Today, I am pleased to bring you something a little different on my blog. For the first time, I’ve asked another author to take over and share some of her magic with my readers. (Don’t worry, I warned her that there are only three of you.)
I first met February Grace online, through Twitter, as her conversations were often sprinkled with Disney-isms and talk about her first book, Godspeed. I entered a contest to win a copy of that book, and — as luck would have it — I won. Soon we were sharing writing advice, and I became a loyal reader of her blog.
With Wishing Cross Station, her fifth novel, February once again pulls readers into a world of fantasy and romance, but a darker world than in her previous books.
I don’t think there’s much more that I can tell you about February that she doesn’t already cover in the blog post below. So, I’ll shut up now and let her begin…
When author Kevin Wohler accepted my offer of a blog post swap in the month of June to help support the launch of my fifth Booktrope novel Wishing Cross Station, I was thrilled. I looked forward to his response as to what he’d like to see me blog about for this: his very first guest post on his blog.
I’m so honored… but let me tell you… no pressure there, right?
He suggested a wide scope of things that I might write about and a few he would specifically like me cover, and I will try to do the best I can to offer a little bit of both.
First, here are a few things about me that don’t commonly make it into the bios that you see on other guest posts.
I just turned 44 in May.
I have limited use of my eyesight after going blind for a time six/seven years ago. I lost my sight, and have many a varied health problem, due to the fact I am an honest-to-goodness genetic mutant. This was diagnosed at the University of Michigan’s Genetics Clinic by a leader in the field, around the time of my 38th birthday. Up until then, no one really had any idea exactly what was wrong with me; they just knew something was.
To this day they can’t pin it down to one syndrome in particular. I am called a ‘constellation’ of signs and symptoms of two different genetic syndromes: Marfan, and Ehlers-Danlos.
I joked with them that maybe I’m really a Muppet: perhaps Gonzo. No one really ever seemed to know exactly what Gonzo was.
To say that I am grateful to surgeons at U of M for restoring some of my lost eyesight through six complicated surgeries would be a monumental understatement.
So, there’s that.
There’s also the fact that I live with Bipolar Disorder, OCD and PTSD. I blog often about these challenges and if you’re interested in knowing more about that please feel free to stop on by my own blog, where I delve into my personal experience of living with these disorders.
Now, let’s talk about a subject that is dear to both my, and Kevin’s heart: Disney.
I was raised on Disney. Before I was born, the family was watching The Wonderful World of Disney every week; my dad used to say that my mother looked like Annette from The Mickey Mouse Club when she was a teen.
So love of all things Disney predates my birth; it is a part of the fabric of who I am.
As Kevin so perfectly put it in his own interview on my Clockwork Conversations blog, Disney is “akin to a life philosophy.” It’s so much more than a world of entertainment; it is a hopeful outlook for the future. It is the example that Walt Disney himself set for raising the bar on creativity and progress (“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” “Keep moving forward.”)
It’s about dreaming a better world and doing all that we can today to make that world a reality.
Disney as a philosophy brings out the best in people; their kindest selves, their most creative and mindful selves. Eyes on tomorrow, while always appreciating what has been in the past. Making the moment you’re living in count now by creating memories with the people you love.
Sometimes, you make memories in Walt Disney World with total strangers; people whose names you might never know but who influence you in ways that you couldn’t possibly have imagined (Thank you, kind lady at the BoardWalk Inn boat dock, for the fifteen-minute conversation we shared a few weeks ago when it was just the two of us waiting for the EPCOT boat. I learned so much from you in such a short time it was like taking a master class in life. I won’t forget you.)
There have been times when I got to be the stranger doing something small for another Disney guest that made them smile. I call those my ‘fairy godmother moments’ and I treasure them even more than the kindnesses that have been shown to me by various Disney cast members over the years.
Sometimes the magic is made for you, and sometimes you get to make the magic. If I were a healthier individual, you can bet that every day, I would be putting on a name tag for work that had Mickey Mouse on it.
I’ve been talking here for some time now, and to wind up, I need to switch gears toward a subject that Kevin asked me to touch upon: my new book, Wishing Cross Station, and why I wrote a darker novel this time than the books I’ve written previously.
To that question the only answer I can give is this: because that is the book that was in my heart.
Wishing Cross Station follows young Keigan Wainwright, a page at a college library, on an incredible journey back in time. There he learns about himself and the differences between his time and the lives people lived a hundred and thirty-five years before.
He discovers the common thread of loss, and how people deal with it, is something that changes little with the passage of time.
The book also touches upon the idea that our actions and contributions matter, no matter where we are: every single thing we do sends ripples out into the universe… into the future. Ripples over which we have little control. It is only our own actions we can control, and the book speaks to the emotional costs paid, no matter what choices we make in life when it comes to love.
The story is an emotional one; one I am not quite sure how my previous readers will receive yet.
I can only say this: I wrote the story with an open heart. My soul is in this book, between the lines on every page.
If they can find something in it that touches them, makes them think, and stays with them after they close the book, that is the very best I could possibly hope for.
I think the same is true of life in general: if, after I’m gone, people remember something unique about me or my writing and art, that would be the ultimate reward any artist could ever hope to achieve. To be remembered is the ultimate reward.
Thank you so much, Kevin, for hosting me today. It was an honor to be here.
February Grace is an author, poet, and artist from Southeast Michigan. In previous novels, she has introduced readers to characters with clockwork hearts, told of romantic modern-day fairy godparents, and reimagined a legend, centuries old. Now, in her fifth novel with Booktrope, readers will board the special at Wishing Cross Station and embark on a trip through time. She is more than mildly obsessed with clocks, music, colors, meteor showers, and steam engines. Find out more about her by visiting februarywriter.blogspot.com or connecting on Twitter @februarygrace