Sometimes Inspiration finds you. Usually when you’re least looking for it.

Almost a year ago, I got a phone call from my co-worker, Heather. (Not to be confused with my sister, I will refer to her as Heather G. for this post.) While she was my co-worker, she handled the art and I handled the code, so rarely did our paths cross. Needless to say, I was surprised, and my mind immediately leapt to the possibility that something was wrong. Imagine my surprise when she opened the conversation with, “So, I hear you’re a writer.”

Have you ever seen a bunny freeze when it thinks its seen the shadow of a hawk overhead? That was me, frozen solid, brain scraping up responses and discarding them. “Who told you that?”

Joss Whedon does *not* write my dialogue.

“Evie. She mentioned that you’re a writer.” Heather G. supplied, oblivious to my trapped expression thanks to the magic of cell phones.

“Oh. Well, I’m not published or anything,” I was quick to supply. “I do like to write though.”

“Well, that’s fine. I was wondering if you wanted to write up some fairy tales for me.” Heather G. had unwittingly offered me a shot at something that I have a private obsession with. (Okay, it’s not private now.) I have encyclopedias encompassing everything from pixies to ogres, kelpies to selkies, and everything in between. “Let me send you some pictures of what I want.”

For those of you familiar with me, you probably know that Heather G. is the artist who designed and illustrated my cover art for “The Corsican.”

She is quite talented. And she sent me such pictures! Whimsical, passionate, thought provoking, and fun. I’m not going to post them here because I am saving them for later posts.

She handed me the ideas for new worlds and said, “Here, develop these, and I’ll illustrate your work.” I would have been an idiot to turn her down.

The stories have been in development for a year, and what a year it’s been. My manuscript was chosen by Anacrusis Press, and I did become published in the interim. I took an editing class at WWU, met some students, tried to get into a writer’s group. Helped a friend develop a gaming book. Beta read for two other friends. Learned about audiobooks.

I got stuck on our work just about the same time that The Corsican needed to be edited come hell or high water. I got that project done, but like mushrooms after a rain many more sprung up, and I will admit I avoided the project for a while. Heather G. didn’t mind, because she got a job at Disney Mobile and had more on her plate than she’d ever had before.

Just this week I have managed to get three stories started. I’m going to go back and edit the one that I got editing notes for in April. I’m inspired, I’m excited, and I’m grateful. If it hadn’t been for Heather G’s offer, I am fairly certain that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to get my book published.

Even though this project took a while to develop, I can’t tell you what it’s done for me already. Working with someone on a project is a world different than captaining a ship by me onsies, to quote Cap. Jack Sparrow. I can’t wait to share sneak peeks and get opinions.

I am especially grateful to Trinity, who sat quietly in my parent’s house over Thanksgiving vacation. She came with her dad Steve and brought her book, Grimm’s Abridged Fairy Tales. She was quiet, the way children can be when stuck listening to adults talk and having nothing to do. She was being so quiet, I wanted to involve her in some conversation too. So I brought out my laptop and showed her some of Heather G’s concept sketches. Her eyes lit up when I explained the brief idea that each story had inspired in me. Her first question to me was, “When will it be out?”

Thanks to her bright eyes and eager question, it’s going to be out a hell of a lot sooner than I’d thought.