January 31 – An Extra Special Day

Today is the launch date for A SHORT TIME TO DIE, my debut novel.

Of course this date will be very special to me for a very long time, but it was already a major date in my life because January 31 is the birthday of both my mother and my father, born two years apart.

My mother died thirty years ago. My father recently died in June at 93.5 years of what can only be described as old age. His eyes were old, his ears were old, his brain was old.

Dad’s vascular dementia was unrelenting. In the last months he couldn’t remember where he was (a nursing home in his home town), where he had been living the past four years (a wonderful assisted living facility nearby), or what he had for lunch, but he always rememberedĀ me, my sister, and my brother. From time to time he would look at me and say, “And you have a book coming out.” Somehow he could remember this little thing.

I didn’t plan for January 31st as my release date. I wouldn’t have even known how to ask. Without even knowing, Kensington picked theĀ  date for me.

I am often asked how I can write dark fiction or how many people I have killed today. I laugh and make up a number.

Giving this more thought, I realized that knowing that I was loved and valued has given me the courage to try many different careers and artistic endeavors. Even when I write about dark material, I can feel the love of my family and know that I am safe.

My parents were realists and did not hesitate to give me advice. But they also encouraged me to take risks and told me when they were proud and happy. I miss them every day but I carry them with me.

Here’s to my wonderful family.

I hope readers will enjoy A SHORT TIME TO DIE.