Enjoy these moments from my first two book-signings of the year: Lebanon’s May Market on May 6th, and Trinity’s Strawberry Festival on May 19th! Met a lot of great new readers, saw many friends, even saw one of my old preschool students who starred in The Amazing K, and overall had a blast! Also, sales were great, meaning that I also raised over $100 for ALFA, the local charity I support that helps adults with autism and other disabilities live full and abundant lives here in Southern Illinois. Excited to see what else God has in store for this year!
Originally, I was going to publish One Starry Knight: Special Illustrated Edition on December 30, same as the original; I’d chosen that date because it’s the birthday of my friend who inspired Kaos. But instead, I ended up publishing the book far before that, on April 20, my birthday, instead. It all came together so flawlessly, which is saying a lot, considering I included artwork from thirteen brilliant and diverse artists. They were all perfectly on time, and I was able to publish the book without a hitch. God definitely had His hand in guiding that one.
So why the switch to publish so much sooner? Well, something inside me had told me to finish the book before December. It was like God whispered to me, “That will be far too late; you’ll need it before then.” And as usual, God’s leading, combined with the uncanny intuition He’s blessed me, with proved correct. I decided to publish the book on my birthday, instead of the birthday of the man and dear friend who is my real-life Kaos. Only a couple weeks after I showed the book off at a book-signing for the first time, my heart was torn by some news that is still too deep and private for me to talk about. Long story short, we won’t be pursuing any kind of relationship beyond friendship, though I still consider him a dear friend and a good-hearted man; the man who tries to next win my heart will have huge shoes to fill, which isn’t really such a bad thing. Kaos helped raise the bar and helped me define exactly what I want in a life partner.
Am I upset that I finished the book and poured so much money, heart, and soul into hiring artists to complete it by my early publication date? No, not at all. As with the real Kaos, I have no regrets. I knew that however things turned out, the book would at least be necessary for my healing. Its completion would allow me to move forward.
Same with the photo shoot featured here. After the May Market Book-signing (featured in another post), my bestie Sarah Jolly and I did an impromptu Evren photo shoot. I mean, I figured we may as well, since I had the dress, the red hair (which would be washed out that night), and considering we were in Lebanon, the place where my love for Kaos was first born. We shot a couple of pictures in the “magic gazebo,” but most photos seen here are at the local park, which I call “The Park of Stars and Fireflies.”
The story behind the park: One night after we both got off work at midnight, real-life Kaos took me to that park for the first time. Hundreds and hundreds of fireflies sparkled in the trees like diamonds. Then, just like when Evren lays down in the boat in the book, Kaos had me lay back on the merri-go-round. He spun it round and round, and as the stars swirled above me, they felt almost close enough to touch. Twas the most magical night. I’ve returned to that park many a time to watch the stars, but it’s never felt as magical as on that first night when he was with me.
As you can see here, Sarah was quite inspired and took some amazing shots of me as Evren, capturing Evren’s—and my—whimsy, longing, love for simplicity and nature, hopefulness, prayerfulness, and love.
I will always love my Kaos. I have the fondest memories of him, and I learned and grew so much because of him. I continue to write about him, such as this, only because I cannot be with him. Expressing myself is necessary to continue my healing process, be that through writing, music, painting, whatever inspiration comes to me. My love for him is immortalized in One Starry Knight, but like Evren, it is time to lay that mission aside and ascend to the stars to complete my own healing. From there, I must wait to see what new adventure God has for me next.
Meanwhile, dear readers, please enjoy reading our story! It’s a young adult fantasy romance novella, but I personally like to call it “an interracial fairy tale.” I believe that suits our story, both the real one and that portrayed in the book, quite perfectly indeed. My book can be found in paperback on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Ebook version coming soon!
Some of you may be familiar with my quarterly newsletter, The FADBooks Review. Some of you may even be subscribers. I am writing this post to announce that as of right now, The FADBooks Review will be no more. Between work, writing, and life, I’ve never had time to keep up with it properly, and it simply isn’t a priority right now. Rather than continuing to send painfully late and uninspired newsletters, I’m giving it the ax, at least for now. Who knows? Perchance it will make sense for me to revive it later on down the road.
However, I WILL be keeping my quarterly give-aways, this time by posting them here on my blog. Give-aways will be posted on or around Dec 21st, March 21st, June 21st, and Sep 21st and will run for the full quarter. Readers can just leave a comment on the give-away post to enter to win!
More good stuff coming up: I just published the special illustrated edition of my interracial fairy tale novella, One Starry Knight. I’ll be showing it off tomorrow as I sign books at Lebanon, Illinois’ annual May Market–while cosplaying my character Evren, of course. Stay tuned for pics from the event!
On that note, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!
~ Christine E. Schulze