I sat at my desk one afternoon, working hard on the edits my publisher had requested when the words "the one true love of Alice-Ann" rushed through my mind. I continued to work ... but the words came again. I grabbed a pen and wrote the words down so as to keep the momentum of my edits.
But wouldn't you know it ... a creative rush came over me. A story's plot started ... then stopped. Then started again as a picture of Alice-Ann came to mind. Who was this girl? And why was she haunting me?
So I started writing everything I knew about her. Her age (16), how she looked (pale skin, freckles across the nose, one front tooth overlaps the other, untamed hair), when she was born (December 7, 1925), and what she wants more than anything (the heart of Boyd MacKay).
So what stops her? World War II.
I wrote for hours, creating characters and their stories. Then I showed it to my critique partner. Then to my agent. They both loved it. My agent sent it to the editor at Tyndale. She loved it, too. A contract was offered and I now set about to write the story in such a way that readers would fall in love with Alice-Ann and Carlton (I haven't mentioned him yet...) as much as I had.
Six months later I turned in the manuscript. A month later, I received my edits and two thumbs up from my editors. Yes! I made the corrections I needed to make and then ... and then ... waited. Waited for the day pre-release readers received the books and had "their say."
So I cannot tell you what it means to read reviews such as this one. Because it means everything. And I hope--no, I pray--that post-release readers will feel the same way.