome of a life wasted, but as the reader gets to know her, they see how wise she really is. In a lot of ways, Meghann is the hero of the novel. She brings Daly and Laine back together and offers Daly comfort and security both directly, through physical support, and indirectly (as witnessed at the otter exhibit during Daly's first date with Kashi).

Q:  Art is central to Daly's character, just as much as literature is to Laine's. What were some of the reasons and inspirations behind giving Daly artistic talent? Do you feel her art owns her, or she owns her art?

A:  Art is Daly's passion, her life force, the thing that keeps her going when nothing else seems to get the job done. Daly assumes it controls her as mentioned in her allusion to "art as a terrorist" in chapter two. The truth is, she's always in control; art is an easy and natural way for her to acknowledge her emotions. I relate to the creativity and conflict present in Daly's soul. I wanted her to have these traits without modeling her after me and my skill. Daly never felt like a writer to me.

Q:  Other than art, love, and her relationship with Laine, what do you feel were some of Daly's strongest challenges? In comparison, what were some of the greatest obstacles in writing Daly as a character?

A:  Daly had to get out of her own way. She was too afraid to pursue what she wanted for fear of rejection. This holds true in her extended community college experience and the end of her relationship with Rick. It also affects her early encounters with Kashi. Sometimes, it was a struggle to write such an emotionally repressed character. In early drafts, my trusted beta readers questioned whether Daly might have Asperger's Syndrome. The effusive characters like Kashi and Mishti write themselves; it takes far more time and understanding to bring a Daly or a Laine to life.

Q:  A Colorful Life has proven to be an incredibly personal story for you. Not only did you base the character of Kashi off your (then) husband, you also integrated several personal anecdotes and feelings from your travels to India. Although the story was meant to reflect and celebrate your relationship with your husband, the two of you divorced during the final stages of editing this novel. How has all of this affected you, and why did you push forth with publication despite this hardship?

A:  This has been such an emotional journey for me. I often joke that A Colorful Life was my prophetic autobiography. If you read the story and consider the events that followed, the metaphor should be perfectly clear. This is also the first novel I ever wrote. It's the book that taught me how to be a writer. I made all my mistakes and discovered the publishing world with A Colorful Life in hand. By the end, this novel saw more than eleven unique drafts and ended up being my third published novel, despite the fact it was written first. The divorce happened while my literary agent was shopping this novel to publishers, and I knew almost right away I couldn't wait another two to three years to get it out there. Divorce is amazingly difficult, and I had no desire to return to this fictionalized version of my own love-lost story after I put in the hard work to recover and move on. I hurt now; I wanted to publish now. What's a little more pain, I ask?

Product details

  • ASIN : B00UZO4W4G
  • Publisher : Partridge & Pear Press (May 1, 2015)
  • Publication date : May 1, 2015
  • Language : English
  • File size : 2172 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 293 pages
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 117 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
117 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on June 26, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

D Jamieson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 2, 2015
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Reviewed in Australia on August 15, 2015
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Zeinab
4.0 out of 5 stars The message of this book was love. Love is the most precious thing we feel
Reviewed in Canada on June 22, 2015
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Mary
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in Australia on April 2, 2018
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Janet Stewart
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Reviewed in Canada on June 7, 2015
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