At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.
Today, the wonderful KJ is here to share a story. Also, KJ is giving away 1 ecopy of Ignis. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.
Take it away, KJ.
Epitome of Kindness
Kindness is so incredibly conditional.
There’s the kindness where a person donates to an animal shelter but not before taking a selfie to post all over social media, like 1980s wallpaper, informing the world of their fabulous generosity; the value of which increases in direct correlation to the number of likes they receive.
It still qualifies as kindness.
Then there’s the kindness that exists when a person tosses a couple of dollars into the hat of the homeless guy who lives on the corner with his dog and the shopping trolley of bagged clothes. Then that kind dollar-tosser meets up with his mates and tells them about his act of kindness and what a good bloke he is and his mates nod seriously and pat him on the back. It’s kindness that requires validation.
It still qualifies as kindness.
There’s the compulsory kindness, like the teacher randomly selecting a child, telling them to be nice to the new kid. Then the child smiles tightly and drags the kid around the school to show them where the toilets are located.
It still qualifies as kindness.
Then there’s the other type of kindness. It doesn’t need advertising, even though the promotion is valid. It doesn’t need a bunch of friends yakking about how great the person is, even though that’s valid, as well. It’s not obligatory; also valid. No. The other type of kindness is altruistic. It is quiet. It comes from a place that is internal, where it is invisible, where the product appears as if by magic.
I’ve experienced all those versions of kindness. I was the off-sider for a friend who wanted a photo next to the sign on the exterior wall of the centre for rescued animals.
I’d felt uncomfortable, and I couldn’t correlate discomfort with kindness.
Another friend donated five dollars to a woman warming the concrete in the space between the adult bookshop and the 7-11. Then proceeded to ask us if we’d witnessed their action, lifting their chin back towards the woman as if making sure of our attention.
My look of disbelief was not well received, and I couldn’t correlate disbelief with kindness.
I was that kid who was dragged about the school by a clearly annoyed peer who flung their arm to each side, like a frustrated tour guide, because they simply wanted to return to their game of handball.
It was embarrassing, and I couldn’t correlate embarrassment with kindness.
Then there’s the kindness that is quiet. It is exists in the background, letting the product of their generosity speak for itself. That kindness is altruism. And it was this type of kindness that I experienced recently. The product was obvious but you’d never know about the kindness that drove its creation. Let me explain.
For my first three novels, I designed the covers myself. Covers are, of course, the first impression for readers on Amazon. A giant version flaunts itself on the book’s purchase page. I had absolutely no idea how to design a book cover. None. I used an image I’d found on a free photo site and then applied the layout suggested by kdp. My designs showcased a rather appalling back cover completely black with size squizzillion font. The cover possessed a pretty dodgy spine which alternated between right or left-facing text depending on the weather. This was the wrap-around paperback version. Most responses vacillated between slow nodding and raised eyebrows and blinking with associated rolled lips. Then, after writing a decent book, that I was quite proud of, I wanted a proper wrap-around. I wanted a paperback that looked a bit more professional even if the text inside wasn’t. So I made an attempt at using kdp’s paperback PDF design template. I figured I could do it. Surely.
During the ensuing two weeks, I swore a lot. A lot. Then I decided to vent on social media because that’s what people do. So I vented on Twitter about how shit my design was for ‘Art of Magic’ and it was just as well I wrote words because graphic design was certainly not my forte. I posted evidence of my shit design skills and people pressed the heart button but were loathe to leave comments.
After a week of me ranting and thrusting those shit designs onto people’s timelines, a wonderfully kind person sent me a direct message. Em had seen my many posts, and eloquently agreed with the assessment of how shit the covers were. She applied the ‘gimme’ emoji, followed by the instructions that I was to send her what I had, and here was her email, and to give her two days, because most importantly, she knew how to wrangle the kdp PDF template.
And in exactly two days, Em sent me a perfectly aligned cover, with exquisite font, and an image which was beyond what I could possibly hope for. It was beautiful, and I was proud to have my words inside that cover.
I’d already wrapped in her a virtual hug of gratitude but I also wanted to shout my thanks via open twitter and anywhere that people read things. But Em didn’t want that. Not at that time. She’d simply wanted to rescue an author who could write reasonably well but couldn’t design herself out of a paperbag.
And that is the epitome of kindness.
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Felicity Davis, principal of Rawson Girls Grammar School, is a passionate educator, an inspirational leader, some say even an ice queen, although she’s not sure about that last one. But one thing Felicity knows is that she is perfectly happy with her life. That is until the trauma, the darkness of her past, comes crashing into her present, revealing a deeply buried secret, and placing Felicity and those she loves in incredible danger. Inspector Tal Diamandis takes on the case, attempting to extinguish the flames of Felicity’s past before they consume her. Matters become complicated as Felicity and Tal realise their mutual spark of attraction but when they finally connect the shocking links, the explosive conclusion will leave everyone reeling.
Can Felicity play with fire or will the fire become an inferno?
A dark, romantic thriller from the author of Coming Home.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Best-selling author KJ lives in Melbourne, Australia with her wife, their son, three cats and a dog.
Her novel, Coming Home, was a Goldie finalist. Her other best-selling novels include Learning To Swim, Kick Back, Art of Magic, and Unexpected Gift: Christmas in Australia.
CONNECT WITH KJ
Thanks so much for stopping by today.