I hesitated quite some time before putting this in writing. I suppose I was at a loss for words. And then, there are the emotions. What is this all about, you wonder?
If you’ve reached a certain point in the book, you know that Olivia shares her life with two beautiful shih tzus. The Puppy and Baileys characters were inspired by my own fur family. This summer Baileys had reached the ripe old age of fifteen and Puppy may have broken a record with his seventeen years and two months. Quite suddenly and a mere few weeks after the publication of A Quest of the Heart, both their health took a turn for the worse. Baileys had never ‘recovered’ from his sudden blindness and had been very depressed all the while being afflicted by occasional and serious bouts of illness. Puppy’s sight had become steadily worse, as was his arthritis and loss of muscle mass. As of late, his excessive drinking, I feared, could be indicative of kidney issues. The day I had dreaded for years had come. To love them meant letting them go, and together, as I knew how closely knit they were. Most difficult decision I ever made.
I spent the better part of the summer wondering why their health had failed so significantly and at the same time and why a mere few weeks after publication? Had it been their life mission to provide me with unconditional love, companionship and support until the novel was published or was it just unfortunate timing - life? I choose to remain cautious before speaking of coincidences. Answers, I trust, will be revealed at a later time.
Rest in peace my angels. You will never be forgotten.
With the rest of the world, I found out this evening about the fire consuming the rooftop of the beloved French cathedral. You may already know that Olivia, my main character, has found closure and hope for the future while inside Notre-Dame. Little did I know that this world heritage monument would be object of such a frantic salvage operation a mere few weeks after my book was published! I will never forget my helplessness while witnessing the flame's furry engulfing the wooden roof. Because of my art history background, I understand the historical value of what can be lost in the next few hours. A miracle is what is needed now.
A Quest of the Heart has only been out for a few weeks and the response is already being felt! As a first time author, you always hope your work will be appreciated. Thank you for all your kind words.
When you are in the process of writing a novel, there is little else you think about. You think about your characters and your story while driving, washing the dishes, shopping and yes, even when sleeping. It is a labour of love, so I hope you enjoy the journey Olivia has been on and, moreover, I hope she will inspire you through your own challenges.