Today is, well, I don't have the words yet, and I guess that's okay. :-)
Today is the first official day of my career as a writer; today is the day that everyone who knows me as a reviewer perks up and thinks, "Hmmm, let's see if he can actually write,"; today is a day that has been creeping up on me for almost a decade, and now that it's here it feels like I've just woken from a dream - as if I'm fully existing in that instant before the forgetfulness sets in and the dream dissipates...
Today is the day that my debut Epic Fantasy novel is released, and I would be lying if I said it's just another day in my life.
It's the culmination of so much that even trying to list it here would be an exercise in madness... It's also a gift of immeasurable cost, and a moment of such blinding, world-shaking significance (for me, at least) that it still hasn't sunk in.
Call me crazy - I know I do, every day. ;-)
Only the people that are very close to me truly know how much this day means to me - and how much pain, sadness and strife it took to get me here. I went through a stage when I basically completely lost it - I left my girlfriend, began seeing a psychologist, was booked into a psychiatric facility... I burned out so completely that I even felt guilty when I read a book. Suffice it to say that for all the wonderful, crazy-good days I had and shared with others, there were plenty that were dark, and plenty that I barely made it through.
It's only because of those closest to me that I made it, and only because of their willingness to let me continue to discover who I am (and will be) that this day is even possible. :-)
So, I dedicate this day to my girlfriend, Leana Van Rensburg, who has stood by me and supported me and forgiven me, without reservation. I love you so much that the pain of it is the most wonderful feeling I've ever felt, and I'm yours, always. :-)
This day would also not have been possible without the support and love of my parents, Riaan and Maree de Villiers; they got me reading without having to force me to do it; they supported my daydreaming even though it meant my grades sucked ;-) and they continue to be amazing, incredible people. I love you guys, so much! :-)
And lastly, thanks must go to Marius Du Plessis, Adolph de Beer, Rashieq Sasman, Hannes Strydom, Lucas Gill, Xavier Nagel and the nameless proofreader - all who had a major hand in this novel, and getting it out into the world. They are all part of a company that I am extremely proud to be published by, a publisher that is going to do massive things in the industry! All of you ROCK! Thank you! :-)
And so, to close off:
I found one of the old story-shards I wrote, sometime around 2005, and I'll post it here because this shard (something I never pursued, planned, plotted, etc) was one of those many shards that led to my debut novel. And there are plenty, because I wrote and wrote and wrote for almost a decade before I was ready to write "Betrayal's Shadow". :-) There's a lot more where this came from, and I might post more, but I guess this is a taste of a taste of a taste, to put it strangely. ;-)
The sky above the carnage of the battlefield was the colour of a three-day old bruise, and even though a sweltering heat pervaded the air, snowflakes fluttered downwards to alight among the twisted corpses and burnt out buildings. They began to melt as soon as they touched the ground, creating small, steaming puddles. In the presence of so much death, the silence was broken by the droning buzz of flies and the intermittant groans and cries of those who, for the moment, still lived. It wasn't long before even those cries were cut off by the couphing and snarling of pouncers as they began to feast. The lone figure, stumbling among the dessicated corpses, tripping over blackened timbers as fragments of pottery and glass crunched under his bare, dirt-stained feet, had long since stopped feeling the bleeding cuts on the soles of his feet, or looking at what was around him. The scents of charred bodies, some still burning, and the stench of decaying food, was a miasma around him, but he also ignored that; enough images of the last battle of the Ascendant War flickered behind his eyes to last him a lifetime.
My novel is now available from Exclusive Books, both branches and online, so please ... give it a read.
And for all of you outside of South Africa, here's the Amazon link for the Kindle Edition; as soon as it's available in print, you'll all hear it from me. :-)
I truly hope you enjoy t! :-)