Sunday, September 7, 2014

This is going to get a little mushy ...

So, this is going to be kind of rambling. Because *this* happened today:

THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH obviously isn't the first book I've written. But it was, hands-down, the most difficult. This book was a beast to write. A snarling animal who would have flunked out of obedience school. It took over four years, and countless drafts (I literally stopped counting). I almost threw in the towel so many times. I had some incredibly dark nights wondering what was wrong with me. I mean -- I completed college in less time than it took to finish this!! And I felt like I was breaking a whole lot of rules by attempting to do this book. After all, I write historical fiction and comics (my two great loves.) What was I thinking doing something involving science fiction? 

But I wrote this book because of my late father and I think he would have approved.  See, *he* was a bit of a rule-breaker and didn't follow a straight path. He was a Navy pilot and then became a pediatrician. He went from flying off air craft carriers to suturing kids -- talk about switching genres!

My dad, Navy flyboy.
Ultimately, THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH was my way of saying that I miss my dad and still think about him all the time. He was funny and had a dry sense of humor. He expressed his love by tapping my arm and saying "you have a nice intern vein right there." (An "intern vein" is the vein that even a newbie intern can thread an IV into in an emergency situation and save your life.) Yes, he knew where all the good veins were on all us kids. 

My Dad in his natural habitat, the doctor's office.
He loved medicine and science. And I do, too. His retired doctor's bag is in my closet and I've used his old otoscope to look in my own kid's ears. While I didn't follow his path and become a physician (seriously, what kid does what their mom or dad wants them to do?), I hope that this book will inspire other kids to go into science.

So, thanks for everything Dad and I hope you can at least get the digital edition in heaven. I'm sure there's email up there. And texting. And instagram. ;-)

Me. Future rule-breaker.