He spends the night by her side, telling her the story of that car and the miracles it brought into his life. The tale begins in 1988, when Danny leaves his alcoholic mother behind to attend college in a small
Strange occurrences surrounding the car begin drawing him closer to Gwen. She is smart, beautiful and hell-bent on making every wrong choice she can. Guilt over her mother’s recent death eats away at her, fueling her behavior. Neither one of them is looking for love, but as an unseen force within the car guides their unlikely romance, Gwen begins to teach Danny how to forgive his mother, as he helps Gwen forgive herself.
But Danny is forced to return home to care for his ailing mother, leaving Gwen abandoned once again by someone she loves. When she heads back down her self-destructive path, she’ll need more than Danny’s love to bring her back; it will take the magic of a love strong enough to reach across the boundaries of life and death to save her.
Twenty-three years later, Danny hopes that magic is still there to save his daughter.
Additional Content Includes:
About the Author
About the Author
Tell us about your current release.
The Only Thing is the story of Danny, an eighteen-year-old who moves to live with his aunt in a small
New England town in order to get away from his alcoholic mother. When he buys an old used-car, strange things start to happen, drawing him closer to a local girl named Gwen. She is the town ‘bad-girl’, still reeling from her mother’s death the year before. The heart of the story is their romance, but the novel also deals with the effects of alcoholism, dealing with the loss of a parent, and learning to forgive, others and ourselves.
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
My fiancée has been my biggest inspiration. She was the one that inspired me to finish my first novel. I had worked on it on and off for ten years and she inspired me to finish it. Her experiences losing her mother at a young age were also the inspiration for this story.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’m a little of both. I usually have a loose outline, but then I just let it fly within that framework. That works for me because I am generally a very ordered person, but I’ve found that letting go a little bit leads down much more interesting paths. What I end up with is usually much different from my original idea. For example, when I first imagined this story, I saw Danny as the hero riding in on his white horse to save Gwen. But as I wrote, the story evolved to the point where it wasn’t about Danny saving Gwen. It was about them saving each other. I think the best love stories, in books, movies and real life, are the ones where both people improve each other’s lives and make each other better people.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I absolutely listen to music. I see my novels as movies in my head, and movies definitely benefit from a good soundtrack. For this particular novel, I always think of the song ‘Nobody’s Home’ by Avril Lavigne as Gwen’s theme song. The lyrics really speak to the lost feeling Gwen has after losing her mother. And I listened to the song ‘To Where You Are’ by Josh Groban a lot while I was writing one of the most emotional parts of the book. I’ve found that listening to certain songs like that while I’m writing really helps me to write with more feeling and emotion. And when I fantasize about this story being made into a movie, those two songs would definitely be part of the soundtrack.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My first love was the guitar, so I dreamed of becoming a rock star. My first college major was Music Performance and I spent a lot of my twenties chasing that dream before I settled down and started my family.
Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?
My 40th birthday is coming up this year. I haven’t really given it a lot of thought since I’ll be getting married about a month before. That’s really taking a lot of my attention right now J
When's the last time you played that musical instrument?
Michael Pineo is a thirty-something father of four who grew up in
New England. After spending his formative years singing in a heavy metal band, he turned to writing as a creative outlet. His inspiration for writing is best summed up by Danny's mother in Michael's debut novel, The Only Thing:
"When you get down to it, love is the only thing that really matters..."
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