Welcome to our monthly Indie Author Spotlight! This is a feature posted on the last Friday of the month, where we be spotlight an independent/self-published author and their book. Giving an indie author a chance can be like rolling the dice, but then you have those moments when you discover an amazing book and you just can’t shut up about it. So, here at Reviews In A Pinch we wanted to do something that could help both the authors and readers.
Every month, you’ll be able to read a new book’s synopsis, learn a little more about the author and even read through an excerpt from the book. If you’re interested in reading more and supporting that month’s Indie Author, there will be purchase links for Amazon and Barnes & Noble after the excerpt.
This month we’ll be learning a little more about Lisa Orban and her debut novel, It’ll Feel Better When It Quits Hurting. See more below:
It’ll Feel Better When It Quits Hurting by Lisa Orban
- Published: September 30, 2015
Many years ago my friends and I would sit around and play what we called “Jerry Springer: the Home Game”. The object of the game was to see how many upcoming shows we qualified for, with the story to support our claim, and whoever had the most at the end of the program won. I was the reigning champion.
This book started off as just a lighthearted collection of antidotes, stories shared with friends over the years to both the horror and delight of my audience. But as I began to write I realized that the humor of my life comes not from the light moments, but the dark, and without those moments being included much of the humor would be lost without that context.
This book is a bit darker than I initially intended, but I hope that while reading this I can make you smile, even on occasion laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of the situations I have found myself in over the years, and that you, like me, can find the humor in all the dark places.
I do not believe I have any wisdom to share in this telling, nor is it even an inspirational tale of achievement by overcoming adversity, it is simply my life that I have survived. For better or worse, this is the mostly true, fairly accurate, and almost completely factual account of my life. Some liberties have been taken to protect the somewhat innocent and a few small embellishments were made for the sake of a good story.
About the Author:
Lisa Orban was born in Galesburg, IL in 1969. She was moved by her parents (without even asking!) to Quincy as a small child. Bouncing from parent to parent, and house to house until at 16 she was given a broader tour of the state courtesy of foster care.
At 18, she voluntarily left for Phoenix with a high school friend where she lived for three years. After returning to Quincy, she went to college and earned an Associates of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Art. Over the years she has held many jobs, but never quite found the right one. She has written poetry and short stories on a variety of subjects from raising children to finance for online publication. Finally in 2013, after much urging from her friends for years, she sat down one day and started writing about her life.
She is the mother of five children, all grown and gone, except her youngest. Which she is sure is trying to drive her mad (as all teenagers do) and has plans to write another book in the future about their childhood, much to their anticipated dismay.
She currently lives in her hometown, in the house she loves, and at the center of the chaos she enjoys so much. Often surrounded by her children, her loves, friends and the strays (both two legged and four) she takes in. She continues to seek out new adventures, misadventures and new mistakes to fill the pages of her next book, laughing as she goes.
Excerpt: Marcus O’Realious
To the screeching of tires and the clatter of rolling trash cans, my friend LeeAnn and I were awakened in the middle of the night, followed by the final thump of car doors slamming outside the trailer. With the engine noise now quiet, we could more clearly hear the sounds of laughter and slurred shouts outside my bedroom door, announcing to all within earshot, my mother was home. With company.
Soon, the trailer was filled with loud conversation and my mother’s piano playing. From the noise level, the remains of the bar crowd must have followed her home. And with the party in full swing, they seemed more than willing to go until dawn. Since this was not an unusual occurrence in my life, and both of us were used to it, LeeAnn and I fell back asleep not long after the festivities began.
Shouting suddenly echoed through the trailer pulled us once again from sleep. I heard over the din of revelry my mother’s voice raised in protest, “No! No! Not in there! The toilet’s broken!” My brother had earlier in the week flushed a toothbrush down the toilet, after filling it with food to, “feed the fishes.”
Random crashing noises, more clearly heard as movement brought whoever closer to the front of the house. Once again, my Mother’s voice raised above the crowd, decrying, “No! No! Not there! There’s dishes in the sink!” Pitiful moaning could now clearly be heard as my mother shouted, “In there! In my daughter’s room,” a pause, then, “There’s a second bathroom in there.”
As my door slammed open, bouncing against the wall to shut on its own behind a shadowy figure barely visible in the low light of my room. In a mad dash, running into the bathroom, little could be seen of this poor soul, who had obviously had too much to drink. Then the bathroom door shut, closing him off from further view. My friend and I talked for a bit about the stranger in the bathroom but quickly lost interest when we heard nothing but silence, and after awhile, drifted back to sleep.
Some dark time later a vague sensation pulled me awake once more. Not loud noises this time. The sounds of the party had long since died down, when movement at the end of my bed caught my eye.
There stood a naked, youngish looking man doing calisthenics, completely oblivious to anything else around him. I quietly nudged my friend awake, and together we watched his antics with barely contained amusement, wondering what he would do next. When he began doing jumping jacks, the silence that had prevailed while watching him, quickly fell to our howls of unconstrained laughter. His naked bouncing was too much for us to remain silent anymore.
With a grunt and trip, he fell to the floor. Our presence had, seemingly, gone unnoticed by him until that moment. And, by his reaction, I do believe we had scared him much more than his presence had us.
Our drunk, naked friend quickly rallied and recovered from his shock as he stood back up and resumed his exercise routine. Toe-touches this time. Our presence, once again, forgotten.
After watching him for a few minutes I decided some questions were in need of asking. Because as fascinating as this was, it was the middle of the night, and I was, to be truthful, tired. During a pause between repetitions I asked, “Who are you?”
With a start he stopped, falling forward this time in his surprise, landing between me and LeeAnn. After several minutes of wiggling and a bit of prompting from us, he eventually replied, uncertainly, “Marcus?”
“Marcus what,” I inquired.
Gaining some confidence in his answers, he stated, “Marcus O’Realious Tired,” with a big smile and a nod of confirmation for his efforts.
Hmm, now this was an interesting response that definitely required additional questioning. “How did you get here Marcus O’Realious?”
After a few pokes to wake him back up again, his response once again amused “I took the frog express, but I’m planning on hopping back in the morning,” closing his eyes to the world once more.
LeeAnn and I discussed our options at this point over the soft sounds of Marcus’s snoring. We could ignore him and go back to sleep or we could wake him up and question him further to see what else he could have to say. I could, in theory, go find my mother and ask her to take the strange, naked man out of my bed, or my friend and I could relocate to the couch and sleep there for the rest of the night.
The two of us sleeping on the couch had no appeal. It was small and uncomfortable. Marcus was laying on my only blanket, and there weren’t any others in the house within range of reasonable acquisition. Not to mention, there had been a party not that long ago out there, and the realm of possibilities that we could walk into was infinite. Who knew how many other strangers also slept outside the walls of my room?
Finding my mother had no appeal. I had no idea what state I would find her in, or even if she could be woken up if she had passed out. It would also require us to traverse the unknown territory of the now darkened trailer, something neither of us found the least bit appealing.
Ignoring him and going back to sleep seemed like a wasted opportunity for someone who had answered questions so wonderfully randomly. Besides, how often does a man just drop naked into your bed? To stay awake and annoy, we decided, would be our course of action for what remained of our night.
Before awakening him again, we felt that first we probably should cover poor, shivering Marcus up with something. There was something mildly disconcerting about watching the moonlight reflect off his bare ass as he moved about. Taking the top cover in hand, we folded him into it like a burrito, and then added a few stuffed animals for company and our own personal amusement.
Waking him was not as easy as we had hoped. The snoring by this time was quite loud and pronounced, but dedicated to our course of action, we continued valiantly on.
until the snoring ceased and the complaining, in almost English, began.
As consciousness returned, he gave a mild struggle against the burrito covering. But, after a few feeble attempts at freedom, he quickly subsided in defeat, settling into resigned compliance. Both of us were quite pleased with that. It alleviated the possibility of any more midnight calisthenics. Or sudden, random actions while he was in our presence.
Now we could begin our favorite guessing game, 20 questions…
“Where’d you come from Marcus?” we asked.
“How did you end up here?”
“In a car,” squirming, once more.
“Who’s car?” we asked.
“Somebody’s.” came the reply. “Can I please go back to sleep now,” he pleaded to the two of us.
We briefly mulled over his request. We weren’t actually getting anywhere with our questioning, and most of what he had said to us had to be lies. He seemed to earnestly believe he was a frog named Marcus, had come from out of state and was completely oblivious as to how he had arrived naked in my bed. But his answers were funny, and it was my bed after all that he had so rudely crashed onto. So, rejecting his heartfelt request, we continued on.
Throughout the night we talked to him, questioned him and, on occasion, poked at him if he began to drift off back to sleep. We never really did find out a whole lot more. He was vague on details such as age (young), occupation (frog) or even as to why he had been standing naked at the end of my bed exercising (excessive alcohol intake). But, the answers were for the most part amusing, even if they were lies and fabrications derived from an alcohol soaked brain.
Towards dawn our attention began to wane in our torment of poor Marcus, and we left the poor bastard alone to get some sleep. Crawling over Marcus to get out of bed, an activity he barely noticed, we headed out to inspect the state of the rest of the trailer and to see if we could find anyone else interesting.
Cautiously, we opened my door and peered out where the remains of the party could be seen scattered here and there. The early morning light sparkled on full ashtrays and empty bottles, but no other movement could be detected. With cautious steps, we slipped through the door into the living room to the sounds of silence, as loud, in its own way, as the party in full swing had been the night before.
Coffee, we agreed, was needed now. At some point we assumed others would emerge from whatever location they had crawled to in the night and coffee would be good. We set up the coffee pot and while it brewed we began to gather up the party leftovers, depositing them in the trash. We cleaned up spills of alcohol; wayward cigarettes butts that had escaped the ashtrays, and began a small pile of lost & found items that were placed beside the door. Hopefully, to be reclaimed by their rightful owners at some later time.
An illustration from It’ll Feel Better When It Quits Hurting
By the time the coffee was done, order had been restored and little evidence remained of the invasion. Looking around in satisfaction, we poured ourselves a cup, and settled in on the couch to wait and see who might appear.
We didn’t have a long wait before footsteps from the back of the trailer could be heard, with the occasional soft bump of unsteady movement against the wall, allowing us to follow their progress through the trailer. There was a pause before my sister’s room, and we heard the door swing open. She was gone for the weekend and, in theory, that room should have been empty. But, any number of fallen drunks could have been left in there to sleep off the nights excesses. After a brief pause, the unsteady sounds continued onwards towards the kitchen. As my mother emerged from the hallway, blinking like a mole at first light, she was followed by a new friend she had made the night before, looking this way and that in confusion.
“Good morning Mom, there’s coffee.” I said brightly to her, pointing towards the coffee pot.
“Where’s Marvin?” she asked, continuing to look around in confusion, as if unsure of where she was or even why she was there.
“Marvin?” I asked, beginning to suspect that the Marcus in my bed was the Marvin she was looking for.
“Yes, Marvin. He was here last night, have you seen him this morning?” beginning to look a bit concerned, and so was her new friend.
“Oh, you mean the one who was throwing up last night?” I asked, waving in the general direction of my bedroom and replied “He’s passed out in there”.
At this point my mother went from pliant confusion to livid anger, “In your room???” she demanded.
At the beginning of my nod, she stormed off into my room. With a slam, my door was shut behind her and righteous anger could be heard through the thin walls. Poor Marcus was once again forced from his slumber.
“What are you doing here?!?!” My mother screeching to wake the dead, and I doubt anything less could have awakened him at this point.
“Trying to get some sleep.” came the pitiful reply.
“In my 13 year old daughter’s room?” she shrieked, “What were you thinking?”
“Oh please,” he moaned, “I just wanted to get some sleep, they kept me up all night and I just want to get some sleep.”
My mother, storming back into the living room, glared at me with bloodshot eyes narrowed in suspicion, demanding, “What exactly happened here last night?”
Now, as to what happened last night was that mother had drunkenly brought home the bar to throw an after party at her house, then sent a drunk into my room to throw up. Whereupon she forgot he was there and continued on with her own activities, while my friend and I tormented our naked guest for the remainder of the night. But, I did not believe that was the answer she was looking for………