In July of 2020, my life changed drastically. In a chance encounter, I was having a discussion with a guest at the lodge about the novel I had written. She knew I had been pounding the online pavement seeking an agent without success, and she was keen to find out if I had made any progress. Had it been anyone else sitting at the table behind me, this blog post would end here. But as luck would have it, Neil and his family had overheard our conversation and they were eager to hear about my book. After a brief exchange, he asked to read it and I emailed him the manuscript. His response to the story changed the trajectory of my life.
He loved the premise of the story, he could see it being a series on Netflix, and he even went so far as to email the names of actors he could see playing the parts. Cloud nine was miles below me. Neil and his family were back at the lodge in August, and the two of us sat down every day and figured out how to incorporate my other ideas for stories to create The Relative Series.
In September of 2020, I had a Zoom meeting with Neil’s friend who has connections in the industry. He liked the idea and encouraged me to self-publish and start getting feedback. On January 11th, 2021, I published the first in the series, The Waking Hours. A book I began writing in 2001 was out in the world and was getting great reviews. My writing became fast and energetic, and I self-published One Eleven on April 30th, followed by Darkroom on August 26th.
562 days later, Root Cellar is in the hands of Beta readers, and should be published in mid-February, and I am three chapters into writing book five in the series, called Gemini. Fellow writers, I have said this before – talk about your writing, talk to anyone, and talk to everyone. The Neil in your life could be sitting at the next table, eager to inspire to you keep writing and believe in your stories.