The culmination of two years of work.

I’m about 2.5 hours away from April 1st, the release date for my new book. My last novel was published several years ago now, and this was my very first experience with self publishing. What started out as my 2017 NaNoWriMo novel evolved into something more, something therapeutic, and now on this eve of the release I want to talk a little bit about that.

On August 19th, 2017, over two months before I would write the first draft of this story, my family suffered a devastating blow. We lost someone much too young, Chris was still a teenager, that changed our lives irreversibly. There are some losses in live that you can prepare for, hard as they are to stomach, but this was not something any of us could have ever imagined. We had lost his father, my uncle, suddenly a few years previous which made this even more difficult to comprehend.

When someone so young is gone from your life, it’s like a rip in the matrix. It’s like you blinked and suddenly they were just gone. In my struggle to understand this loss, to grieve it, I started to imagine ways with which to cope. I’m not much for talking through these things, I internalize which is not necessarily the best method, and I kept trying to just push through with hopes it would end all on it’s own.

That obviously didn’t work.

As NaNoWriMo fast approached that November I decided I wanted to participate as I had done many times before. I had struggled for awhile to find my written voice again, and I struggled then to come up with a premise or idea. The idea for the town of Rust, Montana came to me first and then the characters. I pieced them together one by one, stitching the things that would make them whole together quickly as November 1st drew nearer and nearer.

I started writing at midnight on November 1st, and finished the entire first draft about ten days later. In the town of Rust, in the characters of Ramona Sanders and Alec Davis, I found a way to grieve my loss. I put onto paper (or, well, onto Word document) all that I was feeling in a way that I could finally deal with. It didn’t ebb the flow of pain and sorrow totally, but it did help me. I was able to start the process of what comes next, after so many weeks of feeling so lost.

This book means a lot to me, more than it will really mean to anyone else who reads it I suppose, but that is okay. I just hope that people read it, and at least give it a chance. I hope that they see what I see when I read about Rust, about those characters, about that point in time. I hope that they love it enough to return to it a few times with me in the rest of the series, and I hope that if you’re grieving that you find your own way through the darkness.

It does end. You just have to be patient and let yourself feel what you need to feel.

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