The week before Thanksgiving in 2008, I was given Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga to read by one of my English students. That Thanksgiving weekend I bought my own copies of the books, read through the series again, and then poured over Stephenie Meyer’s website, reading everything I could about the genesis of the story, the process of writing, what she’d done to find an agent, and the adventure her life had become.
I was completely, totally, thoroughly inspired. An idea sparked. I’d had a story floating in my head for decades. I’d written it down in a couple of versions before, but it wasn’t right. I had known I needed a hook, but I just couldn’t figure out what it could be. Stephenie gave me the solution: mythology. Just as she had used vampires and werewolves, Greek mythology could be melded into the experience I wanted to share in order to provide the depth and conflict that had been missing in previous drafts.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (that is, this very day four years ago) I began writing Grace Awakening. That first day, I wrote about five double spaced pages. The second day I did the same. Then the third. By the end of three weeks I had 75 pages of writing. I set the goal to keep writing 25 pages a week. I met or exceeded that goal each subsequent week. Twenty three weeks later, the first draft was complete. It was the week before Easter, and I had 155,000 words.
A couple of weeks after Thanksgiving in 2009, I went to the Surrey International Writers Conference. I pitched the book to a small Vancouver publisher. She was interested and asked to see more.
A week before Thanksgiving in 2010 I signed the contracts with Gumboot Books.
In 2011, Gumboot Books went out of business, but Grace Awakening Dreams was released anyway through Lintusen Press in July. By Thanksgiving 2011, it had been in the list of Top iTunes Fantasy books in Canada over a hundred times.
In 10 days, I’ll be back to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference to pitch Grace Awakening Myth, a companion novel that tells Ben’s version of his battle for Grace.
It’s a lot to be thankful for: four years of creativity, empowerment, challenge, excitement, growth, and adventure. It’s been an amazing ride!
Four years ago, when I started typing, I would not have been brave enough to imagine that I’d be in this place today. But here I am. My friend Heather observed, “Where will you be in another 4 years? Do you not love the “wait and see”‘ of life?” The thought of it hit me in the gut. Where will I be? I can only dream where Grace will be, keep writing, and hope I’m holding tightly to her coat tails as she explores the world!