Ladies and gentlemen, I am very proud to announce something to you here, today. This is a momentous occasion in my life, really and truly.
In January of 2008, I began a book. It was inspired by The Lord of the Rings and the Door Within – and when I say ‘inspired by,’ I mean ‘a copy of.’ Even so, I fell in love with the characters I created in this little cookie-cutter fantasy world of mine, and I finished the book in two months. This book was full of problems from the young mind of a thirteen-year-old novice. There were enough plot holes to sink the Titanic, enough awful lines to write a Soap Opera, and enough love, enthusiasm, and emotion behind it to push and refine it into something worth reading.
Then came the real work. Rewriting, once my eyes were opened to the fact that plagiarism was not acceptable. Casting new characters, taking old ones out, changing plotlines and appearances and adding more emotion and less sitting-around-doing-nothing.
Four years, this book has woven its word-strands around my heart, until I am so tangled in it that there is no escaping, even if I wished to try. The characters have stuck with me through thick and thin with minimal strikes and mutinies, and I have Sienna, Eristor, Alec, Tylir, Salebeth, Marcus, and the rest of my book-host to thank.
What I mean to say is, readers, The Shadows Fall is finished. It has been rewritten more times than I can reasonably remember, and it has finally been edited – by myself, my mother, my friends, and my professional editor Amanda Bradburn, who did an outstanding, outstanding, outstanding job.
Thank you all, who have stuck with me through this long, long journey. Thank you to everyone who ever loved my characters, to everyone who inspired a plot twist or a line, to everyone who read my book and critiqued it and loved it and told me what parts to throw out and what parts to keep.
Thank you to everyone who told me not to give up, who cheered for me, who loved me enough to tell me when something wasn’t right and who knew enough to be patient because, eventually, hopefully, I would ‘get it.’ The Shadows Fall is my firstborn, my fledgling bird now almost prepared to leave the nest and fly into the world of publishing, where no doubt it will be storm-battered and rain-beaten. But, God-willing, it will find a home somewhere, though it will never be more at home than here in my own soul.
“The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.”