For those of you who might not know, I wrote a lengthy dedication to John in my latest novel, Arcanist Fables.
I wrote it because John is always there for me, through thick and thin. He’s a man I can rely on, and when I was feeling depressed, he came through for me in spades. The dedication was a tiny way of saying “thank you,” but if I’m honest, I know I’ll be telling John “thank you” for the rest of my life.
As part of the audiobook for Arcanist Fables, I recorded the dedication myself. Here is a short video of me reading it, as well the text in the book itself, for people who would rather read it. I want everyone to know my love for John–now, and always.
I don’t usually write long dedications, but this time I’ll make an exception.
Several months ago, it felt as though I had a hole in my chest—the kind of painful void that only loss can bring. And during the roughest moments, I just wasn’t myself. I’m a night owl, but I didn’t want to be left alone in the dark. I enjoy cold weather, but even the slightest chill brought dark thoughts. And while I’m known to have relentless nightmares, during this time frame, I would wake in tears, unable to sleep.
Thankfully, I have a man named John in my life.
When I told him that I was afraid of the darkness, he kept all the lights on in the house, 24/7.
When I told him the cold messed with my thoughts, he kept the heater on, no matter the temperature outside.
When I woke in tears, he pulled me close and whispered beautiful nothings.
When I couldn’t sleep, he held my hand until I did.
It wasn’t just the loss of people, but a future I had hoped for as well. So, when I told John I had imagined a life with a dog, fun events, cooking, and lots of story discussions and book writing, he got us a puppy (which he named Pierce, after a character from one of my books), planned tons of future gaming events, agreed to cook with me, and then said, “You don’t have to worry—I’ll be whatever person you need in any situation.”
So, John decided that on top of being an attorney (who has now won several appellate decisions and is recognized in his field) he would also become an author. He joined my writer’s group. He studied grammar and punctuation. He learned the nuances of dialogue and exposition. He even had long talks with me about the benefits of 3-act structures over 6-act structures.
He gave up all his free time to work two full-time jobs—an attorney during the day and a hardworking author at night.
And when I asked him, “Why do all this?” He replied, “Because when I went through something similar, you were there for me. And if I needed it again, you’d be there. That’s who you are. And that’s why we’re soulmates.”
At the time of this book release, John is officially done with his novel. He wrote it in less than two months (a feat most authors struggle with). It’s a great story (fantasy, dungeons, epic adventure), and it’ll hit shelves in the near future. It’s a labor of love, and John even admitted it was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life.
The most memorable and uplifting moment I can remember was when John said, “Doing all this is a small price to pay to have you in my life, Shami. You’re worth it. And I’ll be here for you until the darkness is your friend once again.”
I’m happy to say that John’s efforts were successful. Which is why Arcanist Fables is dedicated to him, and him alone.
Thank you, Johns. You’re a cut above the rest and talented beyond words.
I love you so much and always will.
John really did write a novel. It releases June 10th, and it is an amazing work of fantasy, born from hard work and love. If you’re interested, it’s called The Corrupted Core.