Wiser? Maybe. I’ve certainly sharpened my skills as a writer. Happier? Definitely. To catch everyone up to speed, on Friday morning I became 37 years old. Birthdays are such a strange beast; usually they’re a more personal examination of our lives and accomplishments than, say, the drunken bingeing common to New Year’s celebrations and fervent promises of what we shall accomplish in the next 365 days. When I was a child, I valued a birthday by the quality of presents that I was given. As an adult, I value a birthday by the quality of relationships and experiences I’ve been fortunate to have. Thus, I’ve been looking back over this last and very productive year, and I have a lot for which to be thankful, personally and creatively.
On the creative side of things, since its launch just over a year ago, Feast of Fates has sold over 5000 copies—digitally and at retail. Wow. I don’t really want to delve into too many more metrics of success, lest I err toward my childish conceptions of value. For the people with whom I’ve taken this journey, and the journey itself, have become my greatest reward. (Cue sappy violin music.)
First, I could not have written Feast of Fates, or subsequent works, without the support of my mother. She was, and will always be, the most important woman in my life. She was a trendsetter, a socially-rebellious soul who spit on negative traditions and bigotry. Her life was an inspiration that deserves to be captured in a book of mine in the future. Even though Cynthia’s body has passed into the Earth, her compassion, her humanity, has been a cornerstone to my development as a person and an author. I love you, mom, now and forever. Since we’re chatting about love, my partner has been another blessing in this journey, and the little ship that is our marriage has tested itself against nearly every storm through which a couple can sail. I wouldn’t be where I am today, without the safe harbor that is our home and relationship. My friends, too, have been invaluable critics, resources and shoulders on which to cry. Lourdes Portal, a designer, artist and friend has proven herself invaluable. She’s responsible for the construction of this website and for many other aspects of my work’s presentation. Leo Black, a visual artist from across the Atlantic who I feel fated to have met, must be commended for his stunning representations of Geadhain. If you haven’t perused the Gallery, or Leo’s personal pieces (follow the link on his name when in the Gallery), you’re doing yourself a disservice! (Special mention goes to Brian Garabrant, too, who did some earlier images for Geadhain, as well as the epic map now featured in Feast of Fates and Feast of Dreams.)
My appreciation also extends to my literary relationships, and to that end, I need to thank my editors. I’ve learned so much about my craft through their critiques and corrections. There’s Barbara B., my book-mom, and primary editor. Right now, she’s brutally dissecting the third manuscript, and I’m anticipating its bloody remains. Next up is Sarah Sweet, a local (Toronto) wordsmith and word-critic, who I’ve worked with on several projects now, and who will be handling Feast of Chaos’s 2nd pass. And finally there’s Kimberly, who will be handling the 3rd pass, and whose notes and suggestions are always sound. (I’m looking for a new 4th tier final copy-editor/ mostly proof-reader—so if you know of one, or would like to advocate yourself, do reach out through the contact form.) One more literary wizardess needs a shout out: Rachel Sentes, over at Gal Friday Publicity. She’s thrown my work in front of some pretty important faces, as well as gotten me national coverage on television and radio. And we’re only getting started! Artists need to connect with influencers and experts. It doesn’t matter how good your time-management skills are, or how much a control freak you may be, but in order to build something on this scale, you must request and accept help. I’m not a publicist, an editor, or an artist. I’m a writer. I can’t imagine where I’d be without the talents of everyone listed above.
Last, and perhaps most importantly, thank you: the readers, reviewers and fans of Geadhain. A dream remains a dream until it’s realized, shared with and accepted by the world. When I released my strange, cross-genre, feminist, epic fantasy, paranormal romance, horror novel into the wild, I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction to expect. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. So much so that it outweighs the negativity that inevitably worms its way into any endeavor. I started writing for Cynthia, and I shall continue writing for you. Your delight is my delight. Your words and kindness are the seeds from which my future tales will grow. While this has been a birthday for me, it’s also been one for Geadhain: its stories, its fans and its future. It’s your birthday, too! So have have a slice of cake on me. And since we haven’t perfected the beaming of cake through our screens just yet (Can you imagine? Yum!), have this instead:
Another 16 chapters and we’re there, my dearest Morigan.
All my love,
P.S. In October, and in celebration of 5000 likes on Facebook as well as 5000 books sold, I’m planning a large scale “Fan Appreciation Event”, with giveaways, prizes and more! Stay tuned for the details. Oh, and if you’re still wondering what to get me for my birthday, a heartfelt, honest review on Goodreads, Amazon or anywhere else is free (well, it requires a few minutes of your time) and pretty much the best gift you can give me or any author.