The first book in the Werelove series, Dusk Conspiracy
, is very special to my heart for a variety of reasons but the major reason is because of one particular person, Nelson "Grandpa" Williams.
In 2004 after leaving my home state of Virginia and moving to Florida, I was temporarily jobless and depressed. I went to the local library to get something to read and to take my mind off my troubles. One of the kind librarians asked me as she was checking out my books, if I was a writer. I told her I'd considered becoming one but hadn't really done much. She smiled and led me to the community room where a writer's workshop meeting was taking place. That day would forever change my life both personal and writing-wise.
I met Nelson, Meredith and Elissa Malcohn that day and after that, they took me under their collective wings and opened my eyes and creativity to the world of writing and publishing. That first year with them was amazing but then, like always my personal life got in the way. I disappeared off the writing map, for the next 4 years and experienced many things.
When 2008 rolled around, that dark period of my life was behind me and I had a new resolve. I wanted to get published. I entered the NaNoWriMo contest that November and at the end of that month had the first 40,496 words of Dusk Conspiracy
I attended the next writer's workshop meeting, excited that I finally had produced something. Nelson, who was the leader of our little group, gave me one of his infamous raised eyebrow looks when I sauntered in bubbling with happiness. He took the offered first chapter, looked me straight in the eye and said, "I don't know why I should read this. You never finish anything and probably won't be I die."
Now, you have to understand. Nelson had gotten to know my bad habit of writing 1-2 chapters, quitting, and then starting on something new. He didn't think I would have the staying power necessary to write a novel. I also believe that he knew I needed some drastic prodding to get my butt in gear. And it worked.
I buckled down and July 31, 2009, nine months after I wrote the first word of the novel, I finished. I took it to the next writer's workshop meeting and with glee handed it to Nelson. I had let the group read the novel as I wrote it so they were up to speed.
He gravely took it, arched that eyebrow and said, "Good...but don't get cocky. This is only one."
I had to laugh but it was such a great feeling. My happiness at finishing a first full draft was tempered by grief when a month later after attending a writer's workshop meeting, Nelson went home and was rushed to the hospital. He passed away a few days later. Though my heart broke at such sad news, I took some comfort in knowing that I had managed to get a smile of approval from one of the most influential people in my life.
So, Nelson "Grandpa" Williams, thanks for the kick in the pants. I couldn't have done it without you.
--Special Meaning Behind the Writing of "Werelove Dusk Conspiracy"