I've heard that the 5th of November has something to do with some dude called Guy Fawkes. I was going to call him a "guy", but my writer sensibilities detest redundancy. Anyway, I'm going to give that guy a miss...and talk about my first anniversary as a published author. My first book, Worth His Freedom (paperback), was released on November 5th, 2011. We had started writing the book during the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, and then things got bad here in Japan. Though there wasn't mass looting or anything like that, there was clear panic. Supermarkets were empty and not being restocked, and we were worried about what tomorrow would bring. And then came the reports of radiation. A lot of foreigners I knew fled the country and haven't returned. Aftershocks rocked the region for weeks -- that's what they were officially called, though the aftershocks were big enough to be earthquakes themselves. We lived by the door, ready to run out into the empty fields at a moment's notice. Things calmed down, and we returned to writing. We got two offers for our first novel, which was strange. It's not often that a publisher gets rejected by an unpublished, first-time writer, but that's exactly what we had to do. We went with Evernight based on the recommendations of writers we respected and trusted. You know who you are, and I thank you for your support! You're the best!
I thought I knew all about writing, but I've learned so much about my craft in the past year. I can always be better, and I can always write tighter, deeper, truer stories. Our fantasy world of Gilalion has been our setting for these seven novels, and it's been a great ride exploring the love stories of seven passionate couples. But it's not the being published, per se, that's the best part of this past year. Writing has drawn me closer to my wife, my lover, my friend, my soul. She is everything to me, and this shared experience of storytelling has opened my eyes to her in new ways. She is my goddess, my muse, and my inspiration, and I see something of her in all the heroines, from the devotion of Elemia to the cunning of Saerileth, from the boundless love of Sillara (to be released January 2013) to the high honor of Ajalira. Yet she exceeds them all in a love for her man so profound that all I can say is how truly blessed I am for her deigning to stoop down, take my hand, and love me. She kissed my heart of stone and made it flesh. Even as a writer, I acknowledge that her love for me is beyond description. It would have to be sung, and no space in this world could hold its beauty. It is divine, and it comes from beyond. I write romance because I want to share with everyone just a glimpse of my wife's love, for even that glimpse is as gazing into the very heart of Love's fire.
Why do I love my wife? some might ask. How can I not? I would not be the man I am without her, and I am thrilled to be both her co-writer and her husband. She is a blooming flower, and as each layer of her petals opens to me, I learn something new about the nature of love. I can't wait for her to surprise me with her love again! And this is why I write.
It has been a year since we were first published, and what a year it has been! This has been, without doubt, the best year of my life. I have always loved stories, and one of the first things I realized about my darling when we met is that he is a storyteller par excellence. I have grown to appreciate that aspect of him more and more over this past year. Writing has filled most of our leisure hours, hours that are at a premium considering that my darling works two jobs, while I work one and homeschool four of our half-dozen children. Yet I would not change it, of course, because writing is a shared activity with my darling husband. No time with him could be spent in any better way (except sex!).
The seven couples of our seven full-length novels have all been fascinating to me, from the trials of Miria and Tsalrin in Worth His Freedom to the black-hearted enchantress Nevia in Chasing Earth and Flame to the sufferings of Kamen and Ajalira in A Lotus for the Regent. Writing about these couples has allowed me to describe more of love, and love fills my life, more now than at any time before. The world of Gilalion is something my darling and I have been working on since before we married, and its development filled our courtship as well as the years of our marriage. That world has far more stories in it than we have told, and its history and mythology could fill many volumes. This results in a depth and richness to the books that pleases the storyteller in me.
And that richness comes from my darling's brilliant imagination. Brilliant is the word that always comes to mind when I think of him--which is all the time! My darling husband is like a Silmaril, a gorgeous jewel that contains the light of the world. He is my love and my lover, and he is as necessary to me as breath. He is strong and noble like Kamen, passionate like Abbas, brilliant like Soren (to be released January 2013). Each of our heroes contains aspects of my darling, but he is larger, greater than them all. When I look into his face, I want to be a better woman. He deserves a better woman than I could ever be, but he is so generous, so good as to think I deserve him. Though that is actually impossible, it inspires me to strive for it. I have no dreams left to dream because my greatest dream has come true: I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. I just wish I had more time to live my dream.
Would you like to win a free copy of any book from our backlist? Just comment below, tell us what love means to you, and leave your email address. We'll choose three winners! Thanks, everyone, for your support!
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