(Thank You)

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If you've read this far, I want to tell you a million and one different things, but basically they all sum up as thank you

I tried to start writing this story when I was in the seventh grade, and there's a terrible, terrible very first draft in my EF7A notebook for Ms. Gibson's English class somewhere in my house. It was called Under the October Sky, which I still kind of really love. Hopefully I'll find it someday and have a good laugh.

The story rolled around in my head for years as I began to read a ridiculous amount in high school, and it absorbed elements and ideas and inspiration from all of them (the original draft was so much like the Hunger Games, it was comical), until it grew into this independent idea that I thought stood a shot. So, the summer after grade ten, I began to write it. 

I finished it the summer after grade eleven, and I remember sitting on my couch, staring at the words The End, and beginning to cry. My very own novel. I phoned my parents and cried into the phone, and they were so happy for me. My dad was my first reader (Arleigh was his favourite character). Re-reading it now makes me cringe beyond belief, but it was a real, genuine start.

Back then I knew I wanted to get published, but in the words of Ernest Hemingway, "The first draft of anything is shit." I had to rewrite it. And rewrite it. The gap between my creative goals and my abilities was so big that after a few rewrites, I decided to let it sit when I started university two years ago, and I came back to it last summer.

Literally three people are probably going to read this far, and between you most have probably scrolled past my sappy ramblings by this point or just plain exited, but I want to give some specific thank-yous, especially since publishing this on Wattpad was just a casual side project where I could post my revisions, but then I met some amazing people who encouraged me to publish faster, to really dig in and get my revision done once and for all.

To NoppityNope666, you're the OG--I remember when you first started commenting on my stories, and I couldn't stop smiling because someone was engaging with my characters!! My plot!! It was mind-blowing to me that someone could fall into my world the way I had. I also remember, early on, coming home drunk one night and checking Wattpad to see you had commented 20 times on a chapter, and I nearly screamed because I was so excited. So, thank you :)

To rosenwild, I'm so glad NoppityNope666 dragged you in here; watching you two freak out over Rance made my day so many times. You're awesome. 

And--crazy thing here--you two actually saved Rance's life. Seriously. He was going to die in that scene where Raina pushes him into the water because of his infection, and it was going to break her. But when I saw how much people were falling in love with him, I realized I didn't want to take that away, that it was more gratuitous to the plot and he could serve the story so much better alive than dead. So, Rance owes you a personal debt ;)

Long story short, if you've actually read my story and liked it, please let me know. If you didn't like it, let me know (but maybe nicely?). My dream is to get it traditionally published, and any feedback at all could literally make a world of difference. 

I love each and every one of you,


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