Della Doe Deare isn't like most people. Most people begin their life on the day they enter the world; the day they're born. Della, well, hers began on the day she turned eighteen. After all, it was the day she first heard her real name, and that of her mother. With nothing but a couple of duffel bags and a folder full of questions, she travels to coastal North Carolina to claim a house that she inherited from a grandmother she never knew.
She has two goals: discover why her mother ran away from home all those years ago, and avoid the family that had left her to rot in an inept foster care system. Hard to do when the family she's been trying to avoid is dragging her into an unimaginable world... a world on the brink of war, and both sides want her dead.
All Della ever wanted was to know who she was, but her journey to self-discovery might just lead to destruction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Tidewater girl born and bred, Regan Claire's first friend and love was the Atlantic. Growing up being told the legends about Pirates and American Natives common in coastal VA and NC, coupled with being an only child, did wonders for her imagination; Regan had one foot in fantasy-land ever since, a trait her dear husband heroically endures (and one she secretly hopes her daughters have inherited). Her family moved inland to Nashville while she was entering tweenhood and not a day went by that she didn't miss her childhood playmate and her crashing waves. Nashville has her perks though, namely the love of Regan's life and their two sweet girls. Their insane mutt-dog and the stray cat that refuses to leave their porch aren't too bad either. Regan loves fairytales A LOT, teen movies (preferably with dancing or singing), reads entirely too much, and is constantly late.
The Joy of Writing “The End”
When I finally wrote the last line on Gathering Water, I couldn’t tell you what I was wearing, or what time of night it was. The date escapes me, as does the weather that day.
But the feeling?
The feeling is one that will forever be etched in my memory. It’s a feeling of accomplishment. Of joy. Of ‘holy snap-dragons, I actually DID it.’ See, I’m not sure I ever believed I would get to the end. I’m a starter, rarely a finisher. And while I stubbornly told everyone that I really would finish this book… I’m not sure I believed myself.
Well, I sure showed me, didn’t I? I proved myself wrong, and when dealing with bucket-loads of self doubt, that can be a glorious thing.
I got a kick out of telling pretty much everyone I know that I had finished writing a book.
But after a few days the stars finally left my eyes and I realized writing the end of a book was the fun part, but not the LAST part. I had to edit, and edit a lot. I had to find beta readers, agonize over covers, and then rewrite, and edit some more. And… it was awful! Haha.
It reminds me of having a baby. The writing phase is like being pregnant and watching your belly grow. It’s exciting even though the whole thing keeps you up at night, emotional, and overall a little gassy. Then it’s time to push the thing out and it feels like you’ve been doing this writing thing forever, and you’re ready for it to be over already. Then you get to the final scene. Your adrenaline is pumping. You’re so close. And then there it is… finished. You cradle it in your arms, adoring it and thinking it’s the most beautiful and perfect thing you’ve ever done. It’s shocking, and bizarre, to think that you actually made this! How is it even possible? You think that for a few days before reality comes crashing down and the real work begins.
For me, edits were like endless dirty diapers and ceaseless crying. Because that’s what a manuscript does, cries CONSTANTLY ‘fiiiiiiiix meeeee.’ The terror of all the future bad reviews you just KNOW will come, and how you’re certain to just bomb in the market keeps you up at night. Oh, and that most beautiful and perfect thing you just created? Yeah, you realize it looks a little like a squishy old man.
It takes weeks, and hours upon hours, before the squalling mess that you’re just sure was sent home to drive you crazy settles down. And when it does, what do you have? Well, you have the most beautiful and perfect thing you’ve ever done. You’ve always loved it but now? Now you mega love it. You daydream about it, and hope other people will love it as much as you do. You tell random strangers about it, and make grand plans on how the world is just going to stop and pay attention. And then… well, then you freak out, because what if they don’t appreciate it? What if they think it’s worthless? How do you protect your wee little
book from the big ole meanies out there? How can you explain to them
how much care and love and thought went into this?
You can’t. Not really. You just have to prepare it the best you can, and send it out into the world. Hopefully people will see what you see, but if they don’t, well, it’s your baby and nothing they say will make you love it less.
And that love, that joy that comes from writing a book from start to finish… that’s what keeps you going. Even though some people think you’re crazy for putting yourself through it all again and again, you know it’s worth it. Sure, you become a bit of a neurotic mess… but who doesn’t?
Being able to write that first “the end” is being able to say “I’m an author.” It’s being able to accomplish dreams. To create. To love. To share joy with others.
Writing that first “The End” is the beginning of a wonderful new life. At least, it was for me.