Death and Other Distractions
While writing my YA fantasy novel, Entangled, a chain of death and near death experiences began to occur in my family (this, ironically, while writing and making light of death).
Three weeks into starting the book, my grandmother died. (November 7, 2011)
My grandma, whom the novel is dedicated to, was like a second mom to me. I was torn by her death especially as I hadn’t seen her since leaving Alaska, but still, I kept plugging away at the novel as though my life depended on it.
It’s the small distractions that drag me under: Twitter, books, blogs, back-to-back episodes of The Vampire Diaries, what to make for dinner…
But big things – they turn me into the most dedicated goal achiever. My novel became my life raft and I was rowing that baby straight to the finish line!
As I neared shore, three family members ended up in the hospital on the same day (December 1, 2011): My dad for open heart surgery, my uncle with an irregular heartbeat, and my sister-in-law with life-threatening food poisoning.
We made it through December only to get a call in January that my mother-in-law had tried to kill herself with pills. She was in a coma for three days, but came out of it and is doing much better.
I had one last curve ball as publication day approached. My editor went MIA. The day she’d promised my manuscript came and went. I left emails and phone messages. She disappeared from social media and I was convinced I’d jinxed her with my cursed book.
She eventually reappeared, but gave no explanation. Meanwhile I moved forward with another editor and Entangled went live on February 20, 2012.
I only wished I could call my grandmother and share the news with her.
Nikki Jefford is the author of the Spellbound fantasy series. Entangled (book one) is a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012 YA category. Nikki is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada. She resides with a Frenchman named Sebastien and a Westie named Cosmo.