Part of me feels as if it’s presumptuous to even attempt to call myself an author. Books have been my best– and sometimes only– escape from troubles unimaginable. Horrific, skin tragic soul-flaying troubles that after a few chapters were also unremembered.
After having absorbed, loved and been influenced so heavily by such a diverse array as Tolkien, Eyre, Moore, Shakespeare, García Marquez, Rowling, de Lint, Milton, Butcher, Poe… it’s difficult to even attempt to name them, let alone compare myself in the same sentence.
Not the same league, by any means, but of the same occupation. Writing a book feels as personal, vulnerable and terrifying as having a baby. Granted, I’ve never done the latter but seeing as it’s hardwired in my DNA, the future feelings still root and resonate within me.
Disclaimer: Having been raised by a strong single mother, I have to note that this is definitely not me trying to disrespect all of you amazing mothers out there. Each and every one of you are pretty much superheroes that I have zero doubt would kick my butt if I presumed to usurp or demean your title. Respect.
Necessary honorifics aside, a very large part of me is hesitant to even dare to think that I can take on the brilliantly bittersweet mantle, so firmly fixed with twin clasps of tragedy and hope, that is inherent to writing this book. To do so is to lay myself blazingly bare, irreversibly so.
Regardless of whether it is ever published or read, to attempt to fix random thoughts in an order that seemingly resembles a story with a plausible beginning, middle, and end seems almost a Sisyphean task.
But a long time ago, I promised myself that if I ever got the opportunity I would harness the volume of my speaking voice and transmit all my power to the written word. Because I have met far too many others like me, people who have suffered and survived even worse enemies and obstacles than I can dare imagine or have ever experienced.
I recognize the shadow in their eyes, even when they’ve dispatched their shield smile out in full-throttle distraction mode. My own tries to hide it’s reflection, tries to ignore the mental mirror it recognizes all too well.
I am not Spiderman, curse gifted with power and responsibility. I’m just a human who’s slightly broken yet unbowed, and I want to try and chase those shadows away. How could I possible hope to cure my own without first trying to release those of others?
Too many go unacknowledged, ignored, the victims of society’s callous indifference for anything not beautiful, dangerous or shiny enough to be in the spotlight. My own deeply engraved internal wounds may have scabbed over but they’re nowhere near healed, and yet I still count myself as one of the lucky ones. Too many have fallen through the cracks, of our system, of our attention, of our love.
This is my attempt to shake out those cracks. While I don’t have the funds to affect change through a redistribution of wealth, nor am I as badass as Robin Hood, Oprah or Mother Teresa, I can still do this one thing. I can attempt to capture a story with pieces rooted as much in the fantastical as in reality, a mind-melded Molotov cocktail that will hopefully explode out of ink + paper and blow through brick walls of apathy.
I don’t want to just write a book. I want to write a brutal, beautiful, bone-searingly unforgettable tribute to lives unexplored and forgotten. In the style of the doomed prophet Cassandra, but hopefully with happier endings, I want to paint a picture tracking the course of our world into it’s inevitable future if we don’t change.
It’s not going to be typical in most ways, and will have a bit of everything, including song lyrics, random quotes, bursts of poetry and the occasional musing sprinkled here and there. I don’t really think any homage to humanity could be neat and tidy, anyways.
And yes, I’ve gone from modesty to hubris within the span of a few hundreds words. But isn’t that the glory of the human spirit? That there will always be a little bit of Icharus in each of us, and as much as we outwardly lament his stupidity, inwardly we always thrill a bit that he got so close to the sun and wonder if we could possibly get closer.
It’s what drives our belief, and change is impossible without belief. So this will be my small piece of change dropped in to the universe’s wishing well in the perhaps vain but definitely determined hopes of seeing a ripple.
Will be updating this website regularly with excerpts from my first book, all comments are welcome. Always on the lookout for peer editors, please e-mail me at Nicole.Edry@gmail.com if you’re generous enough to give feedback on a chapter or two. And of course, I’m happy to do the same!