In less than two weeks, my third book, THE DARKEST WEB, comes out. I've been through this before -- the anticipation, the worry that no one will like it, the fear that no one will read it, the dream that some key celebrity will pick it up and take it straight to Reese Witherspoon who will turn it into an Emmy-winning series.
This time it's different. Normally, by the two-week-to-launch point, I'd be a mess of excited agony. This time, though, I'm only beginning to return to human after the brutal loss of both my parents over the winter. We had the funeral for my mom less than two weeks ago. I'm still sorting things and canceling cell phones and getting title to their car so I can sell it. I'm still crying a lot. A lot.
Their deaths weren't related except in the complications of snowballing medical conditions--my dad died right at Christmas after three weeks in the hospital for pneumocystis pneumonia, which he caught because he was weakened by the steroids he'd been on for the rash that was the first symptom of the lymphoma that would have killed him within a few months anyway. My mom went to his funeral and grieved and steeled herself for a move into an assisted living facility, but right before moving in fell and broke her ankle and while in rehab after surgery, developed a UTI that went into septic shock. Their deaths were related, though--I'll always believe this. She didn't want to stay after he went on without her.
My brother and I were left behind, mercifully supported by the families we've built, but now the only keepers of the memories of a lucky life in a warm, slightly messy home filled with love. It's a lot to handle. There was a house to empty and Christmas ornaments to divide and funerals to plan. We did the funerals ourselves. We both gave eulogies at each one, and we did our best to honor parents who--in a world full of cruelty--never once failed to give us a home where we were always safe and loved, and once we left it, to let us know that they were our biggest fans.
My parents read THE DARKEST WEB before they died. They thought it was my best work. They were the ones who taught me to read, write, and love books in the first place. I know they're proud. I hope it does well, but I'm not going to work myself up into a state of pre-launch nerves this time. This time, there were more important things. I know now what the truly important things are.
the darkest web:
The Darkest Flower:
Lying Beneath the Oaks: