Ohmygoodness! Publication of Hearken to Avalon is imminent! And I just want to take this time to thank all the folks who have provided inspiration and helped me through this process.
First, I would like to thank the actor Richard Armitage for this story’s inspiration. In his rendition of Guy of Gisbourne on the BBC Robin Rood series, he was an admittedly damaged character. In an interview, Mr. Armitage discussed his character’s flaws. It made me wonder: if this character had love returned to him, if his prayer had been answered, would he be different? If love were given to him freely, could a villain who clearly has a heart and a tender spot for love, change? Could a villain rise up and become a champion? It made me question what defines a villain or a hero, and how love can affect a person on deep and mysterious levels.
And this novel would not have commenced if it were not for my friends Eve and Elizabeth who listened to that first fantasy about Guy and Morgaine and thought it was so hot that I should write it down. In fact, I should create a whole story from it. And so I did.
A big jump-up-and-down-hug thank you to all my friends and family who patiently listened to me tell the tale or a scene and looked forward to reading the novel in its entirety. To Nicole, Jessica, “Sarah the Seamstress” and the many friends who served as role models for character development; some of you even have cameos in the novel. And to all my friends on Facebook who responded to my quirky queries and answered them honestly and sometimes with great humor.
To Sharon and Gabrielli for inspiring me with their Infinity work; to Starhawk for her work on the concepts of power; to Jerry Jud for his concept of adoration; and to Barry Lopez for his concept of what constitutes a man versus a boy. I found beautiful, healing ways to incorporate these principles.
To Sarah and her husband Kevin providing me with a role model of a completely adoring couple who communicate with each other in love and compassion and without arguing. They are a rare breed of coupledom and I hope to initiate the masses to a gentler way of being with a spouse.
To Heather and Lyle for their extensive knowledge of the medieval period and being willing historical consultants at any given moment. And of course, I thank all the researchers who put countless hours into cataloging events and important personages and places for me to review and incorporate. I will admit to a hand-shaking distance of facts in this work of historical fantasy. I also want to thank Marion Zimmer Bradley for her beautifully written The Mists of Avalon. Her novel was an inspiration for me as well as fodder for creating this “Into the Woods” version of colliding legends.
To Apple & Oak, and particularly to Laura for her inspiration of the food blessing and in helping set the tone for the Great Rite chants. To fellow writer Susan for her counsel and inspiration during our weekly story-shares in 2013. To Frank for his assistance with character development of Rodney and Wild Herb as it related to wilderness living skills, and for his assistance in describing specific maneuvers. To John, Malachi, Molly and Kathy for their expertise, debate and dialogue over a translation into Latin. Who knew one sentence could be so complicated? To Sarah and Malachi for translating dialogue in a scene into French for me. And to Jessica, Margaret and Beth for their council on translating horse body language and vocalizations into text.
To Laurel Thorndike for taking my vision and illustrating the cover of this novel. To Margaret Green for editing the first two rounds of the story. To Jennifer Wilhoit for copy editing. To Julia Blyth for proofreading the final draft.
To Gus Ganley for his enthusiasm and inspiration during the editing phase and gifting me with his skills as a videographer for my Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for this publication. And many thanks to all the individuals who contributed to the Indiegogo campaign so that this novel could manifest in the world! Deep gratitude to my mother MaryAnn whose financial support gave me the time to focus on writing this book. And to my father David and Mama Laura for all their love, patience, compassion and support.
To John, for walking into my life as if out of the pages of my novel. You are a wonder, my Love.