Working on Book ‘Em North Carolina provides a great opportunity to be introduced to authors I may not otherwise know about. I’ve been very impressed by so many who devote time and energy to community projects. One such author is Nick Westfall.
Nick believes physical education is the most important subject in a person’s life. He asks, “What good would a brain surgeon be if he died before he was 50 because of preventable causes like hypertension, type II diabetes, and obesity?”
His goal is to be part of the change that he hopes will soon come to every child’s life — to recreate the running fad of the 1980s. He wants people to become aware of physical fitness, and he believes that obesity is a conversation we need to have.
But Nick didn’t stop with a simple chat. He founded SEARCH 5K, an acronym for See Every Athlete Run for Conditional Health. Nick doesn’t charge for this race, saying, “It’s free because we can fight childhood obesity for free.”
The next race is scheduled for Saturday at Holden Beach. It begins at 9 a.m. under the bridge. You can sign up on www.sportoften.com or register the day of the race. Nick’s goal is to see 500 people at the finish line.
In between races, he is working toward a master’s of fine arts in Creative Writing with a specialty in screenwriting. He is excited to share that he has been hired to write a film adaptation for a novel out of Southport. Production starts next summer. He is also working hard on his next novel and the screenplay, which will be his thesis.
His talent might be genetic: His uncle is Spike Jonze, director of “Adaptation” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Nick says his love for reading came recently. As a senior in college he’d never read a single book outside the realm of required reading. It wasn’t until he met Jacob Babb, a professor at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, that he fell in love with books.
When he read “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathon Safran Foer, it inspired him as much as professor Babb. Once he was hooked on reading, it turned into, “Hmmm … I think I could write something like that.”
Before he wrote “Escaping Yesterday,” he read every Nicholas Sparks book ever written — his favorite being “The Lucky One” — and many of James Patterson’s novels. Patterson’s speed, unique chapter lengths and page-turning abilities intrigued him as a writer. He wanted to create the deep, relative characters as in Nicholas Sparks’ novels while using James Patterson’s speed and writing techniques.
In “Escaping Yesterday,” Hayden and Jessica are already in love but a problem has been brewing: Jessica hasn’t a clue about Hayden’s past and as she begins to find out they begin to be followed.
Nick will be one of the featured authors at Book ‘Em North Carolina on Feb. 23, 2013, at Robeson Community College. I hope you’ll come out to meet him.
For information, you can visit www.nickwestfall.blogspot.com. And for information about the race at Holden Beach, call 336-207-8801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
p.m.terrell is the author of more than 16 books, the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation and co-chair of Book ‘Em North Carolina. For information about featured authors at Book ‘Em, visit www.bookemnc.org. For information on p.m.terrell, visit www.pmterrell.com.