Dr. Kimberly Young
Dr. Kimberly Young is a psychologist and an internationally known expert on Internet addiction and online behavior. Dr. Young founded the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in 1995 (site at Netaddiction.com) and is a nationally-known speaker on the impact of the Internet. Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, CNN, CBS News, Fox News, Good Morning America, and ABC's World News Tonight. She has received several awards for her research such as the Psychology in the Media Award from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Alumni Ambassador Award for Outstanding Achievement from Indiana University at Pennsylvania. She is an expert on Addicted.com and GoodTherapy.org. She has served as an expert on the Child Online Protection Act Congressional Commission and serves on the editorial board of CyberPsychology & Behavior, the American Journal of Family Therapy, and the International Journal of Cyber Crime and Criminal Justice. She has dabbled in creative writing since she was eight-years-old. THE EIGHTH WONDER is her first novel. To learn more visit her blog at KimberlyYoung.net or on her research at Netaddiction.com
From the author (via Amazon)
I started writing The Eighth Wonder while I was recovering from retina re-attachment surgery. This was very serious. I had surgery in both eyes. I was homebound for several months and the surgeon was not sure if I would see again out of my left eye. All he could say was that it was "in God's hands now". I was scared. I made an entire career from reading and writing, so the idea of potentially being blind was difficult for me. During my recovery, I could not drive, bend, or even poop too hard for fear of my retinas becoming dislodged. I felt pain in my eyes, something I had never experienced, both were full of blood and I looked like I was punched in the face several times. I felt embarrassed for anyone to see me.
The first weeks of recovery, I laid on the couch thinking about my life. During those reflections, I remembered how lost I felt when I first moved to Bradford after graduating with my doctorate in clinical psychology. I had moved to Bradford to be near my father who was dying of cancer. Like Nicole, my dad was the only anchor in my life. It was very life-changing when he died. It was only a few weeks before I was diagnosed with retina detachments and had my surgery, so the experience was still fresh in my mind. This began the journey into Nicole's character. I started making notes, some by hand and some on the computer. My surgeon said that using my eyes was good -- they were muscles in need of exercise is how he put it. I had long hours alone after my husband went to work so writing gave me something to do. It took my mind off my eyes.
As I wrote more about Nicole, a story popped out, and four months later I had the novel written. It was written in first person, focusing on Nicole. I sent the manuscript out to several agents. Several rejections later, I started to re-examine the novel. I realized that I had not talked about Tom. For him, a devoted family man, I needed to dig into his character much deeper than I had. He was the one making harder choices after all. I remember that the more I wrote about Tom, the more I reflected how different it was to fall in love at mid-life. A pivotal moment in the novel comes when Tom says "falling in love at this age is much deeper". It is fairly easy to fall in love when we in our 20s with our lives ahead of us. It is a different experience in our 40s or 50s (or beyond). After our expectations for relationships have evolved, falling in love takes on an entirely different meaning. Writing became my therapy during a difficult time in my life, I enjoyed writing the novel. I did not know how much it was impact me personally unlike anything I have written before. I only hope that others enjoy reading it!
If I were to be honest with myself, I would have to admit that when I first began the book, I was not at all intrigue. I even thought that this was going to be a s-l-o-w read. I quickly had to rethink my position, because the more I read, the more I couldn't put the book down. As the story unfolded, so did the wonder of life and all of the tricks that it plays on us.
The Eighth Wonder is a quiet love story between a lonely woman (Nicole) searching for a place to belong and a heartbroken man (Tom) looking to feel alive after his young daughter's death. The Kinzua Bridge in Bradford, Pennsylvania plays a pivotal part in the story and the author included the fascinating history of the bridge in the book. It was this bridge, after seeing it on both the cover of the book, and in the author's photo, that kept coming to mind as I read the book.
This book is a story about life, love, loss, heartbreak, and moving forward. How we sometimes sleepwalk through life focused on superficial goals rather than out hearts desire; and how we sometimes find love and comfort in the most unlikeliness of places.
The characters were well developed and the story line was unique. I found no errors and when you finish the very last word on the very last page, you feel as though life has completed its circle.
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