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 remembered 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 the  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.

22 thoughts on “January 31 – An Extra Special Day”

  1. Wow, what a beautiful story to go along with your book! I love that one of the things your Dad could remember was that you had a book being published. Congratulations, I can’t wait to start reading it.

    • I’m glad you got to meet him and know him. I see so many things he made for me around the house. See you soon. Time to catch up 🙂

  2. Wonderful meaningful dates for you, Susan. Will look forward to reading your book. Never knew your mom but your dad was a dear friend funny, kind and always interested in what my family was doing amidst the Greensboro community. You children, Susan,Palma &Rob made them very proud. Best to you. MArtha Niemi

    • Hi Marla – I couldn’t have planned this if I had wanted to. I know they’d be so excited. Thank you for all your support in our shared on-line groups.

  3. Susan, we haven’t met, but I was touched by your personal story and the “gift” of your parents that you appreciate and honor, and the gift of imagination and story telling that you are now sharing with the publication of your book.

    • Thank you Robin. It took a long time before I appreciated just how special my parents were and how lucky I was. I hope you enjoy the book.

  4. Congratulations, it is always exciting to hear and learn when someone follows their heart. I look forward too the beautiful read.


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