Book club questions: If You Have to Ask

Last week I was delighted to discuss (actually, listen to others discuss) If You Have to Ask, as the featured author at a local book club. While it was invigorating to hear smart, thoughtful women discuss the characters and their (often not-so-smart) choices, it was also nerve-wracking. It takes a solid stomach to put your work out there, as most authors and artists agree. Luckily someone brought some pinot.

Here are the questions we discussed, below. I was also asked if the book is autobiographical. The short answer is no (which is ultimately the long answer, too). But of course, all writers borrow from life. Trying to parse that is a losing battle though.

Warning! There are a couple spoilers here…

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Chick lit is for dudes, too

I know, I know, tracking your reviews isn’t healthy. Still. This afternoon I discovered a new review for my coming of age novel, If You Have to Ask. It brought me nutty delight. As in, so much delight that I’m going nuts. Don’t read it if you’re allergic. Do read it if you have nuts.
5.0 out of 5 stars Chick lit that even the dudeliest dude can enjoy
September 14, 2014
This review is from: If You Have to Ask (Paperback)

Let me preface this by saying–I am a dude.Not only that, but I am the sort of dude who normally never reads this genre. This is “chick lit” at its very chickiest. I am totally not the target audience for this. But that being said…I loved it!Kells is truly a skilled writer. The prose itself is beautiful, a treat to read on its own merit. The metanarrative of the story, as well, is finely crafted. A real master-planned story with a very nice arc to it, developing several themes with poise and dexterity. Very real, flesh-and-blood characters in here. Even for me–the most dudeliest of dudes–the main character was extremely relatable. I can easily see this story being made into a movie someday, and all I ask of Providence is that when the time comes, the lead role gets cast by someone hot, because there are some very sexy sexytimes in the novel.I feel I should add in a helpful comment for my fellow bros out there, as this book may come in handy for you all someday. Ladies, if you’re still reading, I’d kindly ask you to stop here.


Heads up, brochacho–this book will give you an eye-opening glimpse into the mind of a woman, like few books out there ever will.

Can you imagine if the U.S. had ever gotten hold of a military strategic manual from the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War? Or vice versa? That is exactly what reading the internal monologue of the main character is like for us bros. If you ever wondered what went on inside the inscrutable mind of the fairer sex–what she’s thinking on that first date, what she daydreams about between your phone calls, why she suddenly got all quiet after you took her out to a four-course dinner at KFC–this book is for you.

Seriously though, and I say this without any sarcasm, it really is a fascinating look into a female perspective. Any fellow dudes who are interesting in understanding their mates a bit better and maybe, just maybe, becoming slightly less dense as men, this book is for you.

Muchas Gracias, Señor Khui! Order now to eat with your fried chicken.

Goodreads giveaway! Enter now to win a free, signed copy


Your very own copy via snail mail!

If You Have to Ask is currently on Goodreads as a giveaway! Hooray for free!

Enter now to win.

There will be 10 lucky winners. If one of them is you, I’ll mail a signed copy to your house. Or business. Or wherever you want. As long as it’s in the US, Canada, UK or Australia. I won’t mail to space, even though it would be super awesome if someone (or something) in space read my book.

The contest runs through June 15. Tell your friends! Then maybe we can have a book club together.


Book release party! If You Have to Ask is out in the world!

You’re invited to a book release party for If You Have to Ask, which is now available! Hooray!


No, that’s not true. I’ve always been optimistic and committed. But still, it’s exciting to have it be for reals really real. I hope you can join me to toast an indie accomplishment. And by indie I mean indie published, but community supported. It wouldn’t be here, existing on the interwebs, if it weren’t for many collaborators and supporters. Thank you.

CroquetParty details

Sunday, June 1, 3-6pm; Contact me for location

What to expect: Cocktails, snacks and print books for sale. I can autograph them if you like. We’ll set up croquet, too.

Can’t make it? Your support matters! Please consider reading the book and sharing your review online and with friends. Bonus! I’m giving away 10 free copies on Goodreads.

Thank you, friends

If this is in any order, it’s chronological:

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