I don't remember the exact date but it was early in 2003 when I first met Dee Sutter. She was 18 years old and wandered into the bookstore I was managing one Monday evening to look at witchcraft books. We got that a lot from 18 year old girls.
With no one else in the store, we started talking. As if to give us a chance to get to know each other, not a single other customer came in for the rest of that evening. Not one... for three hours. So we talked... for three hours. She stood outside the gate while I counted out the money and then I walked her to her car, thanking her for helping me pass my evening in enjoyable conversation.
Over the next few months, she became a regular at the store and made friends with several of the employees including future muse Brittany Rose. Somehow she even ended up at the thrown together farewell party those same few employees gave me when I left the company after 21 years in June of that year. Being a happily married middle-aged man, I presumed that would be the last I'd see of her.
A few months later, however, I ended up calling on her for research help on a writing project I was doing about young people. We met at a park with a tape recorder and again talked until well past dark.
Then Dee moved to Alabama and I presumed--again-- that was the last I'd ever see of her. Somehow, though, we ended up staying in touch online and when she decided that she would like to publish a couple of short stories, she had me read through them first. I, myself, was even inspired to write a short story with a character inspired by Dee.
But she had her own life and I had mine. Times were kind of tough for us both and we spoke online less and less. Life moved on and I became convinced--again-- that was the last I'd hear from her.
You've probably guessed by now that it wasn't. One day, out of the blue, she emailed to say she would be visiting friends up here and wanted to get together so I met her (along with one of my former employees) for a late dinner one night.
This time, we didn't lose touch. Dee even began an online political discourse with my wife totally separate from my own somewhat odd relationship with her. Over the next couple of years, we'd get together briefly whenever she'd visit and then one day she told me she had an idea for a story, her first in some years. I read what she sent me and told her to go for it. She did. It was a good idea with some original concepts.
Over the next weeks and months I heard more and more about it and, during NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH (NaNoWriMo) in 2009, she more or less finished it! What followed was some weirdness including the two of us spending a full 24 hours together in a cave split between editing her book and working on another project. It was all great fun and we came out of it with a book I was proud to be associated with.
But it wasn't done. It needed a polish and some more editing. Life, as it does got in the way and the book became backburnered. I did another partial edit here and she worked on some changes to it from time to time there. Over time, she even moved back here where she and my wife and son have become great friends, also.
Finally, this week, after nearly two and a half years since that first germ of an idea was passed on to me, I spent another 17 hour marathon editing and proofreading session and we both pronounced JOURNEY OF SHADOWS, BOOK 1 OF THE IMMORTALIS TRILOGY, finished!
As fantasy quest novels go, it's more original than most while still offering plenty of what genre fans want from these types of epic fantasy adventures.
Dee has created characters that the reader is drawn to, each with a unique personality. The perilous situations in which she places them offer some real intrigue and her descriptive skills are such that a long sea voyage scene nearly made me motion sick!
It's only $2.99 for the eBook and while it is most definitely Dee Sutter's book, I've spent an awful lot of time in the world Dee has created and I'd appreciate it if you'd give it a try and let me know what you think. She wrote the second book last year at NaNoWriMo so more will be forthcoming!
For the price, you can get it for most of the major eBook formats or also as a downloadable PDF file. Amazon offers a free Kindle app for MAC or PC if you'd like one.
It's been a long journey for Dee to get to JOURNEY OF SHADOWS but she's good. I guarantee you this is just the beginning.
For more on JOURNEY OF SHADOWS, check the ad link at the bottom of the page. To order direct from SMASHWORDS, go here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/139475