Apollo Beach resident Amy Nielson is hosting a book launch at Finn’s Dockside on Friday, May 24.

Apollo Beach resident Amy Nielsen is hosting a book launch and signing at Finn’s Dockside Bar & Grill for her newly published book, Worth It. Nielson spent nearly 20 years as a children’s librarian and began writing Worth It during this time. The book started out as a very personal memoir.

The story tells readers about a 17-year-old high school senior girl who was picking out prom dresses and applying for colleges. Suddenly, her father abandons their family, and her addict mother kicks her out. She ends up pregnant by an older and abusive boyfriend and living in a run-down trailer. Set in Central Florida in the late 80s, Worth It is a story of courage, redemption and the power of becoming your own hero.

Worth It is inspired by my real-life experiences,” said Nielson. “But the more I wrote, the more I learned. I realized that for my story to have a broader reach, I needed to fictionalize it. Being able to be the author of my own story was, for me, transformative. As far as how much of it is biographical, let’s just say that every emotion is real.”

Her inspiration to write the book began in 2007 when Nielson’s oldest daughter was home from college for a weekend. She had plans to hang out with friends.

“She was appalled that as a college student I’d give her a curfew,” said Nielson. “She had no idea that when I was 19 years old no one cared where I was or if I was safe. She was old enough that I felt it was time for her to know the truth. I wrote her a letter to explain and snuck it in her backpack. When she got back to college, she called me in tears. Her reaction to that two-page letter prompted me to take my story and turn it into a full-length novel.”

But it wasn’t until the pandemic that Nielson decided to finish the book. After pitching it to several agents and publishers for about a year, she found a home with Wild Ink Publishing. Since then, she has also started a role at Wild Ink as one of its developmental editors and publicists.

Nielson will be at Finn’s Dockside all day on Friday, May 24, signing books and speaking with anyone who wants to talk about the topics in the book or publishing.

“I was actually there the day I received the email from my publisher that they wanted to sign me as an author,” said Nielson. “That day, I decided Finn’s was where I wanted to have my book launch. They’ve also agreed to put gumbo on the menu for the day since it’s a huge part of my main character’s life.”

Nielson said that she plans to sell books at Finn’s, but she encourages anyone coming out that day to preorder.

“In my story, the main character, Angela, is told by so many people, ‘You are worth more,’” said Nielson. “It is my hope that this story inspires those in challenging circumstances to never give up on their goals. And even more than that, I hope it inspires community members to uplift those who are vulnerable.”

You can find out more information at https://amynielsenauthor.com/. Finn’s Dockside is located at 1112 Apollo Beach Blvd. in Apollo Beach. Book preorders are available on Amazon.

Previous articleEntrepreneur Collaborative Center Offers Assistance To Budding And Experienced Entrepreneurs
Next articleSweet Water Grand The Bridges Changes Ownership, Name And New Resort-style Living Coming
Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.