Friday, August 1, 2008

Review of Room for Two by Abel Keogh

Room for Two
"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away. Silence. "Sweetheart?" A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall. Everything slowed down. When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead? Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . . At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same - we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace. This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.

This is a true story which reads like a novel. Abel wove his story in such an effective way that you can’t put it down once you’ve read the first page.

I am so impressed with his story and that he was courageous enough to share so many heart-wrenching details. I think his book will help many people because it provides insight into several different situations which are usually judged harshly and incorrectly by others. It is so well written and draws you in with amazing power.

He weaves a powerful testimony of the importance of following spiritual promptings throughout this story with examples of what happens when he does and does not heed promptings.

Abel Keogh is a columnist and editor of and host of the radio talk show The Abel Hour. He has been a website programmer and technical writer. Aside from writing, Abel enjoys running and lifting weights. He has a bachelor's degree from Weber State University. He and his wife, Julianna, are the parents of two boys and a girl.
Abel was kind enough to give me a little interview. Check out the Q & A's below.

Grief is a very strong emotion and you showed that well in your book. I noticed your description seems to match the grief pattern that is commonly experienced in all situations involving grief. Why do you think that people experience emotions such as anger, bitterness, denial, etc. during their grieving period?

Abel:It’s part of the process of emotionally coming to terms with reality. I think it’s a natural process. Once someone goes through it they’re ready to move on with their life and accept what has happened.

Was it difficult to write this book or more difficult to submit it for publication, knowing it was your story?

Abel:It was more difficult to write. When I was writing the first draft a lot emotions resurfaced that had been dormant for a long time. On subsequent drafts I was able to put the emotions aside and concentrate on the storytelling process.
I never had a difficult time with agents or publishers rejecting it. As a writer, rejection is part of life. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a memoir or a work of fiction. If you can’t take rejection then you should find a different occupation.

Can you tell us a little about the fiction piece you are working on right now?

Abel:It’s called “Angel of Light.” I don’t want to give up any more than that right now because the plot keeps changing slightly with each draft.

Can I just say that your book made me want to go running and I'm so jealous because I can't run right now! I'm very close to giving birth to #3. I'm not a long-distance runner but I love running about 3 or 4 miles and especially listening to my running mix on my iPod. Do you and your wife visit much during your runs now or do you listen to music ever? If so, what do you listen to?

Abel:Julianna and I talk on the occasions that we run together. When I’m running by myself I usually think about what I’m writing and how to make it better or overcome problems I’m having with a chapter. I’m not much of a music person. I only own two CDs and rarely listen to them. I don’t even own an iPod. Music’s never been a big part of my life.

Whoa! That's hard for someone who owns about 200 CDs to comprehend, but great idea to think about your writing!

What is something you learned from writing this book that was unexpected?

Abel:Writing a book is a very entrepreneurial activity. You’re creating a product that you hope will be enjoyed by people in the marketing place and sell well. It also involves a lot of marketing and hard work once the book is done. As unexpected as that was, I’ve really enjoyed not only writing the book but all the marketing and promotional activities that go along with it.

What advice can you give to other writers who have a story to tell?

Abel:Writing and selling a book is hard work. Be prepared for long hours in front of the computer and pitching your story to agents and publishers. If you’re not willing to put the effort into it, then don’t waste your time trying to be a writer.

What's your favorite piece of marriage advice?

Abel:Never go to bed angry. I laughed at this advice when I first heard it but I’ve found it to mean you don’t have to reach a conclusion or solve a problem before going to bed. Really it’s about putting the differences aside and letting the other person know that you still love them.

I like that a lot, because we'll always have differences, but we'll always love each other too.

What's your best parenting advice?

Abel:The best gift you can give your children is your time. In the long run that will mean more to them than all the toys and other worldly possessions. Nothing can substitute you being part of their life.

Excellent advice! Thanks Abel for the great interview.
You can visit Abel's website at
You can also get a super deal on his book published by Cedar Fort here at


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