Two years ago, in mid-January, 2019, I started writing what I first titled Jenny’s Story. A fictional account of a marriage challenged by the twisting and turning, and ultimate unraveling that characterizes dementia.
I had a general idea of the plot. But writing a novel was something new for me. As I wrote, characters would pop into my head and I would find a way to weave them into the story, or in some cases, later, quite unceremoniously, remove them. As I wrote I discovered more and more about my main characters and the fictional retirement home in a fictional Southern Ontario city which is the setting for the story.
When I had my basics written down, I contacted a friendly acquaintance who is a professional freelance editor. Would she please have a look at what I’d written, and tell me whether it was worth continuing on with it?
She came back with a resounding “yes.” And so began our writer/editor relationship that blossomed into a deep and special friendship over a long period of edits and rewrites.
She pointed out redundancies. Questioned my rationale for certain scenes. Helped me juggle sequences, dared me to be bold, corrected grammar errors, and encouraged, encouraged, encouraged.
In the middle of the process, I moved from Ontario back to my home province of Nova Scotia.
In September of 2020, my initial editor and I both felt the story was ready for the next step. And so I sent it off to a number of small publishing houses. Moose House Publications, of Granville Ferry, responded quickly that they would like to publish what now had the title Until the Day We Die.
And here it is, spring, 2021, and my debut novel (will there be another? Hmm. Who knows? Maybe, after all, I’m only 85) is soon to find its way in the wide, wide world of books. I hope the road it takes is smooth and well-populated with keen readers. Good travels Until the Day We Die!