A Fairytale Tale of an Act of Kindness

RWA Day 3. Went to bed at 2, woke up at 7:30 when a calendar alarm informed me I had a breakfast date that actually wasn’t happening! But with one last brekkie of grits awaiting me, I’m up and dressed and ready to go. Today will mostly be working on the final edits for a couple of upcoming books and socializing with writer pals I rarely get to see, before I head back west to exchange the book biz for flying the Queen of the Skies to Asia for my other wonderful job. It’s been a fun conference, seeing new friends and friends from “back in the day”, the late 90s, early 2000s, many of them now very successful authors or senior editors at big publishers, when I knew them as new editorial assistants back in my years with the NY publishing houses. This month marks about 18 months since I dove into the non-traditional publishing world, quite unexpectedly, and I’m still drinking from the firehose of learning stuff. Seeing The Champion of Barésh final in the RITA awards was like a fairy tale. I wrote the book for all the readers who never stopped nagging me over the 5 years after I thought I had quit the writing biz. (I left publishing because I felt I couldn’t write the stories I wanted to write the way I wanted to write them, and in those days, being indie wasn’t a thing yet.) My fans wanted Klark’s story, the former bad guy in previous books. But then plucky, swearing, truck driver Jemm came bursting into my head with her entire dysfunctional family and the story was born. They were the best characters an author could want. So, if I had had the chance to give an acceptance speech last night it would have touched upon how a book that was a gift for my readers ended up being an even bigger gift to me. <3 One of my readers, Jill Arnwine Sardella, a fan and aspiring author and NANOWRIMO queen, would write me like clockwork, and it went something like this–“When’s the next book, I need the next one, I want Klark’s story, How’s writing going? Where’s the next book?”–then finally after 5 years–> “What the hell are you so afraid of?!? WRITE THE DAMN BOOK ALREADY!!!” I got so angry with her…that I wrote the damn book!!! And here it is! So, thank you to Jill, and to Joan, and all the others who never forget about me and my stories. Never underestimate the power of kindness. Your kindness reignited my love of writing stories. Okay, off to start the day! 

Champion of Barésh, now Star Champion

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