Continuing on in my Month of Thanks, here is my next letter.
I hardly know where to begin this one. When I think back to when I began my writing journey in earnest, yours are the voices I remember most fondly. I was brand new to long-form fiction and researching this strange new thing called podcasting. When it came to podcast audiobooks, few names were as synonymous with it as were Ballantine and Morris.
In looking for cast members for The Dreamer’s Thread, I knew that I had to do it really well to have any chance of success. Inspired by Morevi: Remastered, I set about rounding up a list of people I thought would bring something special to my book. Your names were the top of that list. Still, I hesitated. This was the first novel I’d ever written, I’d never done a podcast before… why would anyone, let alone seasoned veterans of the game, agree to help someone so untested? Sending off that email to Pip was one of the most excruciating emails I’d ever sent up until that point. Surely she was too busy to entertain such a request. Surely the answer would be no.
Instead, what I received was nothing short of astounding. Not only did Pip agree to help, but suggested I contact Tee as well, that she was sure he’d love to participate. Shocked would be a severe understatement if I had to describe how I felt then. Even more amazing was the audio you both supplied. No one could have done better. I was blown away.
And then, I met you in person. I spent 90 minutes driving to San Jose to meet you during a period of down time at the World Fantasy Convention. I was a nervous wreck, for reasons I told you then, and you instantly put me at ease.
The most phenomenal thing in all of that, was when Tee told me how much my little story meant to him and what it was helping him get through. I’m sure I gave a very awkward reply, but I had no idea how to process the amazing praise. I’m still not sure how to say “thank you” for that.
Your incredible support didn’t stop with the end of the podcast, however. On a visit to San Francisco, Pip allowed me to drag her down to Monterey and into one of my college classes as a guest speaker (I believe I called it Feelings Class, some required women’s studies credit). Not only did I get to show that class an intelligent, creative, strong woman, but someone I consider a personal hero as well. I felt like the biggest show-off in the world. :)
After all that, you wouldn’t think it would get much better, but then it did.
When I got the email asking me to be a contributing, paid author for the first season of the Tales from the Archives anthology, I nearly cried. That someone had that much faith in my ability as a writer was overwhelming. Greater still, you trusted me with canon directly from the pages of your book, with a central character that would require nothing less than my very best.
There are no words for that kind of gift. None.
Since the moment I met the two of you, you have been nothing but supportive, kind, giving, helpful, and encouraging. Without you, I would not have gotten as far as I have or become half of the writer I am today. You have made me a better person for having known you and I am grateful every single day that I call you my friends.
Thank you for opening your hearts and giving a stranger the very best of what you had to give.
Note to readers: If you’d like to join me in supporting these two wonderful authors, please explore their fantastic work here.