N.A. Nelson: Class of 2k8

This is part of a year-long series about those intrepid newcomers, The Class of 2k8. To help marketing efforts for debut novelists, these 28 novelists have banded together to create a group marketing effort.

Bringing the Boy Home nelson, HarperCollins, July


I’ve always torn things out of magazines. Always. If something grabs me — an article, a picture, a recipe…I tear it out. (That’s actually how I got my dream engagement/wedding ring, but that’s another story entirely.)


In high school, I would hang these grab-me-in-the-gut things in my locker or — as you can see from the picture below — in my bedroom. No big surprise…all teenagers do that, right? We surround ourselves with things that define or inspire us — hunky guys and celebrity babes.

(my surprise sixteenth birthday party!)


In college it was pretty much the same thing. My dorm room was a blank slate just waiting for me to put my stamp on it. So I did: James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Benetton ads and boyfriend pictures (the monkey unfortunately, not the lifeguard). I marked my spot.


Then came life after college. Time to grow up. No more plastic snap-together nightstands. No more bean bags. No more movie posters. And certainly no more magazine tear-outs taped to the walls. Right?


Yep, I still rip pages from newspapers and magazines and I still pin them to my wall. Some of the things up there inspire me. Some serve as reminders. And some I think are just. plain. cool.

I’ll always do this; my whole family does. My children tape up toys they like, my husband prefers photos of snowboarders and surfers launching off mountains and waves. Our dog has a photo of a nice T-bone steak above her food dish. Well, okay, I admit that last part about the dog isn’t true, but if she knew how to use a tape dispenser, it might be.

Anyway, a friend informed me that what we’re doing is similar to the vision boards people make to help them create the life they want to live. I believe it. One thing I pasted up came true. So I took it down and replaced it with something else — an article titled “36 Hours in Seville.” Uh-huh. That’s right; I’ve always wanted to visit Spain and it just so happens that last week, this Seville article showed up in the Sunday New York Times newspaper. So I tore it out and hung it up and well…

…we’ll see. In the meantime, I offer you this challenge in the form of a paraphrased Capital One credit card ad — “What’s on your wall?”

2k8 Stories

Look for these other 2k8 Stories:

March: Jody Feldman
April: Zu Vincent
April: M.P. Barker
May: Sarah Prineas
June: Daphne Grab
July: N.A. Nelson
August: Laurel Snyder
September: Nancy Viau
October: Ellen Booraem
October: P.J. Hoover
October: Courtney Sheinmel