We're one month out from publication of Adrift and so many lovely things have happened - reviews, national newspaper coverage, radio interviews, and incredibly lovely notes from friends and strangers as they read Adrift and want to tell me they loved it (thank you!). But that is all for another post!
This post is about the dedication of Adrift.
"To Mr. Falcone, Mrs. Palethorpe (now Mrs. MacNeil), and all the other kind teachers who fueled my love for writing and encouraged me in this joyful foolishness."
I was scribbling stories from a young age - encouraged by my mom and then by teachers who would ask for a two-page story as homework and get a twenty-page story from me (they frequently ended with "and then they all went home, the end" as endings have always been tricky for me).
Mrs. Palethorpe was my fourth-grade teacher. She wisely suspected I would become a writer and made me promise to dedicate my first book to her; mission accomplished! Mr. Falcone was my high school creative writing teacher, who made writing and studying writing fun, who didn't flinch at my very long writing assignment submissions, and who kept me interested in writing while I was also falling in love with physics down the hall.
It took some work, but I was able to track down Mr. Falcone and Mrs. Palethorpe to send them the book and let them know that the encouragement they gave a student many many years ago has resulted in a book on the shelf at bookstores across Canada and the US. I don't know how often teachers get such belated thank-yous from former students but I was happy to send mine and surprise them! I hope teachers know the impact they have, the ripples they create that shape lives in ways that may take time to see.
They were both so lovely and it was great to connect. Shortly after I sent him the book, Mr. Falcone sent this incredible message that definitely goes in the highlight reel of my publishing journey:
"I finished Adrift. What a wonderful novel! I’m so proud of what you’ve written. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading. It’s a brilliant concept, superbly written, with a captivating and endearing main character and suspenseful plot. Blending all that with the timely and important issue of climate change and its effects on migration makes your novel not only entertaining reading but significant and meaningful for everyone. Thank you for writing Adrift! Wow!"
The somber addendum to this happy story is that as we were emailing, Mr. Falcone had to evacuate his house because of the forest fires raging in Nova Scotia. Climate change impacts are everywhere now. :(