Every once in a while a writer comes along that demands we take notice; one that avails just the right meter, tempo, and rhythm; one that can engulf us in a story and keep us glued throughout 200 pages; one that offers a style sure to be emulated by his aspiring peers, both of his generation and generations to come.
Nelson Pahl is just that writer.
With simultaneous debut releases, entitled Bee Balms & Burgundy and Two for Tuesday, Pahl flexes a literary muscle short in supply today—one that whispers, “legend in the making.”
Although the hardcover version of Bee Balms & Burgundy won’t hit stores until March, I had the pleasure of reading the pre-release, limited edition eBook version, which is available at www.NelsonPahl.com and www.IndieMill.com. There, you can even read a sample chapter, to whet your appetite.
Bee Balms & Burgundy is a charming story of latent lifelong love and the quest to conquer all that stands in its way. Nick May is a successful thirty-two-year-old entrepreneur living in Vancouver. He breaks off an explosive, distrusting eleven-month live-in relationship just before he travels home to St. Paul to see his widowed mother. The relationship leaves him cynical about love, to say the least. Once in St. Paul, he discovers next-door neighbor and lifelong pal Mia Lawson, 30, has a couple secrets she’s been dying to share with him. One, unbeknownst to Nick, is that she’s now a post-mastectomy breast cancer survivor, still hoping to conquer her disease. The second secret levels Nick even more.
Pahl not only delves into the oft-taboo topic of breast cancer with literary vigor, but he also revels in it, astutely capturing the female emotions attached to such a dreadful experience. The chemistry between his two main characters borders on the divine, as we ride along upon an always charming but sometimes heartbreaking chariot through Nicky and Mia’s sensual and ethereal yet trying world.
While Indie Nation Magazine bills the book as “…the best love story you’ll read this year,” I beg to differ, slightly; I’ll argue that it might be the best love story you ever read. Bee Balms courageously delves into a subject today’s “socially conscious” novelists won’t go near, and it treats the topic with grace, dignity, depth, and, yes, even endearing sensuality.
Pahl is a wonderful example of why some of America’s best writers now insist on writing for independent presses: A major publishing house would only shackle his rich and witty writing style and subdue his “outside-the-box” storytelling.
Yet, Pahl’s strict and uncommon literary discipline—along with his hand for sensuous descriptive writing and well-crafted dialogue—make him one of the very best writers in today’s fiction scene, indie lit or mainstream. His concise and fluid prose grip the reader from the onset, and then move him or her through the story with liberating ease and optimum intrigue. Through his articulate and warm first-person narrative, we see, feel, hear, smell, and taste everything; we live inside his fictional world; we are the characters.
Nelson Pahl’s writing style single-handedly restores my faith in today’s literature. Consider Bee Balms & Burgundy an essential inclusion to any A-list catalogue.
And, do yourself a favor: Say you read him before the world knew about him—or, before he wins a Pulitzer.