Thank you to everyone who helped bring my Relics & Legends Three Gifts Trilogy to life in these limited edition, fully kitted-out hardcovers.
Thomas and Kelly Galanis
Nijeara "Ny" Buie
Massive thanks to the backers who've taken a chance on a first-time Kickstarter...
Sunny Side Up
The Creative Fund By BackerKit
While I wrote this story, the book you’ve just read only came about because of the time, feedback and effort from a lot of other people.
My writing crew, the Romantics With Attitude: Jen, Jac and Mel. Once again, you’ve been with me through conflict and characters and plot holes. Frustrations and fatigue and excitement. Can’t say thank you enough!
Next up is the Romance Writers of Australia aspiring authors eLoop, because over one flash fiction weekend, the scene I wrote from the prompts turned into one of my favorite scenes in the book.
To Sandra Greenhalgh, the best beta reader ever—thank you for your feedback and support.
To Brendan, thank you for your technical help with matters regarding the armed forces and returned veterans.
To cover artists Jacqueline Hayley and Marina Farcic, this cover rocks!
To copy editor Sarah Proulx Calfee, you are an editing genius and I love working with you. Somehow you take my mash up of ideas and see the story I’m trying to convey and help me pull it all together.
And to proofing editor Jo Speirs, your eye for detail, the extra care you take with my story and your support is magic.
And then to my family. Thank you for the countless conversations and support while this story and these characters have evolved into what it & they are today.
And an extra special call out to the three most important people in my world—my children for understanding that my work starts early and spans weekends and holidays (and a giant hug to my eight-year-old son who wanted to show mummy’s book to his teacher—not sure she was ready for my type of book!) and then to my husband, Henry. This book would not have happened without your support and love. And doing the house-stuff so I can write. Love you.
Last up, I have an important call out. This story touched on issues of mental health with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I would like to thank the amazing Davina Stone for her sensitivity read. This story takes place in a fantasy world, but it was important to me to represent the condition with respect.
First, to my family. My hubby, kids, and the entire extended crew. Once more, our family message chat has lit up with character names, cover pics, questions and suggestions.
Next, to my writing crew, the Romantics With Attitude. From plot to character to cover, you’ve helped my book baby take shape.
And an extra shout out to Jacqueline Hayley, whose mad cover skills helped to create this cover—my favourite so far—along with Marina Farcic for her photoshop prowess.
To my friends, whose beautiful, funny and wicked personalities helped inspire these characters.
To editors Sarah and Jo, your wisdom, honesty and belief in my story and these characters have made my words shine. To Sandra Greenhalgh, beta reader extraordinaire, for your encouragement and feedback.
To the Romance Writers of Australia and their competition teams—this story has gone through several writing comps and each time has come out a better product for it. Thank you to the judges and the contest team who volunteer their time to make these competitions happen.
And finally, to everyone who has read The Immortal Keepers stories so far. Your love of this world motivates me to make the next book (and the next) even better.
Thank you, all.
Only through the steppingstones laid by many people and organizations has this story found its way to you.
The Last Keeper was completed in 2018. Unsure of what to do next, I looked up the QLD Writers Centre and through their Writer’s Surgery found the amazing Anna Campbell. Anna became a mentor and friend and is mentioned first because everything that’s happened with my writing stemmed from Anna’s advice – I can’t include it all, but here are some of the highlights: join the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA), find my tribe, get a critique partner, enter competitions, read as widely as possible, and understand that writing is a long game (perhaps the hardest advice for someone as impatient as me!)
Attending my first RWA conference in Melbourne 2019, I found my people. Also through the RWA I discovered their online learning courses, two of which have been instrumental in The Last Keeper: Ebony McKenna’s Self-Editing (Ebony also helped with an early draft) and Novalee Swan’s Digital Self-Publishing (Novalee’s insights and tailored suggestions for my publication journey were priceless). The RWA has email groups for writers in different stages of their career, and the Aspiring eLoop have been amazing – to D.D. Line and everyone on that loop, wishing you all the best for each of your journeys! I also started to enter RWA competitions and in 2020 The Last Keeper was a finalist in the RWA First Kiss Comp. I cried when I read that email, because it somehow validated that I was a writer – 19 agents had rejected my manuscript at that point, and doubt was beginning to creep in, but that competition changed everything in my mind.
Also at conference, I found my critique group. Melanie Pickering, Jennifer Westgarth and Jacqueline Hayley. These wonderful women & amazing authors are the absolute best part of writing—collaboration, honest feedback and friendship. And a special call-out to Jacqueline for her stunning cover artwork!
In early 2020 Rachel Bailey and Josephine Moon through their Sunshine Writers Lab introduced me to Save The Cat by Blake Snyder and the suggestion to completely rewrite my beginning. That weekend workshop turned my story around and I am forever grateful to both Josephine and Rachel for their insights and critique (and for an awesome workshop!)
To my first author-reader, M.L. Thompsett, thank you for your feedback & advice. I hope you enjoy the final version.
To editors Sarah Proulx Calfee and Libby M Iriks – your polish and craftsmanship have made a little idea and a bunch of words gleam. I am so grateful to you both for your advice, your effort and your care with my book baby.
To the friends who have listened to story ideas and pitches (so many pitches!) and always encouraged me on this journey – thank you.
And finally, for my family: Henry, your love and support is magic. No other way to put it. For my sister Julie and wonderful friend, Chantal—you were the first readers of this story back in 2018, I hope you love it now! My mum for her unending belief that writing is my gig (and never minding when I raided her Johanna Lindsay stash as a teenager). My father for his love of storytelling, humor and keen eye for typos. And every other family member who’s read this story, helped untangle plot bunnies or joined a family chat to find another word for something … like Julie’s idea of crossing places (told you I’d give you the credit, Jules!)
So really, this book would not be here today, as it is, without four years of support. My thanks to you all.