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From idea to book


The idea for The Gifted Ones Series began in 2000, during a telephone conversation with my late sister. Much of the planning for the entire series stemmed from communications between my mother, sister and me. During those long conversations, I always took for granted that they would be here to see its completion through, but four years later, my sister died from cancer.
That event became one of the worst in my life.

She was my only sister.

We were very close, in spite of the sibling rivalries we shared.

We spoke on the phone every day.

We watched each other's children.

We took road trips together.

We shopped together.

We were only two years apart, she the younger, and we were always there for each other.

Yet, in the end, I could not forge enough bravery to be there for her last moments. Although I spent many hours at the hospital after work, the day she died, I did not go right after work.
Instead, I went home, sat on the porch swing with my husband, and called the hospital room, knowing my mother would answer.

I remember so clearly the conversation between us. Knowing all hope had fled my sister's body, and our hearts as well, the final two weeks had only been a struggle of time.

"Well?"

Mother never cried in front of us. She never let her feelings show. She was the strongest woman I knew. Without a crack, her age lowered voice touched my ear, "She just took her last breath."

Of course, I knew. I knew I would somehow be there, though by phone, when she left us. She was my sister. I knew when I came home from work that day and did not go right to the phone that our sisterly connection would make me call at just the right time. If I had driven to the hospital after work, I might have made it, but I could not watch her leave us... me. I did not have the strength to say goodbye again. I just could not do it.

I always thought myself weak for not being there. My mother stayed until the end, strong enough to watch her younger daughter leave this world. I never understood how she could do that, until she died seven years later. From the time that my mother made that simple, dreaded statement, "I'll be going home soon," I mustered my courage. I absorbed all the strength she could give me, and twenty-four hours later, I held her hand while she took her last breath.

Those two events took me away from the series for a while. Mother was still here to see the first printing of The Gifted Ones: The Fairytale, but not to its completion. I continue to work on the second book now, though I did not write again until November of 2011. Today I think of Mom and Candy when I write about the deaths that the characters have to suffer through in the series. Proudly, I move forward on it in honor of them, my mother and sister, my sounding boards. Without their input, the ideas would not have formed. Without their passing, I might still be taking for granted that they would be here to see it through, and the first book may not be even complete.

I believe everything happens for a reason. As a writer who uses a great deal of emotion in my works, I believe the lives and deaths of my mother and sister make me a better writer, not perfect, but better.

I will not take my writing for granted, again. I have stories to tell, and there is an audience to read them. I can do anything, get through anything, with my writing. My sister and mother let me know that.

They believed in me, and I refuse to let them down.


Guest post by P.G. Shiver. P.G. has two young adult books published, Dead Perfect and The Gifted Ones: The Fairytale the first book in The Gifted Ones Trilogy. She also has several children's books written under Gean Penny, her pseudonym.  P. G. has since dissolved her contract for her first book with Castle Keep Press and moved the title to her own imprint, Gean Penny Books.



2 comments:

  1. Hi Jo!
    Thanks for hosting The Fairytale on your blog! I've been busy with NaNoWriMo since the first and I'm just now catching up with the tour!

    Have a wonderful week!
    P. G. Shriver

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with NaNoWriMo and all the best with your books.

      Delete

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